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Marco Rubio: "Republican Obama" not a compliment

Republican presidential candidate and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio isn't willing to attack his fellow GOP rivals for the White House, even if competing campaigns want to call him names.

In an interview airing Sunday with "Face the Nation" host John Dickerson, the Florida Republican discussed one recent moniker bestowed upon him by Jeb Bush's campaign.

"The Bush campaign called you the Republican Obama," Dickerson told Rubio, referring to an internal presentation circulated by Bush's senior staff members at a donor meeting earlier this week. "Is that an insult or a compliment?"

Tensions between Floridians in Republican debate

"Well I don't think they mean it as a compliment," Rubio said, chuckling. "And I certainly wouldn't take it as that."

"Look, campaigns are going to say whatever they think gives them an advantage," the GOP candidate continued. "And obviously someone has convinced Jeb that attacking me is going to help his campaign."

The years-long relationship between Rubio and Bush, nurtured while both served in office in Florida, has become increasingly strained over the last few weeks, just as Bush's campaign continues to lose footing in national polls. At one heated point during Wednesday's Republican primary debate, the former Florida governor turned to Rubio and slammed his Senate record.

"Marco, when you signed up for this, this was a six-year term, and you should be showing up to work," Bush said in Boulder, Colorado. "I mean, literally, the Senate, what is it, like a French work week? You get like three days where you have to show up. You can campaign or just resign and let someone else take the job."

Rubio parlayed back: "We're running for the same position, and someone's convinced you that attacking me is going to help you ... Here's the bottom line: My campaign is going to be about the future of America. It's not going to be about attacking anyone else on this stage. I will continue to have tremendous admiration and respect for Governor Bush. I'm not running against Governor Bush. I'm not running against anyone on this stage. I'm running for president because I think there's no way we can elect Hillary Clinton to continue the policies of Barack Obama."

To "Face the Nation," Rubio promised to continue his debate strategy on the 2016 trail, saying that the latest attacks "won't change the way we run our campaign."

Watch more of the interview with Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio on CBS' "Face the Nation" this Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. Check your local listings for exact times.

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