Heilemann: Bush Campaign ‘More Worried About Marco Rubio’ than About Trump

‘They’re more worried about Marco Rubio than they are about Donald Trump’

SCARBOROUGH: “If you're a member of the Republican establishment, John Heilemann, you got to be looking at these numbers and saying, OK, is Marco our chance? Again, I've been saying that. Everybody's talking about Marco, Marco, Marco, and he's been staying at one, two, three percent. And again, the test is how does this translate in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, where it really matters. But if you are in the Republican establishment and you are looking for somebody to beat Donald Trump or Ben Carson, suddenly, Marco has got to be up there along with Jeb."

HEILEMANN: "Right. I mean, you know, timing is everything. You think about where the Republican establishment was coming into this debate in Simi Valley. Looking at Trump, Fiorina, Carson and Cruz at that point, taking up more than 50 percent of the space in national poling, and as you say, Joe, looking for who is the establishment candidate we can rally behind. For a long time people thought would that be Jeb Bush? It could still be. But timing is everything. Marco Rubio's performance -- he's got a strong performance in Cleveland month earlier, got no lift. This time he gives a strong performance and gets a lot of lift, mainly because it's a month later and people are a month more panicked on the establishment side about the endurance of Donald Trump."

SCARBOROUGH: “Do you have any reporting at all, because, you know, I usually have a pretty good BS detector. I've sensed absolutely no panic in the Bush camp yet. They're not happy. They're scratching their heads but I have sensed absolutely no panic."

HEILEMANN: "Zero."

SCARBOROUGH: “They think they're exactly where they need to be."

HEILEMANN: "They're more worried about -- in the end, they are more worried about Marco Rubio than they are about Donald Trump, because they think if they get in one on one race with Donald Trump, they can win that race. Marco Rubio takes up space that they need to occupy on the establishment side. They are not panicking. What's happening now, I think in the donor class, is there's a lot of Scott Walker donors who are looking for a new home and they might very well grab towards Marco Rubio because they've already rejected the Jeb Bush option. They are looking for a different establishment candidate. So this is good for Rubio in a lot of ways."

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