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 / Updated  / Source: TODAY
By Eun Kyung Kim

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who formally declared his candidacy for president on Monday, says he sees significant differences between himself and President Obama, a fellow first-term senator who sought the White House.

"Our histories are much different," Rubio told TODAY's Matt Lauer, pointing out his background serving in local and state government "in the third largest state in the country."

“I was the speaker of the Florida House – all that before I even got to Washington four and a half years ago. And by the time I swear in as president in 2017, I’ll have served a full term in the Senate,” he said, naming his work on two key panels, the foreign relations and select intelligence committees.

“There are some significant differences in terms of experience and background between where I am today and when then-Sen. Obama was when he was elected.”

Rubio, a member of the Senate since 2011, would become the first Latino president if elected. At the age of 43, Rubio is also trying to differentiate himself from his mentor, likely GOP candidate Jeb Bush.

"Jeb Bush is my friend and I think he would tell you the exact same thing. I have respect for him, I have admiration for him. He’ll be a very strong candidate," Rubio explained. "I just honestly believe that at this moment in our history, we need to move in a new direction as a country."

Follow writer Eun Kyung Kim on Twitter.