Jeb Bush was among the candidates who gave 15-minute speeches today at the Growth and Opportunity Party in Iowa, and he reprised his attack on Sen. Marco Rubio employed during the third GOP debate, despite the opening it gave Rubio to lay into any number of senators who missed votes while on the campaign trail and to accuse Bush of following the advice of his advisors to target him specifically.

His debate performance didn’t help Bush in the polls, and news yesterday that he had sent his campaign’s chief operating officer packing in order to reduce payroll had some journalists on “campaign death watch” and voters doubting he’d make it to the next debate.

Speaking with Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin in Iowa, today, Bush insisted that reports of his departure from the race were premature. After all, this is a man who eats nails before breakfast.

Yes, he really said that, reports John McCormick:

Bush told Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin that speculation in the media and elsewhere that his bid for the Oval Office could end soon is far off base. “They don’t know me,” he said. “I eat nails when I wake up, then I have breakfast.”

Bush, 62, the son and brother of former U.S. presidents, also said that he knows he has to improve as a candidate and debater. “I have enough humility to know that I’ve got to get better. But also, I’m a really competitive guy, and I do have a record that on that stage is unmatched, and I’m going to go share it with passion and conviction and I think I’m going to win.”

He thinks he’s going to win? We think he’d better start eating those nails faster before Rubio drives them into his campaign’s coffin.