The battle of Florida Republican politicos is heating up ahead of Tuesday's GOP presidential debate, and it’s anything but sunshine as Sen. Marco Rubio is preemptively launching a defense against the state's former Gov. Jeb Bush with a new 30-second video spot.
The presidential race has caused significant rift between the two one-time staunch allies. The New York Times reported that, though Bush had warmly endorsed Rubio in his 2010 Senate campaign, the Bush team was now planning a $20 million negative ad blitz against the senator. As speaker of the Florida state House of Representatives, Rubio also assisted Bush in pushing through his legislative agenda.
On the stump, Bush has frequently made subtle comparisons between President Barack Obama and Rubio, warning against electing another first-term senator.
The video shows Bush making numerous positive comments about Rubio, including, "I'm a huge Marco fan," and “He’s probably the most articulate conservative on the scene today — and the fortitude to be a good president.”
Here’s the Rubio video:
Going negative could harm Bush in terms of his already sinking likability numbers.
This comes amid recent bad polling news for Bush. A McClatchy-Marist poll taken from Oct. 29 through Nov. 4 found 58 percent of Republican voters like Bush less as they get to know him, while 32 percent like him more. GOP candidates Rubio, Ben Carson, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz have become more popular as voters get to know more about them.