Bush and Rubio go after each other as their Florida friendship turns to feud

“He was governor a long time ago,” said Britton, a retired builder and architect who moved here two years ago from Connecticut. Instead, Britton has his eyes on Florida’s current GOP star, Sen. Marco Rubio. “He’s young; he’ll help with the Hispanic vote. I like what he says.”

In a Republican primary dominated by surging political outsiders, the battle over who should carry the mantle of the GOP establishment is, at this moment, shaping up as a duel between Florida’s two political powerhouses and former allies.

Although other establishment contenders, such as Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, are lagging in fundraising and polls, Bush, 62, and Rubio,44, increasingly see each other as chief rival — with the survivor best positioned to wrest the nomination from party outsiders, chiefly Donald Trump.