Why Jeb Bush is out to destroy Marco Rubio

Here’s the thing. Mike Murphy — a hilarious and punchy guy with whom I’ve had a long friendly acquaintance I suspect will not survive the publication of this column — is anything but crazy. But he is often angry.

And what’s been happening here is in part the flowering of a seed of rage that has been growing within the precincts of what insiders call “Jebworld” for a year.

I’ve been told by people in the know in Florida and elsewhere that Jeb’s campaign intimates (and Jeb himself, for all I know) believe strongly that, out of loyalty, Rubio should have passed on a 2016 run. Back in 1998, Jeb offered crucial support to Rubio at a very early stage in his career and along the way as well.

Rubio’s decision to run is therefore viewed as a deep personal betrayal. And I mean very, very deep — so deep that senior members of Bush’s staff last summer began calling Rubio “Judas.”

I’ve also heard that in attempting to raise new money for Jeb while Bush was sinking quickly in the polls a few months ago and convince others not to give to the other Floridian, Murphy was privately very clear he was going to go for Marco’s jugular no matter what.