Ahead of and with the release of the quarterly campaign fundraising totals, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are jostling for the top spot among establishment candidates.  Rubio has jumped to the fourth spot (below Trump, Carson, and Cruz), and Jeb, once considered an “unstoppable juggernaut,” has slipped into single digits and is slashing campaign staff salaries.

Brett LoGiurato reports:

A long-simmering feud between two Florida Republican presidential heavyweights has erupted out into the open over the past day, prompted in part by the release of federal campaign-finance disclosures.

The campaigns of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) publicly traded barbs Thursday over the reports, each trying to outdo the other over which campaign was thriftier and in better position going forward.

Both are from Florida and both are counting on the same donors and the same support, so the competition is fierce as Florida voters’ shift from Jeb to Rubio.  This gets even more dicey because Rubio was Jeb’s protégé, and apparently, Trump isn’t the only one who sees him as “disloyal” in attempting to further his own presidential ambitions in a race that many thought Jeb would win handily.

Watch Justin Sayfie (former Jeb advisor) and Javier Manjarres (from The Shark Tank) discuss the Jeb-Rubio battle for Florida:

The Jeb team is not happy with this turn of events and has been lashing out at Rubio in an attempt to regain standing (and donors). For example, Jeb compared Rubio to Obama in an obvious attempt to diminish Rubio:  “Look, we’ve had a president who came in and said the same kind of thing — ‘new and improved,’ ‘hope and change’ — and he didn’t have the leadership skills to fix things,” Bush said. “What we need is someone with proven leadership.”

In this same interview, he gave one of his back-handed compliments about how great Rubio was to work with . . . because Rubio was good at following Jeb’s lead.

Watch:

Not only is Jeb taking jabs at Rubio, but so are his surrogates.  A Bush aid expressed concern about anonymous Rubio donors and “dark money” used to fund ads, and Jeb, Jr. said Rubio should drop out of the race so he can attend votes in the Senate.

Politico reports:

Jeb Bush Jr. told a group of college students Thursday afternoon that Sen. Marco Rubio should “drop out or do something” rather than miss votes by campaigning for president.

“As a Floridian, I’m a little disappointed, because he’s missing, like, 35 percent of his votes. And it’s just, kind of, like, dude, you know, either drop out or do something, but we’re paying you to do something, it ain’t run for president,” Bush Jr. told about about 70 students at a New York University College Republicans event.

Jeb told CNN that Rubio “misled” on his campaign fundraising.  Watch:

For his part, Rubio is so far not responding to Jeb’s attacks.  And not because he’s not capable of fighting back . . . he simply doesn’t have to.  He’s in the lead . . . against Jeb, anyway.