Apparently, the games began early.

Yesterday, the New York Times reported that serious backers of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush are “seething” thanks to Senator Rubio’s ascension in the polls. So incensed is the Jeb fan club, that they’ve threatened to dump mega bucks into a scorched earth anti-Rubio campaign.

That group, which has raised more than $100 million, has asked voters in New Hampshire how they feel about Mr. Rubio’s skipping important votes in the Senate.

And the group’s chief strategist has boasted of his willingness to spend as much as $20 million to damage Mr. Rubio’s reputation and halt his sudden ascent in the polls, according to three people told of the claim.

Seething with anger and alarmed over Mr. Rubio’s rise, aides to Mr. Bush, the former Florida governor, and his allies are privately threatening a wave of scathing attacks on his former protégé in the coming weeks, in a sign of just how anxious they have become about the state of Mr. Bush’s candidacy.

Their looming problem: In trying to undercut Mr. Rubio as unaccomplished and unprepared, Mr. Bush is a flawed messenger. Over the years he has repeatedly, and sometimes lavishly, praised the younger lawmaker, often on camera.

After Jeb’s ill advised attack on the fellow Floridian during the last GOP Presidential debate, a move that blew up in his face, Rubio released an ad pre-empting any potential rhetorical hit job from Governor Bush. Narrating the ad is Governor Bush himself saying, “I’m a huge Marco fan,” along with other laudatory statements.

Not to be left out of the fight, a pro-Ted Cruz group, Courageous Conservatives PAC, is running an anti-Rubio ad hitting the Senator on his Gang of 8 involvement:

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