After an impressive and surprising showing in Iowa, Marco Rubio came into tonight’s Republican presidential debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, with the wind clearly behind him. But with higher visibility (or should I say viability) comes the proverbial bull’s-eye on your back. And Chris Christie was ready for some target practice.
After answering a moderator’s question about his accomplishments, Rubio went into one of his well-received, well-rehearsed attacks on Barack Obama.
“Let’s dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing,” said Rubio. “He knows exactly what he’s doing. Barack Obama is undertaking a systematic effort to change this country, to make America more like the rest of the world.”
Just minutes later, when confronted by Chris Christie over his lack of executive experience and of not having done anything meaningful, Rubio slipped back into the same Obama attack line… verbatim!
Christie, looking directly into the camera, said “You see, everybody … the memorized 25-second speech that is exactly what his advisers gave him.”
Incredibly, Rubio answered Christie’s accusation that he is just reciting well-rehearsed rhetoric … with, well, the same well-rehearsed rhetoric – for the third time!
“There it is!” Christie interjected. “There it is. The memorized 25-second speech. There it is, everybody.” Rubio, to everyone’s amazement, continued on and incorporated the same Obama attack line into his answer – for the fourth time!
The Rubio-Christie exchanges could best be described as surreal – something, if you will, out of the mind of Rod Sterling and The Twilight Zone.
In just a few minutes, Rubio showed himself to be a candidate adept at reciting prepared talking points… over and over. He also showed he could not think on his feet when attacked. I doubt he was even aware of what he was saying. Robots seldom are.
What a difference a day makes! In Rubio’s case, the five days since the Iowa caucus.
Marco choked under the pressure of expectations. Here was a guy with the ball on the opponent’s ten-yard line, only needing a field goal to win, and he commits three consecutive personal fouls sending him back to his own forty-five.
If Rubio finishes New Hampshire in the top four, it would be a miracle. And, even so, most likely not enough. The damage is done. It appears he just may have punched his one-way ticket to the candidates’ graveyard. Look for Kasich, Christie and even Jeb, to do well in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.
Photo | consitutionrising.com