Why Republican candidates are attacking third-place Marco Rubio

WASHINGTON -- It might make little sense at first glance that precious resources are being deployed in the Republican presidential contest to pound the third-place candidate.

See Full Article

One rival is funding an air campaign, in the form of ads dropping bomblets on Marco Rubio's credibility. Another is smacking him with street-level insults.

The back-alley bruises are coming from the governor of New Jersey, who has been hitting Rubio with insults arguably worse than anything Canadians heard in the last election between the rival party leaders.

"Marco Rubio hasn't accomplished one thing in his career," Chris Christie told MSNBC on Thursday, bashing the young senator as a sheltered bubble boy.

"(All he does is) fix his hair, smile, and give the same speech he's given for the last six years... then he does a driveby 45-minute town hall meeting where he gives the same 60-second canned answers that he gives on the debate stage," he continued.

"Someone who has not done a thing in the United States Senate except skip votes because he says that his votes don't matter anymore -- I mean, why would I want to support that person?"

So why all this animus expended on an alleged lightweight who finished third in Iowa, and whom polls suggest might finish second and possibly third again in New Hampshire?

There may be a method to this mad pile-on.

The old saying about Iowa is that there are only three exits: First place, second, and third. The first two spots went to Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, both detested by the prominent figures in their party.

That precious third spot was held by Rubio -- and it appears the cluster of establishment rivals trailing him -- Christie, Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich -- have decided that their only discernible path to victory involves pounding down Door No. 3.

A survey released Thursday described the prize. The Public Policy poll suggested Rubio would actually lead a three-way race involving Trump and Cruz, if everyone else dropped out.

His rivals aren't letting him take it. In fact, different campaigns have been chatting amongst themselves about their shared interest in taking down the first-term Florida senator, the New York Times reported Thursday.

Christie has been insulting his qualifications. He's also accused Rubio of being too uncompromisingly anti-abortion for a less-religious state like New Hampshire, where the race has shifted.

An old friend, meanwhile, is hammering Rubio not as an ideologue but as the opposite: a flip-flopping phoney.

A political-action committee supporting Bush, his old Florida ally, has taken out at least 218 advertising contracts worth hundreds of ads in the last few days, according to federal filings compiled by the website Political Ad Sleuth. Many are in New Hampshire, and many more are in the next-voting southern states.

If the group's website is any indication, Rubio is target No. 1.

Four of the last five ads about opponents on the Right to Rise committee's YouTube page target Rubio. One highlights his absentee rate in the Senate: "Doesn't show up for work, but wants a promotion."

In another ad, Rubio is a human weathervane: "Just another Washington politician you can't trust."

"Jeb Bush's Super PAC has basically spent $30 million -- a third of its money -- attacking me," Rubio told NBC before the Iowa vote.

"And yet we keep growing and we feel real positive about it."

Other Republicans, meanwhile, have grumbled in the press that Bush's rich friends have done worse than waste money -- that they're damaging the party's hottest young prospect, who represents the Republican party's future.

In a head-to-head matchup against Hillary Clinton, Rubio is the only Republican who's consistently polled ahead of the Democratic front-runner.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Wynne says marijuana revenue deal with feds means money for municipalities

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Municipalities can begin discussions with Ontario over costs associated with legalized marijuana in light of a new tax revenue-sharing agreement between the provinces and federal government, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Tuesday. Wynne's comments come after Ottawa agreed Monday to give provinces and territories a 75 per cent share of federal excise tax revenues from the sale of legalized pot. Source
  • B.C. premier says pot smokers may face same outdoor rules as cigarette smokers

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- Premier John Horgan says marijuana users in British Columbia could face the same rules as those who smoke tobacco in public. Horgan says his government is still formulating its marijuana policy, but following bylaws that prohibit people from smoking near buildings or public spaces is under consideration. Source
  • 25,700 college students get refund after strike, according to early numbers

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Nearly 25,700 full-time Ontario college students received tuition refunds after a five-week strike derailed their semester. Ontario's Ministry of Advanced Education confirmed Tuesday that 10.3 per cent of Ontario's roughly 250,000 full-time college students asked for, and received, their money back after the strike. Source
  • Man who tricked teen by pretending to be Miley Cyrus' brother gets 6 years prison

    World News CTV News
    CONCORD, N.H. -- Authorities say a New Hampshire man who pretended to be Miley Cyrus' brother to entice a 14-year-old boy to send him sexually explicit photos and videos online has been sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison. Source
  • Iraq PM warns Islamic State might erupt again somewhere else

    World News CTV News
    PARIS - Three days after declaring victory over the Islamic State group, Iraq's prime minister warns that the group's extremists might "erupt again somewhere else" without international co-operation in combatting the militants. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told reporters Tuesday that "we have managed to break them" in Iraq, but added that it's a worry for everyone that IS has "this unfortunate ability to recruit young people very quickly. Source
  • Ontario enshrines Trans Day of Remembrance in law as Nov. 20

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - Ontario will officially mark Nov. 20 as an annual Trans Day of Remembrance as all parties agreed to pass legislation Tuesday. New Democrat Cheri DiNovo introduced the private member's bill last year to enshrine the day in law. Source
  • Former N.S. female firefighter says she is to get official apology for discrimination

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- A former firefighter says her 12-year battle against "systemic" gender discrimination has ended with a settlement that will see a public apology issued by the city of Halifax on Monday. In an interview Tuesday, Liane Tessier released details of an agreement that she says comes after years of complaints about abusive and disrespectful behaviour from her male counterparts. Source
  • U.S. ready for talks with North Korea without preconditions: Tillerson

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has softened the U.S. stance on holding talks with North Korea amid high tension over its nuclear and missile programs. Tillerson said Tuesday that the U.S. was ready to hold exploratory talks without preconditions, but North Korea would need to hold off on weapons testing. Source
  • Death certificate says Charles Manson died of heart failure

    World News CTV News
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Cult leader Charles Manson died of cardiac arrest accompanied by respiratory failure, triggered by colon cancer that had spread to other areas of his body, according to his death certificate. He died Nov. Source
  • Visible minorities feel less safe: Statistics Canada

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL - Visible minorities, particularly Arabs and West Asians, feel less safe walking alone in their neighbourhoods after dark than do other Canadians, according to a Statistics Canada survey released Tuesday. The study was conducted with data collected in 2014. Source