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

  • Venomous snakes stolen from Ontario home

    Canada News CTV News
    THOROLD, Ont. - Police in the Niagara Region of southern Ontario are hunting for a number of venomous snakes. Niagara Region police say the reptiles were stolen on Saturday evening when a home was broken into in Thorold. Source
  • 5 believed dead after plane hits Australian mall [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    MELBOURNE, Australia — Five people were believed killed when a light plane crashed in flames into a shopping mall on Tuesday in the Australian city of Melbourne, officials said. The five were on a twin-engine Beechcraft Super King Air that crashed about 45 minutes before the Direct Factory Outlet mall in suburban Essendon was to open, Police Minister Lisa Neville said. Source
  • Food banks growing own goods as donations decline

    Canada News CTV News
    Food banks are looking to alternative solutions to help augment declining fresh produce donations. “We have no farms in Mississauga, so unlike my counterparts in other areas of Ontario, who have more fresh than they can handle, we don’t get enough fresh here,” explained Mississauga Food Bank’s Executive Director Chris Hatch to CTV News Channel. Source
  • Loblaw resets passwords after security breach of its loyalty program

    Canada News CBC News
    Loblaw has reset passwords for all its PC Plus rewards collectors' online accounts after points were stolen from some members' accounts. The company posted a warning on its website saying it requires all members to create new passwords — regardless of whether or not they changed them following the recent security breach. Source
  • Poll finds 6 in 10 on board with Canada's refugee targets

    Canada News CTV News
    A new poll has found that nearly six in 10 Canadians believe the Trudeau government has “made the right call” with its 2017 refugee targets, while about one in four believe Canada should have followed U.S. Source
  • Judge allows 2nd girl's statements in 'Slender Man' case

    World News CTV News
    Anissa Weier, 15, appears in court in Waukesha, Wis. on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017. (Michael Sears / Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) Source
  • Bell Canada forced seriously ill woman to go to store: Tribunal

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal says Bell Canada discriminated against a seriously ill woman by forcing her to violate her doctor’s orders and go to a store in person in order to acquire a cellphone. Source
  • Flash flood warnings issued in northern California

    World News CBC News
    Forecasters issued flash flood warnings Monday throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere in northern California as downpours swelled creeks and rivers in the already soggy region. The National Weather Service said heavy rain could persist into the evening and was expected to cause flooding on the Carmel River in Monterey County and Coyote Creek in Santa Clara County. Source
  • Justin Trudeau conveys 'sincere regrets' for language gaffe

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    In Valentine's Day messages to Quebec anglophones, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed "sincere regrets" for refusing to answer questions in English last month. The incident caused an uproar, with several complaints filed against Trudeau with the Commissioner of Official Languages. Source
  • 5 killed after plane crashes into mall in Australia

    World News CBC News
    Five people were believed killed when a light plane crashed in flames into a shopping mall on Tuesday in the Australian city of Melbourne, officials said. Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said it appeared there were no survivors on the plane, but no one on the ground was injured. Source