It was debate deja vu Sunday, as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio gave a repeat performance of his rehearsed-verse repetitions from Saturday’s debate and was once again hammered by a strong New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Establishment robot Rubio finally seems to have blown a circuit. After a dismal performance in the debate — in which the Florida senator was harshly judged for repeating the same canned line about Obama not one, not two, not three, not four, but five times — Rubio again avoided answering questions by deploying his rehearsed rant.
“Actually, I would pay them to keep running that clip because that’s what I believe passionately,” Rubio said when asked by ABC George Stephanopoulos of ABC’s “This Week” what went wrong Saturday night.
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Rubio again denied that “this notion and this idea that somehow, oh, (what Obama is doing) is an accident.”
“I hope they keep running it … What (Obama’s) trying to do to America, it’s part of a plan.”
And then, immune to the possibility of learning from mistakes, he kept doing it.
“This is the greatest country in the history of mankind because of a certain set of principles … Obama wants us to abandon those principles that he has spent seven years putting in place, policies that rip them from us,” he concluded.
On North Korea, interrogation techniques and immigration, Rubio offered to Stephanopoulos repeats of his responses on the same topics delivered Saturday night.
While Rubio was repeating himself Sunday morning, Christie continued his attacks against the senator. Republicans “can’t trust (Rubio) to be the candidate for this party,” Christie said on CNN’s “Face the Nation”.
“We cannot nominate what the Democrats did eight years ago, a first-term senator — unprepared for the world, unprepared for the race,” Christie said of Rubio.
Donald Trump, however, took pity on Rubio.
“I’m not one to comment on somebody else’s performance,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday morning.
Trump must also have experienced deja vu Sunday, as both Tapper and Stephanopoulos pressed the candidate on Bush’s attacks on his position on — and history of using — eminent domain, and his vocal support for enhanced interrogation techniques.
“Eminent domain is important. You wouldn’t have highways, you wouldn’t have roadways, you wouldn’t have bridges, you wouldn’t have hospitals” an unapologetic Trump told Stephanopoulos.
Trump was resolute.
“All of those people in that crowd, 90 percent of them were people that gave to the various candidates and mostly to Bush,” he insisted, when questioned by Stephanopoulos about the crowd’s apparent hostility Saturday night.
Even Democrat Hillary Clinton took a chance Sunday to take a shot at Rubio.
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“It’s really quite sad to see what Senator Rubio is becoming in this campaign,” she told Stephanopoulos on “This Week” in response to comments Rubio had made about Clinton’s stance on late-term abortion.
Otherwise, Clinton found herself on the defensive. Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” NBC’s “Meet the Press,” CBS’ “Face the Nation,” and CNN’s “State of the Union,” Clinton had to defend herself from criticism from Sen. Bernie Sanders over her ties to the financial industry.
“What the Sanders campaign is trying to do is link donations to my political campaign — or, really, donations to anyone’s political campaign — with undue influence with changing people’s views and votes,” Clinton told John Dickerson on “Face the Nation.”
“That’s their typical, you know, artistic smear,” she insisted to Tapper.
But Sanders has little regard for Clinton’s protestations.
“It’s a fact. When, in the last reporting period, her super PAC received $25 million, and $15 million of it came from Wall Street. What is the smear? That is the fact,” he told Dickerson.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, meanwhile, appeared to revel in his popularity with Democrats.
“The only reason I said (I should run as a Democrat is that) many Democrats walk up to me and say, ‘Hey, we like you, we hope you’re going to be the Republican … we — we think you — you make a lot of sense,'” Kasich said on CNN. “I consider that to be a good thing.”