Spending two months playing defense against newcomer and star-populist Donald Trump, and even strange neurosurgeon Ben Carson, it has now become evident that Rubio is the man to beat. When you want to win the nomination.
Both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, who took the two top spots in the Iowa caucus, have very few friends left within the GOP establishment.
Rubio’s strong finish as number three, just behind two virtually unelectable candidates, has now officially propelled him into the position of the front runner of the GOP establishment. This position was reserved for Jeb Bush, but lost due to his too low election results.
Now Chris Christie was on attack mode against Rubio. He is the only other establishment candidate left. He needs to reach a good result in the New Hampshire primary as a boost for his campaign. Or he is out of the race. Like Bush.
Here is what Christie had to say about Rubio, in a strange exchange of arguments:
- “I like Marco Rubio, and he’s a smart person and a good guy, but he simply does not have the experience to be president of the United States.” -“There it is. There it is. The memorized 25-second speech. There it is, everybody,”
- Attacking Rubio on his strategy of using carefully worded memorized statements : ´“This is what Washington, D.C. does. The drive-by shot at the beginning with incorrect and incomplete information and then the memorized 25-second speech that is exactly what his advisers game him.”
- Regarding Rubio’s attendance record in the Senate, where the candidate has missed quite a lot of votes “That’s not leadership. That’s truancy.”
- “When the worst natural disaster in your state’s history hits you, they expect you to rebuild their state which is what I’ve done” (…)”None of that stuff happens on the floor of the United States senate. It’s a fine job, I’m glad you ran for it, but it does not prepare you for president of the United States.”
- When Rubio made the grave mistake by repeating his attack against president Obama, using almost exactly the same words he used earlier: “There it is. There it is. The memorized 25-second speech.” Strange for someone who wants to be next to the red button.
The last debate of the Republican I-want-to-be-US-President-Candidates had little else to offer.
Jeb Bush remained pale.
Ben Carson’s campaign seems effectively over.
John Kasich needs to greatly beat expectations in New Hampshire, just to stay slightly relevant.
Ted Cruz faces a very different kind of electorate as he did last week in Iowa. Frankly it seems unlikely that he can win any other but the most conservative states. Will his star-fame fade away soon?
Mr Trump had a decent night. He did show up and he is still likely to take New Hampshire.