On Monday, CNN aired a report that advisers in Senator Marco Rubio’s campaign were discussing whether to withdraw from the presidential race. Sitting in a meeting, Rubio’s spokesman, Alex Conant, leapt out of his chair and sped across town to the cable station’s Washington studio to denounce the story as “nonsense” and “100 percent false.”
But if those conversations weren’t taking place before today, they need to happen now.
Rubio continued his losing streak Tuesday with defeats in Michigan, Idaho, Mississippi, and Hawaii. He’s 2 for 24 overall, a meager .083 winning percentage. How bad is it? The Spanish-speaking Rubio has struggled among Hispanics, the group he was supposed to bring into the GOP. Rubio swept Puerto Rico, but front-runner Donald Trump won the Hispanic vote in Nevada and tied Rubio among Hispanics in Texas.
This week’s shellacking was so devastating that Rubio finished below the minimum threshold for earning delegates everywhere but Hawaii.
Rubio’s plan from the beginning was to run a lean operation and scale up as he moved from a third-place finish in Iowa, to second place in New Hampshire, and first in South Carolina. But instead of delivering on his 3-2-1 strategy, Rubio’s uneven 3-5-2 performance scared away donors. The build-out never moved past the planning stage.
Then, as Super Tuesday loomed, Rubio launched a vicious personal attack against Trump, mocking his “orange” spray tan and the size of his, ahem, hands. If candidates are like actors in a play, then Rubio is the young, idealistic party leader with a hopeful message. By imitating Trump, Rubio stepped out of character, and voters punished him for it.Read the rest of this op-ed HERE.
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