Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is not winning the Republican primary right now. And as a number of states get ready to vote in a slate of elections this Tuesday, it’s dawned on him that he needs to start actually throwing some punches at the front-runner, Donald Trump, if he wants to chip away at his lead.
In recent days, the Florida Republican has said that Trump is pulling one of the greatest (if not the greatest) political con jobs on voters this country has ever seen. Which raises the question: were the people who voted for Trump in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada duped? Where they naïfs?
On "Face the Nation" Sunday, Rubio was asked that question. And he responded that the supporters who elevated Trump to wins in those states weren’t dumb -- they were just swindled. And it was the media who was at fault, since it loved both the good ratings Trump brings and the inevitable Hillary Clinton general election win when he ends up the nominee.
“[T]he media coverage for Donald Trump has almost been cheerleading over the last couple weeks and I’m convinced because many in the press want him to be nominee,” said Rubio. “One, I think they think it’s going to be good for ratings and two because they know they have a lot of material to work with. If Donald Trump were to ever become the nominee, immediately the hounds of hell will descend on him, tear him apart, everything he's ever done from not releasing his taxes to all of his failed business dealings. And Hillary Clinton’s going to have a clear shot to the Oval Office.”
Rubio went on.
“I think there are many out there who are rooting for that outcome so that he’s the nominee, and you can see it in the coverage he’s gotten,” he said. “I mean, this guy has not offered a single serious policy proposal, which is important if you want to be president of the United States…. so I think there’s kind of a weird bias here in the media rooting for Donald Trump because they know he's the easiest Republican to beat.”
Trump does rely heavily on the media to help his candidacy. And he does benefit in ways that others don’t -- either through wall-to-wall coverage of his rallies or the freedom to call into television interviews. For a while, moreover, he wasn’t being directly challenged over some obvious and clear inaccuracies – though that has noticeably begun to change.
But the idea that he’s been able to coast to this point because the media is rooting for him is silly. See the editorial note below.