Right-wing media personalities pushed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to withdraw from the presidential race following an “embarrassingly” poor performance in the March 8 GOP primaries and caucuses.
Marco Rubio Receives “Embarrassingly Low Vote Totals” In Michigan, Mississippi Primaries
Washington Post: Marco Rubio “Was On Track To Record Some Of His Poorest Results Of The Season.” In a March 8 article for The Washington Post, Phillip Rucker reported that Sen. Marco Rubio “was on track to record some of his poorest results of the season and was in danger of not qualifying for a single delegate in either state,” after “embarrassingly low vote totals in Michigan and Mississippi.” [The Washington Post, 3/8/16]
Right-Wing Media: Rubio Has Failed As A Candidate
Ed Rollins: “Marco Rubio ”Has Absolutely Failed Now As A Candidate [...] I Think It's Over For Him." On the March 8 edition of Fox News' America's Election HQ, Fox contributor Ed Rollins stated that Marco Rubio has “certainly not been an effective candidate,” and “there's no place for him to go, even if he wins his state.” Rollins continued, stating “he has absolutely failed now as a candidate [...] I think it's over for him”:
CHRIS WALLACE (HOST): Now, one last thing I want to get to with you, Ed. Marco Rubio, single digits in Mississippi. Very possibly single digits in Michigan, could end up -- 99 delegates, he could end up with none of those tonight. What happened to Marco Rubio?
EDWARD ROLLINS: I think when he got into the fray, he had a very optimistic, he was a very smart candidate, he should have stayed on that optimism, but when he got into the fray about three weeks ago, he got battered pretty badly -- and he's certainly not been an effective candidate. There's no place for him to go, even if he wins his state, which I don't think he will, it's going to be a very close race and there's no place for him to go after that. There's no support.
WALLACE: No support?
ROLLINS: No support. Look at these numbers, no support. He's at fourth place, now that Ben Carson is gone, at the bottom of the pack everywhere --
WALLACE: That's right, he can't even -- if Carson wasn't there, he might be in fifth place.
ROLLINS: And it's sad, because he is a great talent, and a very smart guy. But he has absolutely failed now as a candidate, and it's -- I think it's over for him. [Fox News, America's Election HQ, 3/8/16]
Eric Bolling: “Marco Rubio Needs To Step Aside Right Now [...] Before It Gets Really Bad For Him.” In a March 8 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Fox host Eric Bolling said “It looks like Trump will take Florida,” stating “honestly, I'll call it right here on your show, Sean, Marco Rubio needs to step aside right now”:
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): There is a political revolution underway in this country, and nobody seems to really want to acknowledge it, and people are complaining and talking about well, Donald Trump, you know was responding to Mitt Romney tonight, not getting the bigger picture. Thoughts? Eric?
ERIC BOLLING: So Sean, I have been doing this by the numbers for a while, because I started out trying to have an opinion on it. There is so much animosity, there is so much anger that's been built up, if you say “I think this one is going to be the one,” the people who aren't that one just go crazy. So I've been doing it by the numbers, and Kimberly will attest to this. What I've seen going into tonight was that Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are the inevitable -- one of those two has to be the nominee. They're getting 70 plus percent of the popular vote, the actual ballots, they're getting 90 percent of the states or territories won so to try to take that away from them the road would be disastrous. Let me just tell you this, though, after tonight, things change. I saw a sea change tonight in the way the attitude is. People who are still, you know, the establishment class, even some pundits and some news people are going “Yeah, but, but --” but it's not “but” anymore. Right now, Donald Trump just took down Mississippi, which gives him the whole south, leaves just Florida remaining. Marco Rubio coming in fourth with 9 percent in Michigan is such a bad sign. It looks like Trump will take Florida, it's time, honestly, I'll call it right here on your show, Sean, Marco Rubio needs to step aside right now. If he wants to run for Governor of Florida, which I think he does, if he wants to save that possibility, he has to get out now before it gets really bad for him a week from tonight. [Fox News, Hannity, 3/8/16]
Chris Stirewalt: “It Is Going To Be Increasingly Hard For Him To Make The Argument That He Should Stay In.” In a March 8 edition of Fox News' America's Election HQ, Fox News digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt said “Marco Rubio has some serious soul searching to do, ahead of the Florida primary,” asserting “it is going to be increasingly hard for him to make the argument that he should stay in”:
HOWARD KURTZ: The question going into tonight, Megyn, was had Donald Trump peaked? He lost a couple of caucuses over the weekend, was his act wearing thin? I think these victories in Michigan and Mississippi show that the answer is hell no.
MEGYN KELLY (HOST): Is that true, Stirewalt? Can we conclude that, from these victories tonight?
CHRIS STIREWALT: I think what we can conclude from these victories tonight is, number one, the open primary deal, when Democrats can vote he does substantially better. There are more closed primaries ahead, so that could be more challenging. I think the other takeaway from tonight is Marco Rubio has some serious soul searching to do, ahead of the Florida primary. The exit polling suggests that, yes, Ted Cruz does, in fact, or would have in fact, fared best against Donald Trump in a one on one match-up. Marco Rubio wants to stay in to Florida, says he can beat him in there, but the showing he had in Michigan, and John Kasich outperforming him substantially, it is going to be increasingly hard for him to make the argument that he should stay in, and Ted Cruz is going to be pushing him hard there. [Fox News, America's Election HQ, 3/8/16]
Dana Loesch: “There's Absolutely No Pathway Forward” For Marco Rubio. In a March 8 edition of Fox News' America's Election HQ, The Blaze host Dana Loesch said "“it is time for the Rubio camp to make a very hard decision.” stating “there's absolutely no pathway forward” for Marco Rubio:
DANA LOESCH: I think one of the things tonight that we learned is I think that it is time for the Rubio camp to make a very hard decision. There's absolutely no pathway forward for him. I don't see any sort of pathway forward for John Kasich either. I think this is a two-man race, it's down between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, and it's not about the number of states won, it's about the number of delegates that people are winning. Everyone was focusing on Trump winning Louisiana, but [[and]] he and Cruz walked away with the same number of delegates. I'm not even sure if Rubio's going to meet the minimum threshold to get a delegate tonight, in a couple of these states. So that's something that we're going to have to watch, but it's a two-man race after tonight, and there's going to be -- have to be some very uncomfortable, decisions made. [Fox News, America's Election HQ, 3/8/16]
Drudge Report: “The Incredible Shrinking Campaign.” On March 8, The Drudge Report featured a photoshopped image of Marco Rubio, accompanied by text stating “The Incredible Shrinking Campaign”:
[Drudge Report, 3/8/16]
Erick Erickson: "#Marcollapse Happened Tonight." In a March 8 tweet, The Resurgent writer Erick Erickson tweeted "#Marcollapse happened tonight. Sigh. Cruz and Rubio allied together would be winning this thing":
Ann Coulter: “With Those Freakishly Big Ears,” Marco Rubio Should Hear “That Distant Bugle Playing Taps.” In a March 8 tweet, conservative writer Ann Coulter wrote that Marco Rubio should “be able to hear by now that distant bugle playing Taps”:
Fox's Ainsley Earhardt: Is Rubio “Going To Get Out” Of The Presidential Race “To Save Face And To Save His Political Career?” On the March 9 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Ainsley Earhardt suggested Rubio may need “to get out” of the presidential race “before Florida to save face and to save his political career”:
AINSLEY EARHARDT: If you're Marco Rubio, and you're thinking about your political future ahead -- I used to say he's going to stay into Florida. This morning I woke up and thought, is he going to get out before Florida to save face and to save his political career?
BRIAN KILMEADE: No. I talked to him yesterday on the radio, he absolutely is not. And they say, well, what you want to do is not lose Florida and you want to stay -- stick around, avoid this, avoid a loss -- humiliating loss in case you want to be governor some day. But I think he absolutely feels, though, that he can close the gap. What was unbelievably damaging, I think, was the CNN report that said there's fighting within the higher ranks, saying that he should drop out, other say he should stay in -- in the Rubio campaign. It also didn't help Hawaii when it turns out that there was some circulation going on by some Cruz volunteers that Rubio was dropping out. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/9/16]