On March 2 Sean Hannity attacked Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on his radio show and on twitter, claiming he had been “coached” by “establishment types” to take out Donald Trump's campaign, claiming Rubio “has become a totally different person.”
Hannity Claims Marco Rubio Is Being “Coached” By The Establishment To Attack Donald Trump
Hannity: “I Suspect” Marco Rubio Is Being “Coached” To Attack Trump. During the March 2 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show, host Sean Hannity claimed that Marco Rubio has been “coached” to attack Donald Trump, and “has been promised millions and millions and millions of dollars for his campaign”:
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): So what I suspect is happening -- you hear these groups, Meg Whitman and Christine Todd Whitman and Mitt Romney's going to come out. This is not by accident. I argue this is by design. And the establishment is so freaked out at you -- they're really angry at you. They really are mad they can't control you, the American people. They're mad that you're not voting the way they want you to vote. They're angry that this isn't going their way. They're angry that 14 of the 15 contests have gone towards insurgents. So I suspect this change in Marco Rubio's coming -- and this is my imagination working here. The conspiratorial side of me, if you will. But I beg your indulgence. What I suspect has happened is that Marco Rubio has sat in a room with a lot of establishment types. I guarantee you he has been promised millions and millions and millions of dollars for his campaign, I suspect deeply that this dramatic change -- this is not a subtle change that, you know -- listening to him go on and on about the con artist, the fraud, the scam artist. “He refuses to repudiate the KKK.” “Hire illegal immigrants.” Misspelled words. I suspect that this has all been coached. I suspect that this is a strategy that has been put together by all of these people that are angry really at you because they don't like the way you, the American people, are voting.
And you're saying, “Hannity, you've lost your mind. Hannity you're out of your mind.” I am going to play for you Marco Rubio, and this is only snippets. And this is Marco Rubio uncharacteristically dropping the kitchen sink, going scorched earth, thermonuclear, MMA, bare-knuckles, and I would argue he is being influenced to do it by groups of people because it's so out of character for him. This has almost become a kamikaze mission for him. That not only if I can't have the nomination, well, me and this group of people, we're going to take everybody out with us." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 3/2/16]
Hannity: Rubio Is “Being Used And He's Being Influenced.” During the March 2 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show, host Sean Hannity stated “Marco Rubio shocked me,” arguing “Marco Rubio is not the Marco Rubio of 2010, and I think what's happened is he is being used and he's being influenced, by the establishment, to take out the insurgencies.” Hannity continued, claiming “There's probably been many meetings, there's a lot of coaching, a lot of money promised” to Sen. Rubio:
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): The only way I can describe this is a kamikaze mission to take out the insurgency candidates, and Marco Rubio is the pilot, and that there are other people now, funding him, getting in his head, filling his head with talking points that are memorized. And I just played for you all of the attacks, you know it goes on and on. You know, it's about -- con artist, fraud, scam artist, refuses the KKK, to denounce the KKK, which is just a lie. Let me play this ad that a Rubio PAC has now put out, because I think this is unbelievable in terms of everything we know about Trump denouncing David Duke and the KKK. This is the tactics the Democrats would use. This is why I say Marco Rubio has shocked me, he's now become a totally different person. Marco Rubio is not the Marco Rubio of 2010, and I think what's happened is he is being used and he's being influenced, by the establishment, to take out the insurgencies. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 3/2/16]
Politico's Marc Caputo Reported That A Rubio Staffer Responded To Hannity's Tirade Calling Him A “Sellout”
Marc Caputo: “Rubio World Has A New Enemy: Sean Hannity. Staffer: 'What A Fucking Asshole'.” In a March 2 tweet, Politico senior writer Marc Caputo wrote “Rubio World has a new enemy: Sean Hannity. Staffer: ”what a fucking asshole. He lets Trump trash everyone for months":
Caputo: Hannity Described As "'A Pussy And A Sellout.' Boy, They're Angry" By Rubio Staffer. In a March 2 tweet, Caputo wrote "...'But Marco gives Donald a taste of his own medicine and Hannity gets all offended. He's a pussy and a sellout.' Boy, they're angry":
Hannity Responds: Rubio “Is Now Pawn For Establishment,” Calls Caputo An “Asshole”
Hannity: Marco Rubio “Is Now Pawn For Establishment. Sad To Me. That's Not Man I Knew.” In a March 2 tweet, Sean Hannity responded to Marc Caputo, writing, “Hey Marc,@marcorubio is now pawn for establishment. Sad to me. That's not man I knew”:
Hannity: Could Rubio's Attacks On Trump “Actually Ruin His Career, And Destroy And Hurt The Republican Party?” During the March 2 edition of Fox News' Hannity, host Sean Hannity asked Pat Buchanan if “Rubio's attacks [on Donald Trump are] turning into a suicide mission, and could it actually ruin his career, and destroy and hurt the Republican party?” Hannity continued, claiming that Rubio is “getting support and being offered money to do all this”:
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): So are Rubio's attacks turning into a suicide mission, and could it actually ruin his career, and destroy and hurt the Republican Party?
HANNITY: So I watched Marco in two interviews last night. And I want to be very clear here, for the record, I've always liked him. Very hard not to like Marco Rubio. I get the sense that he couldn't get out the word con artist, fraud, supporting the KKK, hiring illegal immigrants, Trump University over and over enough -- probably a preview of tomorrow's debate. Here's my question: do you agree with me that probably this is -- that this is not Marco we have known and, B, probably being influenced and he's the hired gun now to take out the insurgency?
PAT BUCHANAN: I think he's made a calculated decision that he's gonna be the -- he's getting the applause of the media establishment, he's getting the applause of the establishment. He's tearing down Donald Trump, the establishment wants him destroyed. Marco has volunteered to be the instrument of destruction. I agree with you in the longer run, Marco is not going to be the nominee. I don't think the Trump people at the convention would ever support Marco Rubio after these kinds of attacks.
HANNITY: And you don't think there's back door meetings, and close door meetings in smoke-filled rooms, and he is not getting support and being offered money to do all this? I -- maybe it's my conspiratorial mind. I think this is orchestrated, well funded and well organized.
BUCHANAN: Right. I think this helps Marco in the short run. In the long run I agree with you. I think it may terminate his political career. And what I don't understand is if they manage to destroy Donald Trump, who do they think's going to get the nomination? [Fox News, Hannity, 3/2/16]
Hannity's Attack On Rubio Follows Report That Fox Chairman Roger Ailes Has Lost Confidence In The Candidate
New York Magazine Report: Roger Ailes To Fox Host: “We're Finished With Rubio.” A March 2 article by New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman reporting that Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes announced that he has lost confidence in Rubio's ability to win the Republican Party presidential nomination:
In his role as the donor class's darling, Marco Rubio has enjoyed support from the Republicans' media arm, Fox News. Throughout the primary, Fox provided Rubio with friendly interviews and key bookings, including the first prime-time response to Barack Obama's Oval Office address on ISIS. Many of the network's top pundits, including Stephen Hayes and Charles Krauthammer, have been enthusiastic boosters. Bill Sammon, Fox's Washington managing editor, is the father of Rubio's communications director, Brooke Sammon.
But this alliance now seems to be over. According to three Fox sources, Fox chief Roger Ailes has told people he's lost confidence in Rubio's ability to win. “We're finished with Rubio,” Ailes recently told a Fox host. “We can't do the Rubio thing anymore.” [New York, 3/2/16]