This is newsworthy only because it’s refreshing to see a modern-day politician own up to his failures. After listening to Trump and Carson whine for a week about Ted Cruz, it was looking like the GOP was going to be a party of perma-weaklings like the Dems. Rubio knew he screwed up, and admitted it:
Our disappointment tonight is not on you. It’s on me. I did not do well on Saturday night. So listen to this, that will never happen again.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 10, 2016
Rubio was set up for a bad week, if you think about it. His third-place finish in Iowa was a surprise that he and his campaign quickly started wringing as much publicity out of it as they could. One unexpected third place is fine to spin a little, but he needed to do better in New Hampshire to really make it stick. For a brief while last week, it looked like he might.
Then Saturday night came.
Rubio had been strong in the debates, even when the Trump Bluster made a lot of media noise. He turned in a performance that made his momentum halt, reverse course, and leave the Rubio faithful shaking their heads.
At some point soon the votes for Rubio are going to have to catch up with the expectations and the hype his hardcore supporters are putting out there. Yes, the primary is a different animal, but it’s difficult to keep making the case for a candidate who is supposed to be unstoppable in the general when he keeps placing somewhere between third and fifth.
Rubio manned up and laid down a marker. If he makes sure he doesn’t falter in another debate, he can go about the task of winning the Jeb, Kasich and Christie voters who will soon be available for courting.
Here’s the video of his speech: