Marco Rubio Mocks Media Reporting with Epic Tweetfest

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on March 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Florida senator and former Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio caused a stir Monday night, going on a Twitter tirade against the Washington Post for a story saying that he will never be Donald Trump’s running mate.


The senator responded with a slew of tweets mocking the article’s style, and attacking the use of unnamed “people close to him” as reliable sources for determining Rubio’s true intentions.

Rubio furthered his allegation that the Washington Post would make up quotes from thin air by claiming that reporters are “desperate for content” and will therefore publish any rumor bandied about by someone who wants to be considered “in the know.”

He linked to an older Washington Post article claiming that he “hates” the Senate, declaring, “Words I have NEVER said to anyone.”

Rubio also dismissed the idea that he is “a bit at sea…politically,” saying that he has “only said like 10000 times I will be a private citizen in January.” He then put to rest all speculation that he would not make a good presidential candidate in 2020, sarcastically saying that “it’s nearly impossible for someone not in office to ever become a successful candidate for President.”


This remark could refer to Ronald Reagan, who was no longer governor of California when he ran for president in 1980, or Jimmy Carter, who was no longer governor of Georgia when he ran in 1976. It could easily apply to both likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (who has been out of public office for four years) and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump (who famously has never held public office).

Then Rubio decided to have some fun. He started quoting unnamed sources about his personal life decisions, like going to bed and working out.

The original Washington Post article declared that “Rubio, according to conversations I’ve had with people close to him, is sort of betwixt and between when it comes to his next move.” Mocking this slightly awkward phrasing, the senator tweeted:

Then he cited a very knowledgeable source, who claimed he might actually mix up his workout regimen.


Finally, the senator called it a night with this funny and revealing tweet about the corrupting influence of Twitter. It’s like a drug…

Next Page: The Washington Post‘s response.

Was this an example of the “liberal media” attacking a conservative? Not really.

Chris Cillizza, the author of the Washington Post article, seemed pleased by the attention drawn to it.

The Washington Post itself reported on the back-and-forth, explicitly stating that “neither The Fix nor anyone else needs to rely on people close to Rubio to report that he won’t be joining Trump on the GOP ticket” since “Rubio himself said last week that he doesn’t want the job. And Trump said over the weekend that he isn’t considering his onetime rival.”

The Post further defended Cillizza’s reporting, noting that “the unnamed sources in Chris’s story simply indicated that Rubio is torn about his next move — which is pretty apparent.” Post reporter Callum Borchers even noted that Rubio “appeared to suggest he might run for president again” during the tweetfest.


When it comes to the old story reporting that Rubio “hates” the Senate, Borchers noted that “the Post’s David Fahrenthold never reported that he did.” Rather, “Fahrenthold quoted a longtime friend who offered his or her own interpretation of Rubio’s sentiments” which was that the senator “had come to hate the Senate, even if he wouldn’t explicitly say so.”

Borchers concluded his article with the perfect jab. As to Rubio’s twitter storm, “I’d say he was testing the journalistic waters for a possible second career, but I don’t have a good source on that.” Woah — a journalist admitting he doesn’t have a source? Well played, Borchers. Well played.




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