Marco Rubio was on Fox News Sunday, with Rubio in the A Block. He then went on to do ABC’s This Week and CBS’ Face the Nation.
Rubio talked the post-Scalia era, Donald Trump, and the pattern of deceit from Ted Cruz on the Sunday shows, as well as addressing his strategy in light of 3rd and 5th place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Rubio’s highlights on Fox News Sunday:
“We are not moving forward with a Supreme Court nominee,” Rubio said regarding replacing Antonin Scalia, saying “we should wait until after November” as “the Senate’s not going to act” on a Barack Obama nominee.
When Anthony Kennedy was brought up, a Ronald Reagan nominee confirmed in the President’s last year in office, Rubio said: “it doesn’t matter what they did in 1987.” An interesting response to the legacy of Reagan.
Rubio also had words for Ted Cruz, saying that there is a pattern of deceit on everything from Rubio’s record to the rumor of Ben Carson withdrawing in Iowa.
“To portray himself as the only consistent conservative in the race, that’s simply not true, and it will be exposed as the campaign moves forward,” Rubio said.
Rubio also contended that the issue of marriage should be handled at the state level.
“It doesn’t belong on the federal [level], and that [Oberkfell] decision,” which legalized gay marriage, “should be overturned.”
Rubio also said he was “proud of [his] debate performances,” and that he is the “conservative that wins … and unites the Republican party.”
The conversation pivoted to the battle for third place between Rubio and Bush in South Carolina, with Rubio defending his own record, attacked by Bush as light on leadership.
Rubio cited his “foreign policy experience,” demonstrated in the Senate, which includes “achievements” like messaging about the existential threat of ISIS, which he puts ahead of Bush’s, which essentially involves little more than “living overseas.”
On This Week on ABC, Rubio appeared at the midpoint of the hour.
He reiterated his contention that the “Court can function with eight Justices,” but refused to take the bait from George Stephanopoulos to pledge not to appoint a Supreme Court justice in his final year.
Rubio also, in response to a question regarding Trump’s criticism of George W. Bush in the debate Saturday, said that Bush “didn’t lie” regarding WMD evidence in Iraq.
And, even if the nominee is Trump (who had called for W’s impeachment in 2008), Rubio pledged to support the GOP nominee, despite the “disturbing comment[s]” Trump made during the debate regarding the Bush foreign policy legacy, which included saying that “The World Trade Center came down during your brother’s reign. Remember that,” to Jeb Bush.
On Face the Nation, Rubio received the results of a nationwide poll that had Rubio as the “winner” of the debate Saturday, before pivoting to messaging about Ted Cruz’s lies again, saying Cruz is “willing to say or do anything to win an election.”
Rubio, discussing the Chris Christie attacks on him in the New Hampshire debate, observed that he got “pummeled in the media” for “pivoting to the issues,” instead of responding in kind to Christie’s ad hominem attacks.
Rubio, when asked about his weak finishes thus far, said that in “proportional states,” it’s all about “continuing to do well,” with an eye toward building strength before the winner take all states.