Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Marco Rubio promises supporters he’ll do better as the campaign moves to South Carolina

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Marco Rubio vows that he will never allow what happened to him in last Saturday night’s GOP debate to happen to him again.

“I want you to understand something,” he told the crowd of disappointed supporters at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire on Tuesday night. “Our disappointment tonight is not on you; it’s on me. It is on me. I did not do well on Saturday night — listen to this: that will never happen again. That will never happen again.”

What Rubio’s vowing will never happen again is that he will falter in this campaign as he did under a verbal assault he received at the hands of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie during last Saturday night’s debate in Manchester.

“Let me tell you why it will never happen again,” he said. “It’s not about me, it’s not about this campaign, it is about this election. It’s about what’s at stake in this election.”

Christie blasted Rubio for his lack of experience during the debate, and Rubio failed to respond, instead repeatedly reciting his criticisms about Barack Obama.

In the days after the debate, he tripled down on those comments, saying he didn’t understand why the media was making such a big issue about it and continued the anti-Obama mantra.

He dropped the facade on Tuesday night, however, after he finished a disappointing fifth in the race, behind not only Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, but John Kasich and Jeb Bush as well.

He did, however, best Christie, who appears now to be considering dropping out of the race.

Rubio’s nationally televised gaffe may have impacted the race, as 65 percent of GOP voters said they were influenced by Saturday night’s debate. Also, ABC News found nearly half of Republican primary voters saying they’d made their final decision in just the last few days. Only 20 percent of Democratic voters reported being late deciders.

The question is now – is Rubio’s campaign fatally wounded?

That remains to be seen. You can watch Rubio’s concession speech here.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

Latest from 2017

Go to Top