Sen. Rubio and Sen. Ted Cruz were the winners of last night’s CNBC GOP Debate. Everyone agrees that the losers were Jeb Bush and the CNBC so-called moderators. I say so-called because they made it abundantly clear, much more so than even Meghan Kelly at the FoxNews debate, that their sole purpose was to try and take down all of the Republican presidential candidates. They failed in that wrong-headed effort, and did so miserably. What the “moderators” did accomplish was to reveal their membership in the biased media-wing of the Democrats’ Party.
The self-outing of the CNBC “moderators” began with a “question” asked by Carl Quintanilla. As you can see in the accompanying the video, it wasn’t just a question. Quintanilla badgered Rubio three times during the Senator’s response. Before another question can be asked, at the 2:20 mark, Jeb Bush jumps in and picks his fight.
Jeb’s attack was obviously planned. Hurting financially, and unable to stop his decline in the polls despite the relatively heavy ad spending by a supporting super pac, the Bush campaign has been going after Rubio all month.After the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel’s Editorial Board published an editorial titled, “Marco Rubio should resign, not rip us off,” everyone knew it would come up during the debate.
Rubio’s response to Bush’s unwarranted and petty debate attack was polite, positive and devastating. Bush lost the debate in no small part because of the fight he started and Rubio finished. After his failed attack on Rubio, Bush was too quiet during the rest of debate. According to the New York Times, Bush had the least amount of speaking time during the debate.
You can read a transcript of the exchanges below:
QUINTANILLA: We will come around the bend, I promise. This one is for Senator Rubio. You’ve been a young man in a hurry ever since you won your first election in your 20s. You’ve had a big accomplishment in the Senate, an immigration bill providing a path to citizenship the conservatives in your party hate, and even you don’t support anymore. Now, you’re skipping more votes than any senator to run for president. Why not slow down, get a few more things done first or least finish what you start?
RUBIO: That’s an interesting question. That’s exactly what the Republican establishment says too. Why don’t you wait in line? Wait for what? This country is running out of time. We can’t afford to have another four years like the last eight years.
Watching this broadcast tonight are millions of people that are living paycheck to paycheck. They’re working as hard as they ever have, everything costs more, and they haven’t had a raise in decades.
You have small businesses in America that are struggling. For the first time in 35 years, we have more businesses closing than starting. We have a world that’s out of control and has grown dangerous and a president that is weakening our military and making our foreign policy unstable and unreliable in the eyes of our allies. And our adversaries continue to grow stronger.
We have a — they say there’s no bipartisanship in Washington? We have a $19 trillion bipartisan debt and it continues to grow as we borrow money from countries that do not like us to pay for government we cannot afford.
The time to act is now. The time to turn the page is now. If we — if we don’t act now, we are going to be the first generation in American history that leaves our children worse off than ourselves.
QUINTANILLA: So when the Sun-Sentinel says Rubio should resign, not rip us off, when they say Floridians sent you to Washington to do a job, when they say you act like you hate your job, do you?
RUBIO: Let me say, I read that editorial today with a great amusement. It’s actually evidence of the bias that exists in the American media today.
QUINTANILLA: Well, do you hate your job?
RUBIO: Let me — let me answer your question on the Sun-Sentinel editorial today. Back in 2004, one of my predecessors to the Senate by the name of Bob Graham, a Democrat, ran for president missing over 30 percent of his votes. I don’t recall them calling for his resignation —
QUINTANILLA: Is that the standard?
RUBIO: Later that year, in 2004, John Kerry ran for president missing close to 60 to 70 percent of his votes. I don’t recall the Sun — in fact, the Sun-Sentinel endorsed him. In 2008, Barack Obama missed 60 or 70 percent of his votes, and the same newspaper endorsed him again. So this is another example of the double standard that exists in this country between the mainstream media and the conservative movement.
QUINTANILLA: Senator, thank you. John.
BUSH: Could I — could I bring something up here, because I’m a constituent of the senator and I helped him and I expected that he would do constituent service, which means that he shows up to work. He got endorsed by the Sun-Sentinel because he was the most talented guy in the field. He’s a gifted politician.
But Marco, when you signed up for this, this was a six-year term, and you should be showing up to work. I mean, literally, the Senate — what is it, like a French work week? You get, like, three days where you have to show up? You can campaign, or just resign and let someone else take the job. There are a lot of people living paycheck to paycheck in Florida as well, they’re looking for a senator that will fight for them each and every day.
RUBIO: I get to respond, right?
QUICK: Thirty seconds.
RUBIO: Well, it’s interesting. Over the last few weeks, I’ve listened to Jeb as he walked around the country and said that you’re modeling your campaign after John McCain, that you’re going to launch a furious comeback the way he did, by fighting hard in New Hampshire and places like that, carrying your own bag at the airport. You know how many votes John McCain missed when he was carrying out that furious comeback that you’re now modeling after?
BUSH: He wasn’t my senator.
RUBIO: No Jeb, I don’t remember — well, let me tell you. I don’t remember you ever complaining about John McCain’s vote record. The only reason why you’re doing it now is because we’re running for the same position, and someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you.
BUSH: Well, I’ve been —
RUBIO: Here’s the bottom line.
I’m not — my campaign is going to be about the future of America, it’s not going to be about attacking anyone else on this stage. I will continue to have tremendous admiration and respect for Governor Bush. I’m not running against Governor Bush, I’m not running against anyone on this stage. I’m running for president because there is no way we can elect Hillary Clinton to continue the policies of Barack Obama.
QUINTANILLA: Thank you, Senator.