Right-Wing Media Attack Chris Christie, Claim He "Sabotaged" Marco Rubio

››› ››› BRENDAN KARET

Right-wing media personalities lashed out at Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) for "sabotag[ing]" Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in the GOP's ABC News debate, claiming that Christie's attacks led to Rubio's poor performance in New Hampshire's GOP primary.

After Chris Christie Attacks Rubio At GOP Debate, Rubio Drops To Fifth Place In New Hampshire

CNN: "Chris Christie Sells Debate Take-Down Of Rubio As Reason To Vote For Him." In a February 9 article CNN's Jake Tapper wrote "Christie's criticism of Rubio at Saturday night's debate was seen by pundits as fairly devastating, though the Rubio campaign argues they've seen no evidence it slowed his support in New Hampshire":

Chris Christie on primary day continued his rhetorical assault on Sen. Marco Rubio, mocking another instance of the Florida senator repeating a line on the stump and calling into question his resume.

"Not surprised; that's who he is," the New Jersey governor said Tuesday of the Rubio town hall moment Monday where the senator followed a sentence saying "we know how hard it is to instill our values in our kids, instead of the values they try to ram down our throats" with this similar sentence -- "In the 21st Century it's become harder than ever to instill in your children the values they teach in our homes and in our church, instead of the values they try to ram down our throats in the movies, in music, in popular culture."

To critics such as Christie, the moment -- following as it did similar repetitions at Saturday's debate -- underlined Rubio as inauthentic and too closely hewn to talking-points. To Rubio supporters, it's much ado about nothing, a disciplined candidate being attacked by rivals desperate to find something to criticize. [CNN.com, 2/9/16]

Washington Post: Trump Wins New Hampshire, Early Returns Show Rubio In Fifth Place. Following Donald Trump's first place victory in the New Hampshire, The Washington Post reported that early polls suggest Sen. Marco Rubio will finish in fifth place:

In early returns, second place was occupied by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a relatively moderate candidate who might face a difficult time unifying the party behind him in the next few primary states.
After Kasich, there was a close race for third between Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) -- who won the Iowa caucuses last week -- and former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

Behind all of them was Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), who had been seen as the strongest challenger to Trump until a disastrous debate performance on Saturday, in which New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie attacked Rubio and the senator responded by repeating the same talking point over and over.
But if Christie's attack had hurt Rubio, it didn't seem to have helped Christie himself: Christie was running behind Rubio in the early returns, last among the four "establishment" candidates. [Washington Post, 2/9/16]

Right-Wing Personalities Blast Chris Christie Following Marco Rubio's Poor New Hampshire Finish

Rupert Murdoch: "Chris Christie, Suicide Bomber." In a February 10 tweet, Rupert Murdoch, executive co-chairman of Fox News' parent company, wrote, "Chris Christie, suicide bomber. Damages victim while blowing himself up!"

[Twitter, 2/10/16] 

Jonah Goldberg: "Way To Go Christie. I'm Sure It Was Worth It." In a February 9 tweet, National Review's Jonah Goldberg wrote "Way to go Christie. I'm sure it was worth it":

[Twitter, 2/9/16]

Charles Payne: "Christie Looking For VP On Trump Train," And "Has Rubio Robot On Resume." In a February 9 tweet, Fox Business host Charles Payne claimed "Christie looking for VP on Trump Train (has Rubio Robot on resume and could argue brings New Jersey)":

[Twitter, 2/9/16]

Erick Erickson: "Christie Sabotages Rubio's Chances In New Hampshire, But Winds Up With Zero Delegates For Himself." In a February 9 tweet, RedState editor Erick Erickson wrote "Irony: Christie sabotages Rubio's chances in New Hampshire, but winds up with zero delegates for himself":

[Twitter, 2/9/16]

Erick Erickson: "Chris Christie Is About To Become The Most Hated Man Among GOP Pundits." In a February 9 tweet, RedState editor Erick Erickson wrote "Chris Christie is about to become the most hated man among GOP Pundits for throwing their precious into Mount Doom:"

[Twitter, 2/9/16]

Charles Krauthammer: "The Hit That Was Put On Rubio By Christie [...] Was Something Like A Suicide Attack." During the February 9 edition of Fox News' America's Election HQ, Fox contributor Charles Krauthammer said that "in the debate, the hit that was put on Rubio by Christie" was "something like a suicide attack," arguing Rubio "has been terribly hurt by one event":

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: The most interesting element is the one event in the debate, the hit that was put on Rubio by Christie, who incidentally appears to not have been helped. It was something like a suicide attack. But the others have been helped, but the one who's helped the most is Trump, because now you have a muddle among the so-called mainstream lane, it's easy to see four of them, three of them, possibly four proceeding. And as we saw with the late deciders, Rubio won them in Iowa which gave him a strong kick, but he lost them in New Hampshire.

[...]

BRET BAIER (CO-HOST): Quickly, Charles. If Marco Rubio finishes fifth, or sixth, what does that mean for his campaign?

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, he continues because he has strong, sort of essential elements on paper, he's the best candidate I think against Hillary, his youth, being Hispanic, his energy, his ideas and his sort of charisma. But he has been terribly hurt by one event. [Fox News, America's Election HQ, 2/9/16]

Dana Perino: Chris Christie, "What Have You Done And Was It Personal?" On the February 9 edition of Fox News' America's Election HQ, Fox host Dana Perino suggested that "maybe" Christie's decision to attack Rubio was "personal":

DANA PERINO: Well, on Saturday night when he tore into Marco Rubio and really left a mark, wounded Marco Rubio, one of the things I thought was, well, but then Christie, if you came in tenth in Iowa and you come in sixth in New Hampshire, and you have no path forward, what have you done and was it personal? And maybe it was. There is a lot of bad blood between the two campaigns. It didn't start out that way. But now you're going into South Carolina with a wounded Marco Rubio and probably no Chris Christie. [Fox News, America's Election HQ, 2/9/16]

S.E. Cupp: Christie "Bruis[ed]" Rubio "For No Net Gain" If He Exits The Race. In a February 10 tweet, CNN commentator S.E. Cupp wrote, "If he suspends, not sure what Christie can say he accomplished in this campaign, other than bruising the party's rising star [Rubio] for no net gain":

[Twitter, 2/10/16]

Sean Davis: "Christie's Entire Career Revolves Around Shivving Other Republicans." In a February 10 tweet, The Federalist's Sean Davis wrote, "In case you haven't noticed, Chris Christie's entire career revolves around shivving other Republicans":

[Twitter, 2/10/16]

*This item has been updated with additional examples.

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.