I turned on my computer last night with the intention of watching an episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. But the internet alerted me that a Republican debate was in progress, so I tuned into that instead. Luckily, I came just in time to catch the exchange between Chris Christie and Marco Rubio that will live in infamy.
I don’t need to summarize what happened, but I will anyway. Slash, I’ll let Politico do it for me:
Rubio awkwardly pivoted four times to a well-rehearsed line that President Barack Obama “knows exactly what he’s doing” as he tried to drill home the idea that he’s the inevitable general election candidate – an unforced error that his rivals pounced on and that quickly went viral.
“There it is. There it is. The memorized 25-second speech. There it is, everybody,” Chris Christie charged.
The incident has drawn comparisons to “the gravest debate lapses of modern presidential campaign history, from Rick Perry’s “Oops” in 2012 all the way back to Dan Quayle’s stepping into Lloyd Bentsen’s “You’re no Jack Kennedy” buzz saw in 1988.” Rough stuff.
Now, I’m no Marco a-Polo-gist, but from where I’m sitting, Rubio’s impulse to repeat himself is perfectly understandable: the youthful candidate was just trying to respect his elders. After all, he had just been reminded that he was sharing a stage with a gaggle of older men who can barely even hear their own names:
So Rubio did the only sensible thing: repeated himself three or four times just to make sure his voice could be heard once.