Via BuzzFeed, which Trump is Rubio talking about here?
Surely he can’t mean Donald Trump.
“First of all, he takes shots at everybody that gets anywhere close to him, in terms of a poll, or anytime he hits a rough spot that’s what he does,” the Florida senator said of Trump on Kentucky Sports Radio.
“He had a really bad debate performance last week,” continued Rubio. “He’s not well informed on the issues. He really never talks about issues and can’t have more than a 10 second soundbite on any key issue. And I think he’s kind of been exposed a little bit over the last seven days, and he’s a very touchy and insecure guy and so that’s how he reacts, and people can see through it.”
I know for a fact that Trump is none of the things Rubio says because he keeps telling me how secure, non-touchy, and knowledgeable he is.
“I don’t mind being criticized, and I don’t mind it at all,” Mr. Trump said on CNN’s “New Day.” “And I won’t use names, but there are certain people that criticize unfairly. If I do something wrong … I have very thick skin. I don’t mind being criticized. I’ll never, ever complain.”
“I know when I do something wrong. I’m a smart person. I mean, I do something wrong — I do things wrong — and when I do, I don’t mind. They can come at me 15 different ways,” he said. “But when I’m right or when I don’t deserve something, I think it’s very, very unfair to speak incorrectly. So I will correct people. I believe in that.”
I think the last few days have proved how true that is. One interesting similarity between Rubio’s knock on him today and Rich Lowry’s dig at him last night about Fiorina having cut off his balls at the debate is that they’re both shots in different ways at Trump’s image as the alpha male. Lowry’s taunting him because the girl onstage knocked him down; Rubio’s calling him a weakling who’s consumed with disguising that fact by projecting strength. Among all the explanations from the punditocracy for why Trump appeals to so many people — populism, political incorrectness, strong borders, the fact that he can’t be bought — the alpha vibe to his personality is the one that’s most grossly overlooked. (But not by everyone.) The most damaging attack he’s made on anyone in the race wasn’t about immigration or Syria or anything like that; it was him needling Jeb Bush as a “low energy,” i.e. low testosterone, candidate. The fact that Ted Cruz seems palpably afraid to criticize Trump for fear of alienating his voters also inadvertently enhances Trump’s alpha image by casting Cruz in the role of his sidekick. Critics like Rubio and Lowry are starting to key in on all of that and turn it around on Trump.
Here’s Rubio, followed by Trump explaining to CNN this morning that he knows a lot more about Syria than Rubio does because Rubio sits behind a desk all day reading briefings whereas Trump creates jobs, which is … important to grasping the dynamics of an Islamic sectarian war, I guess.