It appears that the love affair between Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio and Fox News is coming to an end. Rubio’s poor performance during the Super Tuesday primaries has led the boss of Fox News to say, “We are finished with Rubio.” The question is… where does Fox News go now?
New York Magazine reports that Fox News leader Roger Ailes told a Fox News host, “We can’t do the Rubio thing anymore.”
Ailes was already concerned about Rubio’s lackluster performance in GOP primaries and caucuses, winning only one contest among the 15 that have been held. But the more proximate cause for the flip was an embarrassing New York Times article revealing that Rubio and Ailes had a secret dinner meeting in 2013 during which the Florida senator successfully lobbied the Fox News chief to throw his support behind the “Gang of 8” comprehensive immigration-reform bill. “Roger hates seeing his name in print,” a longtime Ailes associate told me. “He was appalled the dinner was reported,” the source said.
Already, there are on-air signs that Fox’s attitude toward Rubio has cooled. This morning, anchor Martha MacCallum grilled Rubio about his poor Super Tuesday performance. “Is that a viable excuse at this point?” she asked, when he tried spinning his second-place finish in Virginia.
The Hill is also reporting that the Rubio-Fox News marriage may be over.
Rubio’s poor performance on Super Tuesday convinced Ailes that he is losing traction in the race. The Florida senator won a single state Tuesday, Minnesota, the first and only primary he has secured.
Since Jeb Bush’s departure from the race last month, Rubio has become the favorite of Republican establishment donors and lawmakers, and many said Fox was purposely giving him favorable coverage and easy interviews in order to boost his campaign.
If Fox News still wants to stop Trump, where do they turn now? Will we see evidence of this break-up in tonight’s debate?