GOP Showdown: Christie Lays Into Rubio for Repetition

The New Jersey Governor took the gloves off at the last GOP debate, causing Rubio to make his first major gaffe.

By Bronte Price, PolitcKING

Chris Christie came out against Marco Rubio at the GOP debate over the weekend, emphasizing the difference between the duties of a senator and governor. Rubio’s troubles began to snowball when former Pennsylvania senator, Rick Santorum, who has come out in support of Rubio, struggled in a TV interview last week to give an example of the candidate’s accomplishments. Rubio defended his record in the debate saying that leadership should not be about how much time the candidate has spent in office, citing Joe Biden as an example. "If the presidency becomes electing the people who have been in Congress the longest, we should rally around Joe Biden," Rubio said dryly. "He's been around a thousand years and passed hundreds of bills..."

Christie rejected Rubio’s comment about Biden, arguing that the Florida senator's record lacks accountability. "You have not been involved in a consequential decision where you had to be held accountable," he said. "You just simply haven't."

Rubio responded to Christie, commenting on New Jersey's credit rating being downgraded nine times under the Governor’s leadership. Rubio then pivoted to President Obama's agenda, almost exactly repeating himself from just moments earlier. "Let's dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing," Rubio said. "He is trying to change this country. He wants America to become more like the rest of the world. We don't want to be like the rest of the world; we want to be the United States of America."

Christie jumped at the opportunity to point out Rubio’s repetition. "You see, everybody, I want the people at home to think about this. That's what Washington, D.C. does," he said. "The drive-by shot at the beginning with incorrect and incomplete information and then the memorized 25-second speech that is exactly what his advisers gave him."

Rubio tried to attack Christie for not wanting to return home for the blizzard, as Christie all but rolled his eyes. The pair went back and forth and then Rubio delivered, once again, his comments about Obama’s presidency. "Here's the bottom line," Rubio said, "This notion that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing is just not true. He knows exactly what he's doing."

Christie interrupted, "There it is. There it is," he said as the crowd laughed. "The memorized 25-second speech. There it is, everybody." A Twitter account called “Marco Rubio Glitch” was created and had over 1,000 followers immediately following the debate.

Todd Harris, Rubio’s senior adviser, defended the candidate in the spin room after the debate. “What voters saw was that Marco was given repeated opportunities to hit Obama and he did,” he said.

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