early and often

Scott Walker Is Negging Marco Rubio

Photo: Scott Olson/2015 Getty Images

A couple of days ago, Politico ran a piece about how Scott Walker is wrapping himself in all things Midwest as he prepares to launch his presidential campaign. He talks about Kohl’s, courts donors from Chicago, is focusing on winning the midwestern primaries, etc. But the story missed the biggest midwestern bona fide in Walker’s repertoire: rampant passive-aggression.

As the Washington Post tells it today, Walker has launched an offensive against Marco Rubio in the most polite way possible. He’s telling everyone that the Florida senator should be his VP.

Over the past several months, Walker has routinely discussed Rubio in private meetings with supporters and potential donors. The governor praises Rubio and all that the senator can bring to a presidential campaign but does it in a way that casts Rubio as more lieutenant than general, according to several Republicans with knowledge of the conversations.

That’s some expert negging from Walker, who’s not just putting down Rubio in the eyes of donors and voters, but is also acknowledging that the senator brings something he doesn’t. Namely, an inherent appeal to Latino voters. That kind of diversity on the ticket could be particularity useful to a white male running against Hillary Clinton in the general election.

The Wisconsin governor has mentioned the idea of Rubio joining him on the ticket so many times that the senator himself has commented on it. “A Walker-Rubio ticket may be fine,” he recently said, “but it’s got to be in alphabetical order.”

The two 40-somethings aren’t even as close as all this flirting implies. The Post quotes a source that says they tend to only run into each other at political events, despite Walker’s claim that they know each other “very well.” That said, there is video of the two Republicans arguing over this very issue. Watch it:

Scott Walker Is Negging Marco Rubio