gop debate

Marco Rubio Defends His Repetition of Talking Point by Repeating Talking Point

Marco Rubio Campaigns Ahead Of New Hampshire Primary
When life gives you lemons, dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Appearing on ABC’s This Week on Sunday morning, Marco Rubio insisted that his bizarre and robotic repetition of anti-Obama talking points at Saturday night’s Republican debate was a good move, and repeated a variation of the talking point again while also claiming that he was glad the clips were being recirculated as an attack ad against him.

The stump-speech talking-point Rubio repeated Saturday night was meant to suggest that President Obama was intentionally damaging America, and the senator mentioned some variation of the line “Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing,” a total of four times in the first hour and a half of the debate, despite New Jersey Governor Chris Christie brutally pointing out the repetition as an example of Rubio’s lack of substance and experience. 

After being shown how video of the repeated line had already been deployed as an attack ad by a SuperPAC supporting Hillary Clinton, Rubio maintained that he was happy about that. “Actually, I would pay them to keep running that clip, because that’s what I believe passionately,” he told somewhat skeptical host George Stephanopoulos, who reminded the Senator that he was “getting pounded” as a result of the repetition. An undeterred Rubio expanded his talking point on the show, changing it slightly to indicate that Obama’s deliberate supposed-destruction of America was “not an accident”:

Well, look, we raised more money last night in the first hour that debate than any other debate. As far as that message, I hope they keep running it and I’m going to keep saying because it’s true.

Barack Obama — yes, has he hired incompetent people to implement laws and run agencies? Absolutely. But when it comes to the — what he’s trying to do to America, it’s part of a plan. He has said he wanted to change the country; he’s doing it in a way that is robbing us of everything that makes us special. 

And it’s what I’m going to continue to say because it happens to be one of the main reasons why I am running. I — this is the greatest country in the history of mankind because of a certain set of principles. Barack Obama wants us to abandon those principles that he has spent seven years putting in place policies that rip them from us: undermining the Constitution, undermining free enterprise, undermining our standing in the world, weakening America, apologizing for us on the global stage.

MSNBC reports that Rubio also re-celebrated his canned speech at a town hall event in Londonderry, New Hampshire on Sunday morning, telling the crowd:

Last night in the debate, they said, ‘Oh, you said the same things three or four times?’ I’m gonna say it again. The reason why things are in trouble is because Barack Obama is the first president, at least in my lifetime, that wants to change the country.

Outside the event, a pair of protesters from a Democratic SuperPAC came dressed in cardboard and tinfoil as “Marco Roboto” and the “Rubio Talking Point 3000.” They handed out broken gaskets, and, according to Mother Jones, “mechanically repeated barbs” related to Rubio’s “Obama knows what’s he’s doing” line. 

Here’s the video Rubio says he would pay to keep running:

And here’s the full interview on This Week:

Rubio Defends His Repetition of Talking Point