If last night was any guide, New York Magazine got it right when it reported yesterday that Fox is “finished with Rubio."
Last night, the Hannity show opened with a discussion about Rubio that FoxNews.com called, “Geraldo: Rubio destroyed his own character to attack Trump.”
Host Sean Hannity seemed to be trying to thread the needle by suggesting that Rubio has been brainwashed or bribed by the Republican establishment.
HANNITY: I went on radio and I said that this is not the Marco Rubio I have known all these years. You know, how many times in his interview with Bret Baier last night and Megyn Kelly last night can he say "con artist" and "fraud" and “won't denounce the KKK” and “hired illegal immigrants” and misspelled words and the size of his hands?
And that's not Marco. To me, it seems like the establishment is putting all this in his head. He's regurgitating it and being somebody that he's not! That's my take on it.
But Rivera – who first bragged about his big hands – went right after Rubio.
RIVERA: I'm not a shrink. I don't care. I only know what I see. Marco Rubio tried to take down Trump. And indeed, if you analyze the results last night, I think Donald Trump underperformed.
Now, Marco Rubio was effective in some of these attacks, but at the same time, Marco Rubio destroyed his own character. He made himself smaller than he is, than he could be. He, I think, eliminated any chance that he'll be the nominee.
HANNITY: I think there's influence coming from outside. I think he's being fed this, probably promised a lot of money. I don't think this is the Marco that we have known, and you know, except for comprehensive immigration, a lot of people respected. And to me, it's almost like a Kamikaze mission.
Rivera disagreed. “I don't know why you're giving Marco Rubio the benefit of the doubt. He was such a little snotnose in this attack on Trump.” The two went on to argue about Trump’s refusal to disavow David Duke and the KKK (which, of course, Hannity excused).
But this was not the only Rubio bashing on Fox last night. Salon noted that Megyn Kelly gave him a not-so-subtle hint during an interview when she said, “It’s mathematically impossible for you to secure the 1,237 necessary delegates to get the nomination without a brokered convention, is it not?” and during a later segment on Hannity, Pat Buchanan opined that Rubio’s behavior could “terminate his political career.”
Tonight’s Fox News debate should be a doozy. I’ll be starting an open thread shortly before it begins, which is at 9PM ET.
Meanwhile, watch the Rubio bashing below, from the March 2 Hannity.