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“We Can’t Do The Rubio Thing Anymore”: More Bad News For Marco Rubio: He Just Lost The Support Of Fox News

In his role as the donor class’s darling, Marco Rubio has enjoyed support from the Republicans’ media arm, Fox News. Throughout the primary, Fox provided Rubio with friendly interviews and key bookings, including the first prime-time response to Barack Obama’s Oval Office address on ISIS. Many of the network’s top pundits, including Stephen Hayes and Charles Krauthammer, have been enthusiastic boosters. Bill Sammon, Fox’s Washington managing editor, is the father of Rubio’s communications director, Brooke Sammon.

But this alliance now seems to be over. According to three Fox sources, Fox chief Roger Ailes has told people he’s lost confidence in Rubio’s ability to win. “We’re finished with Rubio,” Ailes recently told a Fox 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.

Fox’s corporate support of Rubio has also been a growing source of tension with the network’s more conservative talent. Sean Hannity was furious that the Times article reported how he went along with Rubio’s immigration proposal. During an interview with Trump on Monday, Hannity barely defended Fox while Trump trashed Rubio backers like Hayes. “He shouldn’t be on the air,” Trump said. The best Hannity could muster was to change the subject. “Have you ever watched MSNBC?” he said. “They suck.”

Ailes is now back to searching for a candidate the channel can rally behind. “He’s thinking, What do we do about the whole damn thing?” one of the news executive’s friends said.

Fox News spokesperson Irena Briganti did not return a call for comment.


By: Gabriel Sherman, Daily Intelligencer, New York Magazine, March 2, 2016

March 3, 2016 - Posted by | Fox News, GOP Campaign Donors, Marco Rubio, Roger Ailes | , , , , ,


  1. Well, if it is not Rubio, we are left with two of the worst candidates possible, unless the GOP wises up and gets behind John Kasich. As terrible a President as Trump would be, as very well captured by Mitt Romney, Cruz would be worse. Rubio was the lesser of three evils in the front runners. If he does drop out, hopefully the votes would go to Kasich and not Cruz.


    Comment by Keith | March 3, 2016 | Reply

    • Agree. It’s also possible that Romney is positioning himself to be drafted at a brokered convention. A President Cruz would be just as dangerous as a President Trump, maybe even moreso. The big donors have given up on Rubio. This GOP Primary is an astonishing mess!


      Comment by raemd95 | March 3, 2016 | Reply

      • And, yet some feel they would be better leaders. It is amazing to contrast this name calling with the Democrats’ debates and banter, which for the large part sticks to issues and what to do about them. I have told more than a few folks, whether you like Sanders solutions, he is the most consistent candidate who is discussing real issues and what he would do. Clinton is a close second and Kasich a distant third. The others are not even in the ballpark.


        Comment by Keith | March 4, 2016

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