February 12, 2016
Moderator John Dickerson: Senator Rubio, In the last debate you seemed to get stuck in a loop when responding to Chris Christie. On Tuesday night, you told your supporters the result in New Hampshire was on you, that you’d done poorly in the debate and it would never happen again.
You’re campaigning as the most electable Republican, the person who can win the general election. Given what happened last week, how can you assure the voters of South Carolina that you have what it takes to win and execute the presidency?
Senator Rubio: Let’s dispel with this fiction that I’m a robot (pause, big smile). Fortunately, the Democrats aren’t nominating Chris Christie. I’d only need to worry about Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, or if they prosecute Hillary the way they did General Petraeus, maybe Joe Biden.
It would have been great to watch Chris prosecute Hillary Clinton. My only regret is he’s not on stage right now for a rematch.
Back when I was an infant, Joe Frazier knocked Muhammad Ali to the canvas. People thought Ali was done. He came back and won his other two fights with Frazier. I realize I need to remember to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee up here.
We may not have Chris, but I expect Jeb and Ted will do their best to fill in for him. There’s nothing wrong with that. I welcome it. Voters deserve to know their nominee can take and return a punch.
I’m confident I’ll do enough tonight and over the next week so that I can ask the voters of South Carolina to put their full faith and confidence in me and give the great reward of their vote next Saturday.
As you may have heard, we cannot afford another four years of the policies of Barack Obama.