Marco Rubio is being pushed to attack Donald Trump more vociferously, in order to weaken the presumptive Republican frontrunner.
But while Marco Rubio, the man who just a few days ago released a statement attacking Cruz for spreading a rumor that he’d maligned the Bible, will do anything for your love, he just won’t do that. Although Rubio told the Today show this morning that the majority of Republicans don’t like Donald Trump, and that he’s a threat to the integrity of the Republican Party, Rubio will abide by the so-called “Eleventh Commandment” and refrain from attacking another Republican.
This could cut either way for Marco, of course, but lately, his behavior has started to create a narrative. He started out as a strong candidate, but he’s been oddly whiny when it comes to Ted Cruz’s behavior of late, and this seems less like he’s holding the moral high ground and more like he’s backing down from a fight. In a field where Donald Trump is trying desperately to assert himself as the alpha male of everything, doing everything in his power to prove it short of humping Ted Cruz’s campaign tour bus and peeing on his territory. Play weak, look weak.
But there’s a flipside to this coin. Rubio can clearly see the risk in openly attacking Trump before Trump attacks him, which is smart given what such an approach cost co-Floridian Jeb Bush. Insulting Trump only drives his supporter further into his corner, making the effort about as useful as teaching Calculus to Paris Hilton. As another person on this vast Internet said today, trying to reason with Trump’s supporters is a little like trying to talk your friend out of marrying a stripper. You know you’re right, you know it will end badly, but you also know you can’t change his mind. If Rubio earns nothing from taking on Trump, why waste the time, money and energy?
Neither approach is going to make Ted Cruz drop out, so the resolution remains to be seen.