Networks Move to Crown Trump; ‘Too Little, Too Late’ for Rubio

Continuing a push for Donald Trump over Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, the three network morning shows on Wednesday attempted to declare the nomination over, despite the fact that the businessman has less than ten percent of the needed delegate to win. Even though 2341 delegates have not yet been allocated, CBS This Morning’s Charlie Rose demanded of Rubio, “Is it simply too little, too late to stop Donald Trump, especially if he does very well on the SEC day, Super Tuesday voting?”

The Florida Senator appeared on all three morning shows. On CBS, Rubio pointed out, “It’s over 1,200 delegates you need to have and we are nowhere near that number of people have been filed, much less being able to win them.”  Co-host Gayle King complained, “At what point, at what state do you think you're going to be the one to trump Donald Trump?” 

In an earlier segment, Dean Reynolds highlighted Trump’s response to those on the right: “Trump rejected the notion he has a ceiling of support and laughed at conservatives who are calculating how he could lose.” 

Over on Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts demanded of Rubio: “There have been four contests so far across the state. Various parts of the country and you have yet to come out on top. With super Tuesday coming out, what do you need to do?” Again, there are 2341 delegates yet to be apportioned. 

On NBC’s Today, Savannah Guthrie echoed a similar theme: 

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Well, there have now been these four Republican contests. Donald Trump has won three of them. We've seen the race – the field of candidates narrow. And yet, this dynamic seems to be the same. You've got you and Ted Cruz and some of the other candidates fighting each other, and Trump sailing to victory. A lot of Republicans asking this morning, why not take on Trump directly? What's your answer to that? 

For more on Today's interview with Rubio, go here. On Tuesday, the networks touted Trump as “unstoppable.” 

A transcript of the February 24 CBS This Morning segment is below: 


 
7:07:42 to 7:11:26
3 minutes and 44 seconds 

CHARLIE ROSE: Florida senator and Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio is with us from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Senator, good morning.  

MARCO RUBIO: Good morning. 

ROSE: Congratulations on your second place showing in Nevada. Many people are asking this question this morning —  as the group narrows, as the establishment, so-called, makes endorsements, many of them of you, is it simply too little too late to stop Donald Trump, especially if he does very well on the SEC day, Super Tuesday voting? 

RUBIO: Yeah. I think it's important to take a deep breath here. First of all, the Republican nomination is decided by delegates. It’s over 1,200 delegates you need to have and we are nowhere near that number of people have been filed, much less being able to win them. And in that sense, the votes happening between now and the 15th and before the 15th all of these states are awarding delegates proportionately. It's not how many states you win, it’s based on how many delegates you pick up. Now, he does have a delegate advantage, but it’s not overwhelming. In fact, there are plenty of states out there in the winner take all category that if you win them, you more than catch up. So I think what needs to happen here, though, this race needs to continue to narrow because Donald Trump, for example, he under-performed Mitt Romney yesterday in Nevada. Four years ago, Mitt Romney got 50 percent of the vote there so shows a significant number of Republicans. even in Nevada. who are not -- do not want Donald Trump to be their nominee. But right now, it’s divided up among four people. 

Tell the Truth 2016

GAYLE KING: But right now Mr. Rubio, you have yet to beat him, including the latest poll in your home state of Florida shows that you're not even beating him in your own home state. At what point, at what state do you think you're going to be the one to trump Donald Trump? 

RUBIO: Well, we will with win in Florida now that Governor Bush is no longer in the race. Him and I split up a lot of the support in Florida so that will help us. Again, as far as going into next week, we feel great about every state that’s on the map. So, there has to be a coalescing here and I think that process began after South Carolina. I think continue after our second place showing in Nevada last night. And we are going to keep working hard. We are in Michigan already and here last night for a rally. We are headed to Houston, Texas, today for the debate tomorrow and a rally today. So, we feel great about the work we are putting in and what it's leading to when this process plays out. 

KING: Senator Rubio, we keep hearing the party doesn't want him, but the people tell a different story in terms of how they feel about Donald Trump. Have you asked Jeb Bush for his endorsement? 

RUBIO: Well, first of all, the people in every state that has voted, the overwhelming majority, including last night, 55 percent of the people did not vote for Donald Trump. It’s just divided up among four people and that is helping him right now. I’ve spoken to Governor Bush. We haven't discussed an endorsement with Jeb Bush. We are friends and I look forward to visiting him soon. 

NORAH O’DONNELL: Senator, can I ask you about the issues before the Republican people, the ones you have debated? 

RUBIO: Yeah. 

O’DONNELL: One of your opponents, Senator Cruz this week said that he would have federal agents knock on the doors to find those who are in this country illegally. Would you follow that? 

RUBIO: Yeah. Well, that is a change of position for him obviously now that he is under duress in this campaign and trying to guess — change his positions once again I guess to appeal, I suppose, and win votes. The bottom line, I don't think this country supports and I do not military style tactics. I do think we are going to enforce the law. There are people are being deported now. If you're here illegally in this country and have you a deportation order, you're going to be deported, especially if you're a dangerous criminal. And so, that is going to happen. But I don't think this country is going to support nor do I think we need to support a roundup style of people in America. What we need to is secure our border and bring illegal immigration under control and I think the American people will be reasonable and responsible about how do you deal with people in this country a long time who are not a criminal? 

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.