After starting off with the most perfect entrance possible, it looks like the candidates have finally gotten their shit together. Or at the very least, Chris Christie has, because he just tore Marco Rubio to shreds.
Chris Christie has been repeating the refrain that his non-governor opponents won’t be able to take the pressure since this election first started. But tonight, he finally put some weight behind his talking points with pointed attacks on Rubio’s record:
When you talk about the Hezbollah sanctions act that you list as one of your accomplishments, you weren’t even there to vote for it. That’s not leadership—that’s truancy.
Rubio did technically sponsor the legislation Christie is referring to, but according to the Congressional record for that day, Rubio was indeed listed as absent. Christie ended on a surprisingly reasonable and non-explicitly vulgar note, saying, “I like Marco Rubio. He’s a smart person and a good guy, but he simply does not have the experience to be President of the United States and make these decisions.”
Marco, for his part, was clearly not prepared to handle this sort of biting criticism. After opening with, “I think the experience is not just what you did but how it worked out” (what?), Rubio briefly touched on the fact that Christie was a genuinely terrible governor before veering off to ramble about Obama. And Chris Christie immediately called him out on it:
This is what Washington, D.C. does: The drive-by shot at the beginning with incorrect and incomplete information, and then the memorized, 25-second speech. That is exactly what his advisers gave him. When you’re president of the United States, when you are a governor of a state, that memorized speech doesn’t solve one problem for one person.
The crowd loved it, and Christie was right on point. Marco Rubio was indeed stuck on repeat.
And when Rubio tried to respond by shaming Christie for “not wanting to go back” to Jersey after the massive snowstorm, the jeering directed (presumably) at Rubio nearly drowned him out. Rubio bashed Obama some more, Christie went back and tore Rubio to shreds—it was beautifully, uncomfortably brutal.
Which isn’t to say that Chris Christie isn’t a Bad Man himself. His record is filled with low-hanging fruit—it’s just that apparently no one told Marco how to grab it.