On Monday night, chaos broke loose with the GOP (even higher than the current threshold) when CNN jumped the gun and told their viewers — during a “breaking” report — that Marco Rubio‘s presidential bid was essentially dunzo. The baseless report quoted an anonymous source, but no one at the cable network bothered to verify with the Rubio campaign. Instead, they ran with the story to avoid being “scooped.” Of course, this doesn’t make much sense. All along, Rubio’s said he’s sticking around for the long haul, but most analysts believe March 15 is the big day. He’ll either take Florida, or he won’t, and then the campaign will make a decision. There’s no logical reason why Rubio’s billionaire backers would drop this much coin and let their boy give up eight days before judgment day.
Yes, it’s true that Rubio’s performance in the polls has been lackluster, and he’s only won Minnesota and Puerto Rico with some delegate takes in other states, but seriously. The media can’t give the scrappy guy another eight days. While Donald Trump has called upon Rubio to drop out so he can go “one on one” with Ted Cruz, the Rubio camp put out word that his approach in Florida is “bullish.” Still, the CNN report quoted “a very knowledgeable source.” which said “top advisers” convinced Rubio to prematurely give up the fight. I don’t know, man. Was Ted Cruz the source?
Needless to say, the Rubio campaign was irate. The candidate reacted by signing onto a last-minute MSNBC town hall, which will be moderated by Chuck Todd on Wednesday (opposite the Democratic debate on Univision). Rubio told MSNBC, “in the ‘winner-take-all’ states, we’re going to have to win.” Well, if Rubio manages to take Florida, that would give him 99 delegates. Some folks think this could happen, including Rubio’s angry communications manager, Alex Conant, who pushed out an email:
“I’m typing this email from my iPhone on the way back to HQ from CNN and, frankly, I’m angry. CNN just aired a completely 100% made up report on anonymous rumors, so as soon as I saw it, I made my way to CNN and demand to correct the record on air … here’s what I just can’t believe: they ran the story without speaking with anyone at the campaign first. That’s right — they carried the story as breaking news, live, on air, without speaking with a single person on our campaign. That’s complete malpractice.”
Conant also tweeted his rampant displeasure with CNN.
Conant’s complaints aren’t baseless. CNN’s story allegedly went through four incarnations while describing their nebulous source.
In response, Twitter began to rain down memes into the #CNNHeadlines hashtag. Brutal stuff.
By the way, here’s that CNN clip, which must have caused a lot of red faces.