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February 19, 2016

Marco Rubio Bails, Trump-Like, At Last Minute from Conservative Review Hosted Townhall; Strangely Enough, This Isn't a Big Story

Donald Trump was too cowardly to face little Megyn Kelly, they said.

Now that Mario has shown himself too cowardly to face even littler Michele Malkin, I don't hear so much chatter about it.

The National Review posted this news digest of the Mario's magnificent retreat, but I don't see the magazine otherwise fulminating about it.

And notice that article is of the "Republicans Pounce" variety -- the headline is "Cruz Slams" Rubio. Not "Rubio Bails on Conservative Conference He Had to Agreed to Appear At."

The "Republicans Pounce" narrative angers conservatives, because it moves the focus away from the actual newsworthy event to the political reaction to it, making the newsworthy event not only secondary, but seemingly just a partisan food-fight you need pay no mind to.

I don't remember Trump getting benefit of the "Republicans Pounce" narrative. I seem to remember his non-appearance being the actual news there.

Anyway, Rubio bailed, claiming some mysterious last-minute scheduling conflicts.

Maybe he needed some Water.

Here's the NYT account, which is headlined: Conservatives Say As No-Show, Rubio Showed His True Colors.

Mark Levin, the conservative radio mega-host, looked out on the crowd in an arena here, searching for his missing senator.

"Marco Rubio, would you raise your hand?" he asked. The crowd appeared confused.

"He was supposed to be here," Mr. Levin said over some grumbling. "Probably went to McDonald's."

Scheduled to speak at a conservative forum here -- stocked, by the looks and sounds of it, with supporters of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas -- Mr. Rubio abruptly canceled late on Thursday.

His spokesman, Alex Conant, expressed regrets about the no-show. "Our schedule got screwed up and we were running super late," he said in an email.

The Cruz campaign immediately seized on Mr. Rubioís absence, setting off the latest in a string of blistering attacks between the candidates ahead of Saturdayís primary here.

"This is a final admission that Marco Rubio isnít even going to try to compete for the votes of conservatives in South Carolina or anywhere else," said Rick Tyler, a Cruz spokesman. "And who can blame him? Rubio isnít a conservative. Instead Rubio and his campaign would rather hide behind their deceptive campaign tactics and liberal record on amnesty for illegals and voting to nominate John Kerry."

I'm going to hold my fire for now and give the establishment right media some time to actually report on this more fully. Maybe they have stories in the hopper. Maybe they're reluctant to talk about this, but are rousing themselves to do so. Putting off a dislikable chore, as people do. But maybe they intend to get around to it.

We'll see.

But if they don't -- if NR, Weekly Standard, Commentary and the rest of them continue pretending this basically didn't happen -- I'll have more to say.

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posted by Ace at 03:42 PM

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