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This is a cautionary tale of a clapback gone wrong.
Last night, Mike Barbaro, host of New York Times podcast The Daily, pointed out on Twitter how weird it was that Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) not only attended President Donald Trump’s campaign kickoff rally in Orlando but actually seemed to enjoy it.
“Very strange, for those of who covered 2016 campaign, to see Sen Marco Rubio smiling and chuckling in this audience,” Barbaro wrote, probably thinking of the many times that Trump called the senator “Little Marco,” and how the two got in a fight over the size of Trump’s dick on stage once.
In the grand tradition of Republican politicians everywhere, Rubio dusted off his triggered finger and issued what he must have fancied a spicy retort.
BREAKING— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 19, 2019
In an unprecedented move a Republican Senator attended a rally in his home state in support of the re-election of a Republican President. https://t.co/0zC3nvJB0X
Rubio’s attempt at ironic humor elicited a dragging that was anything but ironic.
“He’s like a blade of grass, always bending towards whatever way the political breeze is blowing without consciousness or thought,” was one withering retort to Barbaro’s tweet.
The Twitter fam showed up like they’d been summoned by Aladdin’s genie. And when Twitter comes to slay, slay it does.
Not often we agree with Rubio, but he is right. It is not the least bit surprising to see a spineless GOP Senator blindly support a horrible President who humiliated him just because they are both Republicans.— redwinepolitics ™️ (@redwinepolitics) June 19, 2019
Others worried that he was having memory problems. Because most everyone remembered the time Rubio completely lost his shit and questioned the size of Trump’s genitals on national television during a presidential debate. Or the time he accused Trump of invoking violence at his rallies. Or the time he said Trump was a danger to America.
In case of dementia or, more likely, selective recollection, several Good Samaritans tried to jog his memory.
A favorite from the time capsule was this one: “Marco Rubio in 2016, ‘It’s time to pull his mask off so that people can see what we’re dealing with here. What we are dealing with here, my friends, is a con artist. He is a con artist.’”
"I stand by everything I said during the campaign. Trump is dangerous and we must not hand the nuclear codes of the United States to an erratic individual." -@marcorubio— Joe Sampson (@JoeSampsonFL) June 19, 2019
Russia attacked America. And her smiling?— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) June 19, 2019
Womp womp.— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) June 19, 2019
We're getting the old crew back together on this thread.— Nate Bell (@NateBell4AR) June 19, 2019
little marco having one of his little fits.— Mike Birbiglia (@birbigs) June 19, 2019
However, people really shouldn’t have been surprised by Rubio’s willingness to kiss up to Trump. After all, when the president made his infamous “shithole countries” comment, who came a-running with a subtweet that couldn’t hurt a fly? None other than Marco Rubio.
Sad to see how much the specter of the GOP’s thirstiest senator has shrunk since he was once considered Hillary Clinton’s most feared presidential opponent.
Now, even his clapbacks are itty bitty.
- Marco Rubio’s tweet about Venezuela could not have been more inaccurate
- Rubio posts graphic tweet of murdered dictator as presumed threat
- Marco Rubio accuses Rashida Tlaib of making anti-Semitic remarks
- Marco Rubio’s attempt to use football to describe Florida recount fails spectacularly
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Claire Goforth is a Jacksonville, Florida-based journalist covering politics, culture, justice, and unicorns. Her work has appeared in publications ranging from regional alt-weeklies to Al Jazeera.