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Susan Page: NYT’s Stories Making Americans ‘Identify’ with Rubio

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Thursday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” USA TODAY’s Washington bureau chief Susan Page said The New York Times’ recent front-page stories criticizing Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, for his driving record and finances are backfiring and making average Americans “identify” with the senator and his family.

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Host Andrea Mitchell asked, “So that’s the question. How is it front page news? There is, Susan, there are issues about his backer and his debts, but the way — this treatment did certainly look like an opposition dump?”

Page replied, “I think a lot of Americans would identify with using money from his book advance to pay off his student loan, for instance, you know, the boat he bought. I think this does not seem unfamiliar to people in Florida that they want a fishing boat which cost, I think, $80,000, which is significant amount of money, but on the other hand, it’s not a super million dollar yacht.”

She continued, “In a way, you never want to be the subject of a negative story on the front page of a newspaper, but on the other hand, this is the kind of criticism or skeptical look that I think makes a lot of voters say, hey, I can see myself. This is not a rich guy who has inherited a lot of money from a famous family. This is a guy who is living the life of a lot of Americans.”

Mitchell added, “One of the details was four speeding tickets in 17 years. I think a lot of us could relate to that.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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