Marco Rubio: Media Stuck Playing Donald Trump’s Game

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks at a rally at the Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel on February 21, 2016 in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Sen. Marco Rubio suggests members of the media are boosting Donald Trump’s candidacy by giving him the majority of attention in the presidential race.

During an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Rubio appeared amused that the former Clinton aide asked him to respond to Trump’s assertion that he wasn’t sure the Florida Senator was eligible to run for president.

“Look, this is a pattern. This is a game he plays. He says something that’s edgy and outrageous and then the media flocks and covers that and then no one else can get any coverage on anything else,” Rubio said.

Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday, Rubio pointed out that Trump had become irresistible to the network.

“What he’s been good at is saying things that are over the top and then the press covers it,” he said. “You guys like to cover it because it helps with ratings and it’s interesting, and you can’t ignore it.”

In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, Rubio again chided the media for driving the Trump narrative. When asked by Todd why Trump continued to dominate the polls, Rubio responded:

“Yeah. Well, a couple things happened. Number one is he’ll say something over the top, and then you guys in the press will decide, ‘Let’s not cover anything, let’s just focus on the outrageous statements,’” he said. “So he’s been very good at dominating that. And in an 11-person or 15-person field, it crowded a lot of people out.”

Rubio acknowledged that Trump’s strategy successfully buried many of the 15 candidates who ran for president, but argued that the time for Trump’s dominance of the narrative had passed.

“It’s not going to work anymore,” Rubio said in his interview with Stephanopoulos. “I’m going to spend zero time on his interpretation of the Constitution with regards to eligibility and I’m going to spend all my time talking about what this campaign should be about.”