Establishment Nightmare: Team Kasich Fires at Marco Rubio After Nevada

Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich , left, speaks with Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., during the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in North Charleston, S.C. (
AP/Rainier Ehrhardt
Washington, DC

Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s campaign is seizing the continued failures of the Washington establishment-backed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to get enough voters to back his campaign to win an election.

Rubio has failed to win any of the first four presidential preference contests among Republican voters—placing third in Iowa’s caucuses, fifth in New Hampshire’s primary, second in South Carolina’s primary, and losing Nevada’s caucuses to billionaire Donald Trump—despite consistent backing from the GOP establishment in Washington and constant praise from analysts all over the Fox News Channel.

Now, Kasich—the last remaining challenger to Rubio in the establishment lane for the GOP nomination—is bashing Rubio and laying out why he can’t win.

In an election night memo circulated to reporters that’s certain to send shivers up the spines of the splintered establishment GOP, Kasich’s campaign manager, John Weaver, is capitalizing on Rubio’s lackluster performances. Weaver wrote:

Contrary to what his campaign is trying to portray, Senator Rubio just endured another disappointing performance despite being the highest spending candidate in Nevada. He also missed an opportunity to back up the notion that he can bring new people into the Republican Party or succeed above expectations in a diverse state. Republicans are now left to wonder whether investing in Marco Rubio is throwing good money after bad. Of the four viable candidates left in the race, Senator Rubio spent the most in New Hampshire, spent the most in South Carolina and spent the most in Nevada. The return has been dismal.

Weaver proceeded to further slice and dice Rubio’s horrendous performance on the campaign trail:

Rubio finished last out of the Final Four in New Hampshire (the lone state where all candidates competed), flushed away more than $12 million to pick up zero delegates in South Carolina, and appears likely to pick up no more than 7 more delegates than Governor Kasich in Nevada despite the fact that the Kasich campaign spent virtually no resources in the state and the Rubio campaign spent the most. This primary has already proven that spending the most amount of money will not make you the nominee. Knowing the primary map will shift dramatically away from his campaign after March 5, Senator Rubio is spending money furiously now in a vain attempt to claim ‘momentum.’ It isn’t going to work. Ultimately, all the Rubio strategy will produce is another case of donor’s remorse in a few weeks.

Rubio did so badly on Tuesday evening in Nevada that he left the state early before results were announced to campaign in Minnesota, the only Super Tuesday state polling shows he has a chance of winning. Minnesota, Democrat Walter Mondale’s home state, is ironically the only state in the entire union that Ronald Reagan lost in his 1984 re-election bid.  Rubio won’t even be giving a post-Nevada speech, since Trump won so significantly in the caucuses.

“Patience is a virtue rarely found in politics, but it is one of the hallmarks of the Kasich campaign, and it will ultimately result in helping make Governor Kasich the Republican nominee,” Weaver concluded. “We continue to increase our financial and political support as more and more Republican leaders recognize the wisdom of our strategy and believe that Governor Kasich has the right combination of experience, authenticity and general election appeal to become President.”