Personal Attacks and the Republican Primaries
By: Bill O'ReillyMarch 10, 2016
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Some Americans are dismayed about all the personal insults being used in the Republican campaigns.

We'll see if that happens again in the debate tonight.

There is no question that Donald Trump supporters expect him to be an avenger, a man who will go on the attack if he believes it's necessary.

But that does not hold true for the other candidates, and the best example is Marco Rubio.

After being soundly defeated on Tuesday, Senator Rubio is holding a last stand in his home state of Florida.

His poll numbers are down and some analysts believe it's because he used personal invective against Donald Trump.

Rogers, AR on Feb. 27

MARCO RUBIO: "He's making fun of me for wearing makeup.  So how can it be, how can the person with the worst spray tan in America attack me for wearing -- ((crowd laughs)) - attack me on Twitter for wearing makeup?  The other night he was worried about the lines around the states, remember that?  What he needs to be worried about are the lines around his eyes from his horrible spray tan."

Now after last week's debate in Detroit I asked Senator Rubio about the insults.

The Factor, March 3:

O'REILLY: "Do you regret the school boy stuff with Trump, the wet pants business and all that?  Do you regret it?"

RUBIO: "You know, I don't regret it in the sense that ..."


RUBIO: "No.  I'll tell you why?if anyone deserves to be hit for that, it's him.  He has literally spent a year doing that."

That was before the Tuesday vote, of course.  And now Mr. Rubio has changed his opinion.

He says he will not use personal attacks any longer:

MSNBC town hall in Florida last night:

RUBIO: "If that's what it takes to become president of the United States, then I don't want to be president.  I don't think that's what it takes to be president.  In fact, I know it's not what it takes.  It's not what we want from our next president.  And if I had to do it again, I would have done that part differently, but not the stuff about his record on business."

Got a letter from Jane Sanford who lives in Florida saying that Rubio lost her support "when he jumped in the gutter with Trump."

Talking Points believes that sometimes you have to fight fire with invective, but context matters.

Ted Cruz will use some personal stuff, but it is mostly around issues and behavior.

John Kaisch does not do it at all.

American voters vary in this arena.

Mr. Trump has gained support for his scorched earth approach but he has also alienated many folks, thus his high unfavorable ratings in the polls.

Trump himself is unfazed by that, believing that his approach has stifled his competition and will put Hillary Clinton on the defensive.

But a guy like Marco Rubio, a more traditional politician, apparently can't get away with flamboyant attacks as Trump has in wooing voters.

Didn't work for Jeb Bush, either -- although the governor's heart was never in the personal attack mode.

Summing up, totally unique primary campaign where traditional rules do not seem to apply, at least on the GOP side.

For the Democrats, it's pretty much politics as usual.

And that's the memo.

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