Let's put this in WW[E] terms: Jeb Bush's lame-assed swipe at Marco Rubio at the third GOP debate last week was like the late Eddy Guerrero getting ambushed by announcer Michael Cole. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie smacking the Florida senator right between the eyes on his being the face of the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform bill two years ago is like Eddy Guerrero getting choke-slammed by the Big Show:
[LAURA] INGRAHAM: I want to play a sound bite for you, since Marco Rubio everyone thinks is the next big Establishment thing, Marco Rubio was on with your dear friend Jorge Ramos from Univision… and Jorge asked him about the President’s executive actions on immigration and what he would do.
RAMOS: “Would a President Rubio revoke Deferred Action and executive action by Barack Obama?”
RUBIO: “We have two executive actions. The first was DACA which applies to young people that arrived in this country very young age before they were adults and I don’t think we can immediately revoke that. I think it will have to end at some point, and I hope it will end because of some reform to the immigration laws. It cannot be the permanent policy of the United States but I’m not calling for it to be revoked tomorrow or this week or right away.”
CHRISTIE: It’s hard to keep up with how many times Marco changes his positions on these things, to tell you the truth. I’ve said very clearly that the President’s conduct here is illegal. And, it seems to me, I’ve been talking about lawlessness, Laura, on the campaign trail a lot and it’s getting a lot of reaction; you can’t act in a lawless manner as the President of the United States and expect that people are going to follow you. And, not have a sense of the justice that applies to everyone in this country. If the President’s executive orders are illegal, which I believe they are, then they need to be revoked the first day you get into office....
INGRAHAM: So is Marco Rubio’s comment that you can’t immediately move against these executive actions, is this a disqualifier?
CHRISTIE: I don’t know why anyone would want to have someone who is not going to enforce the law as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. You have to enforce the law, and if you believe, as I do, now maybe Marco doesn’t believe that the executive order is illegal, and if he doesn’t he should say that. And, he’s welcome to that opinion, obviously there’s lots of Democrats who would agree with that. But, he needs to say that. [emphases added]
That was a chokeslam, a knockout punch, AND a powerbomb, actually. Just devastating.
This is very, very simple, folks:
1) Illegal immigration is the top issue for Republican voters, and ONLY issue for most Tea Partiers, as evinced by Trumpmania;
2) Rubio is as much on the wrong side of that issue as Jeb Bush, the only difference between them being that Rubio has tried ever since the Gang of Eight debacle to distance himself from it in anticipation of his eventual presidential bid, whereas Jeb complacently doubled down on his amnesty obsession falsely secure in his "shock & awe" fundraising and what he thought was the knowledge that he was a Bush, and Bushes always win the GOP presidential nomination;
3) Due largely to #2, Bush III has imploded, and Rubio is the highest-polling "establishment" candidate, and therefore in the "centrist" Christie's "lane," and the latter's law & order gimmick is made to order for the former's biggest vulnerability - one that Jeb couldn't exploit for laughably obvious reasons.
Oddly, Donald Trump isn't hitting Rubio on his past amnesty leanings - something you'd have thought he'd be doing with a zealot's fervor - opting instead to insult him as (paraphased), "sweats like a pig, smells like a goat, dumber than an empty tortilla, and looks like my left foot". Which leaves me almost relishing the reserve of fat jokes Trump has waiting in the wings should the Big Show succeed in squashing Eddy Guerrero, and the comebacks Double-C will fire back. Finally, a challenger who can match The Donald's big mouth. That really would be entertaining.
And remember, Trump has headlined a Wrestlemania (XXIII). Won his match, too, or at least his surrogate (Bobby Lashley) did. Here's hoping they reinforce the stage at the remaining debates.
UPDATE (11/4): And whaddaya know: a "humanizing" Christie vid with the Jersey Gov discussing drug addiction close to home in parallel, most likely to, looking optimistically ahead, distinguish him in the voting public's collective consciousness from Trump as "more than just a tough guy".
Reportedly, it's gone viral.
Y'see, this is how you "re-boot" a campaign - by not shining a light on your weaknesses by advertising it., but just changing direction, adding strategies and tactics, and so forth. Put the attention on what you're doing and not why you're doing it.
Meanwhile, Jeb! is apologizing....to the French.