Is it too late for Nikki Haley to change her endorsement to Ted Cruz?:
Forty-five minutes after Marco Rubio was scheduled to take the stage at a conservative confab here Thursday night, organizers got word from the candidate’s aides that he was canceling his appearance — a perceived snub that set off a late-night war of words between the candidate’s campaign and right-wing rivals accusing him of cowardice.
Rubio was one of three presidential candidates who had accepted invitations to speak at the inaugural Conservative Review Convention — an event hosted by talk radio star Mark Levin and commentator Michelle Malkin.
But the crowd that gathered Thursday at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena — just thirty-six hours before polls were set to open in South Carolina’s high-stakes GOP primary — was overwhelmingly composed of Cruz supporters, while a smaller portion of the audience cheered on Ben Carson.
The contingent of Rubio fans in attendance was virtually invisible. [emphasis added]
So the conclusion here is that Rubio can only play "home" games? "Going on the road" is not an option for him? Or is he still in the fetal position after what Chris Christie did to him a couple of weeks ago?
Apparently Rubes really isn't ready for prime time. And that's what his campaign, and its apologists, are trying frantically to spin clear into a parallel quantum reality:
CR did offer to extend the entire show to accommodate him, but he had other obligations that made that solution unworkable.
So there you have it. Despite the efforts of some to make this something it’s not, Marco Rubio couldn’t make an event because it’s mere days before the SC primary and his schedule ended up causing a delay that caused him to miss it. And this was known well before “five minutes” of his scheduled appearance time.
This is otherwise known as the most common thing to happen, ever.
I don't wish to be unkind to the Florida senator, but let me ask this question: When did his campaign book this Conservative Review convention appearance, particularly vis-a-vie these other "scheduling conflicts"? Which was the chicken and which was the egg? To buy Team Rubio's explanation, one has to conclude that they're incompetent for over-scheduling their candidate, and Rubio was incompetent for hiring them to "handle" him. And what, specifically, were the other scheduled commitments that were more important than not blowing off conservative South Carolina voters a day and a half before the make-or-break primary on which rightwing Dezi's supposed path to the GOP nomination hinges? A family emergency would be understandable, but if that was the case, wouldn't his campaign have mentioned that? So what the hell, Marco?
The only other fathomable conclusion is that Senator Rubio has no "scroat".
Would Ted Cruz have been likely to bring up the "Gang of Eight" issue? Sure he would. But here's what I've never been able to reconcile about Marco Rubio: He's said that he walked away from comprehensive immigration reform because "it could not and cannot pass," which is hiding his amnesty fetish behind political realism. He's also said that Schumer-Rubio was the "best that could be done in a Democrat Senate" but that he was hoping that the GOP House could "improve" the bill, which is nonsensical because any House counter-proposal would have been DOA in the Senate and Rubio would presumably have been intelligent enough to know that, or he wouldn't have joined and lent his Latino face to the amnesty bill in the first place. The "Gang of Eight" bill was always a "take it or leave it" proposition. House Republicans, especially after Tea Partiers picked off then-House Majority Leader and amnesty supporter Eric Cantor, left it. Rubio gambled, and he lost.
So he had two options for last night: Either appear at the Conservative Review convention and passionately defend Schumer-Rubio and take the heat for it - which would have been courageously honest - appear, cut the dissembling crap, and offer up a mea culpa: "I"m sorry. I was wrong. Comprehensive immigration reform was and is a terrible idea, I've learned my lesson, and I will never support it again." Maybe the crowd would buy it, maybe they wouldn't, but it would have been better than his avalanche of excuses.
Instead, he ducked appearing altogether. Which is its own sort of honesty, I suppose. Just not the sort that's going to avert his candidacy's summary burial tomorrow.
Exit questions: Rubio surged four percentage points after the Nikki Haley endorsement; how far does he fall after last night's no-show? And will those votes switch to Cruz, get wasted on Bush or Kasich or Carson....or get vacuumed up by Trump?
UPDATE: Too little, too late.