I mean, objectively speaking, let's be honest: Marco Rubio no longer holds the dubious title of 'major candidate with worst 2016 debate performance.' Even if you like Donald Trump, if you have any honesty in your heart at ALL then you have to admit that he wasn't ready for the debate last night, got caught in whopper after whopper, led with his chin when being attacked by either Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz, and - this is the best part - went on CNN TWICE afterward to tell America that he hires immigrants for his hotels because they do the jobs that Americans just won't do.
Now, I'm not here to tell you that Donald Trump will lose the nomination. I will say, however, that as a matter of objective reality Trump did worse last night then Marco Rubio did in the last debate before New Hampshire (and everybody now concedes that that debate hurt Marco Rubio in New Hampshire, much as I am personally loathe to admit it). If Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or both follow this up with an aggressive, relentless, five-day media campaign, the narrative will be different next Wednesday. Debates still matter, folks. And the campaigns have lots and lots and lots of footage from last night to mine.
PS: I'm sure that Donald Trump is saying that he won that debate. He also said that he wasn't for universal health care, and then the idiot doubled down when Ted Cruz pressed him on this.
— Right Scoop (@trscoop) February 26, 2016
The speed with which this came out tells us two things: one, the Cruz campaign was simply waiting for the appropriate footage to drop this ad. Two, Donald Trump is predictable, can't remember what he said, and easily goaded. Actually, that leads to a third point: in a general election, he would be slaughtered. Because if Trump isn't tough enough to sail through these primaries without gobbling, Donald Trump will sublime in the blast furnace of a general election. I mean, the Democrats won't care if Republican voters hate them afterwards. In fact, they'd consider it a fun perk of the job.