PLAYBOOK FACTS OF LIFE – Rubio’s revenge: One of the wisest Republicans in the land told us two weeks ago the only way to beat Trump is to bully the bully, mock the mocker, punch the puncher. Rubio, the supposed robot who mechanically ducked any conflict with Trump, bullied, mocked and punched his way to a two-person race. And he did it with a smile, self-confidence and surprise.
Rubio advisers telegraphed he would play it safe. ’Twas a brilliant lie. Rubio doesn’t really improvise, as anyone who really knows him will tell you. He premeditates and he premeditated his finest debate performance, one that has the Trump-haters swooning. Cruz wanted to do what Rubio did, but looked like a scold instead of happy warrior.
BUT, BUT, BUT ... Acing one test doesn’t get you an “A” in delegate math. A well-wired Republican friend of Playbook emails: “D.C. is going to celebrate because the candidates finally started swinging at Trump, which is long overdue. But I think D.C. and the anti-Trump crowd are letting their emotions cloud better judgment on the net effect. Perhaps Marco helped himself in minimizing Cruz, but remember the same crowd said that Bush cleaned Trump’s clock a few weeks ago, too.”
TEAM RUBIO’s favorite debate pic, via @AlexConant http://bit.ly/1R6E2TvThe Rubio Super PAC, Conservative Solutions, follows up: