Presidential insults, derided by Jeb Bush, have become the new art form. Marco Rubio, with his continued participation in the Republican race at stake, has taken to imitating a distorted caricature of Donald Trump, talking about his opponent wetting his pants and other sundry statements of similar ilk.
This tactic will never work. First of all, Rubio is not Donald Trump and doesn’t know how to concoct an insult. Second, he’s intruding into Mr. Trump’s area of expertise and will never beat him at his own game. And finally, Mr. Rubio’s attacks lack authenticity because they have been launched in desperation after everything else has been tried.
There’s a logic to Donald Trump’s technique. As long as you’re nice to him, he reciprocates the gesture. It’s only when you cross the line from policy into ad hominem attacks that he counter punches. And wow, how did he respond to Marco Rubio’s transgressions.
Taking a plastic bottled water container, Mr. Trump imitated Mr. Rubio’s worst moment, when Marco was giving the Republican reply to the State of the Union address. All of a sudden, in the middle of the speech, he reached out for some water off camera. Interrupting his speech to do so made him a laughingstock of the political world.
Anyway, Mr. Trump grabs the bottle, makes an exaggerated play of being thirsty and then imitates Mr. Rubio, caressing the bottle and throwing some water around. You’ve got to check out the clip, it’s hysterical.
Rubio was somehow convinced by his advisers to go negative with insults. Such a strategy may have unintended consequences as Ted Cruz tries to jujitsu the clash between his other two opponents. I don’t know how Rubio goes any lower — he’s losing his home state of Florida by 20 points.
Can’t wait to see what Trump does next.