It may not be Facebook official, but it would appear Marco Rubio’s relationship with Fox News is coming to an end. Several news sources reported this week that the former conservative media golden boy and “donor class darling” is off Fox News’ A-list, potentially making way for Donald Trump.
New York Magazine reports:
According to three Fox sources, Fox chief Roger Ailes has told people he’s lost confidence in Rubio’s ability to win. “We’re finished with Rubio,” Ailes recently told a Fox host. “We can’t do the Rubio thing anymore.”
Ailes was already concerned about Rubio’s lackluster performance in GOP primaries and caucuses, winning only one contest among the 15 that have been held. But the more proximate cause for the flip was an embarrassing New York Times article revealing that Rubio and Ailes had a secret dinner meeting in 2013 during which the Florida senator successfully lobbied the Fox News chief to throw his support behind the “Gang of 8” comprehensive immigration-reform bill. “Roger hates seeing his name in print,” a longtime Ailes associate told me. “He was appalled the dinner was reported,” the source said.
This development might explain why Rubio was the target of harsh criticism from Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday, as Politico points out:
Hannity said Rubio’s onslaught is “turning into a suicide mission.” He speculated Rubio “is being fed this” and was “probably promised a lot of money” to go after Trump this way and slammed a pro-Rubio super PAC for running an ad on Trump’s refusal to disavow the Ku Klux Klan.
“Maybe it’s my conspiratorial mind,” Hannity began. “I think this is orchestrated, well-funded and well organized.”
As for Trump, Hannity lavished praise on the billionaire real estate showman for his Super Tuesday victory speech.
“Donald Trump showed a side of himself last night — I’m speaking objectively here. I’m not taking sides in this,” Hannity said. “But Donald Trump showed a side of him that was very different last night. You could even use the word ‘presidential’ . . . .”
If Trump continues to dominate the Republican primary, expect Fox News to keep using that word — a lot.
Brittany Klein is the co-author of Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family ‘Equality’ and serves on the board and academic council of the International Children’s Rights Institute.