Jonathan Chait

Conservative Journalists Fight For Marco Rubio's Love

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Conservative talk show host Mark Levin and The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes are waging an utterly hysterical skirmish over which one loves, and is loved by, Marco Rubio more. Levin argues that he's the real Rubio supporter:

Steve Hayes conveniently ignores two things.  First, when did the Weekly Standard endorse Rubio? Second, the first nationally syndicated talk show to endorse Rubio was ... mine.

Au contraire, replies Hayes -- the Standard has been slavishly supporting Rubio from the beginning:

THE WEEKLY STANDARD doesn’t endorse candidates. The magazine has never done so in its fifteen-year history.

But TWS has covered Rubio – quite a bit.

Rubio formally announced his candidacy on May 5, 2009. Three days later, on May 8, TWS reporter John McCormack wrote an article about the race that pointed out many reasons why conservatives ought to prefer Rubio to Crist. McCormack wrote that Rubio is "a dynamic speaker with an appealing biography and a deeply held conservative philosophy.” He noted that students who attended a Rubio event were “wowed” by his speech, with one saying: “I think we just saw the future president of the United States.” McCormack quoted a former editorial board member of the Miami Herald, saying Rubio is a “rising star” and “very impressive.”

The recounting of the Standard's sycophantic relationship with goes on at considerable length. Hayes concludes by sticking in the dagger:

In many hours of discussions with Rubio over the past five weeks, we spent a lot of time talking about how and why he won this election. Not surprisingly, he was humble about his own contributions and eager to share credit with others. I reported some of the folks he mentioned in my article: Rubio talked at some length about Jim DeMint and praised a cover story in National Review from August 2009. ...

 

My reason for leaving Levin out is much simpler: In our many hours of casual conversation and sit-down interviews, Marco Rubio never mentioned him.

Ooh, you hear that Levin? He didn't even mention you. In the hours and hours I got to talk to him, just the two of us. He's so not into you. He probably doesn't even know who you are. So just back off and leave me and Marco Rubio.

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