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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Is Marco Rubio 'scripted' or just passionate?



Media narratives help shape campaigns and Marco Rubio is experiencing the upside and the down.

His strong finish in Iowa was fueled in part by a perception that he had momentum, a line pushed repeatedly by his campaign that made its way into news reports. It wasn’t fiction. Rubio was gaining.

But perceptions matter, and it helped him. Just look at the coverage he got for his Obama-like victory speech on caucus night.

The downside is the growing talk of how scripted and careful Rubio appears on the campaign trail. His stump speech is ultra-polished (as Patricia Mazzei points out today) and the more reporters see it, the more that becomes part of the conversation.

Chris Christie is doing his part.

“It’s time for the boy in the bubble to come out of the bubble and answer these questions and tell us things rather than just continue to give the same speech he’s been giving for the last six years,” Christie said Thursday on Morning Joe. “Fine speech, great speech. But it’s time to come up with something new to say.”

Rubio, always prepared, has turned the scripted stuff into an sign of conviction. “That’s what I believe,” he told Megyn Kelly on Tuesday. “When you’re running a campaign, you’re driving a message. Why would I tell people anything other than what I believe passionately?”

[Last modified: Thursday, February 4, 2016 9:56am]


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