Every politician worth his salt has “canned” lines, ready to serve up at a moment’s questioning. Get asked the same questions by constituents and interviewers from townhall to townhall and from interview to interview, giving numerous speeches along the campaign trail, and you’re bound to have stock answers.
Let me be clear, this includes President Obama.
Christie’s attack on Rubio is an illusion on substance, and the kind of attack that might stigmatize Rubio as the media loves to hitch up a narrative and join bandwagons.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pummeled Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for being overly scripted during the New Hampshire debate, pouncing when Rubio, for the third time, repeated his stock line that President “Obama knows exactly what he is doing” by moving the country to the left. “There it is, there it is,” Christie declared. “The memorized 25-second speech. There it is, everybody!”
It’s the moment everyone is talking about. But there is one small problem. While Christie attacked Rubio for using memorized, scripted lines, the governor used his own memorized, scripted lines during the very same debate.
When asked about the problem of drug addiction in New Hampshire, Christie gave an impassioned answer: “I’m pro-life,” he declared, “and I’m pro-life not just for the nine months in the womb, I’m pro-life for when they get out and it’s a lot more complicated. Sixteen-year-old, heroin-addicted drug girl on the floor of the county lockup, I’m pro-life for her life. . . . Every one of those lives is an individual gift from God.”
It was a moving statement — and it was taken almost verbatim from a speech he gave in October at Shooter’s Tavern in Belmont, N.H. “I’m pro-life,” Christie said back then, “and I think that if you’re pro-life, you’ve got to be pro-life for the whole life, not just for the nine months they’re in the womb. . . . But when they get out, that’s when it gets tough. The 16-year-old girl on the floor of the county lockup addicted to heroin, I’m pro-life for her, too. Her life is just as much a precious gift from God as the one in the womb.”
There it is, everybody: Rubio was not the only candidate on the debate stage with a “canned speech that he’s memorized.”
Christie has also used some version of the same line contrasting his executive experience with Rubio’s alleged inexperience as a legislator in each of the past four debates.