Morris: Rubio,Fox News Big Losers From New Hampshire
With conservative blogs calling Fox News “the unofficial super PAC of Marco Rubio,” the network may join the Florida senator as one of the big losers Tuesday night.
Trump – who had been battling the network over its biased coverage – not only triumphed, but Fox’s favored candidate came in a disappointing fifth place.
“I am shocked at Fox News,” political strategist Dick Morris told Newsmax TV Tuesday night.
Morris, a frequent past Fox commentator, said he had appeared on the network more than 2,100 times and “nobody ever told me what to say.”
But he has been “appalled at the blatant bias in favor of Rubio” demonstrated by the network in recent months.
It seems like “almost every second they are hyping him, promoting him,” Morris said.
Fox has come under sharp criticism for its after-debate spin discussions, especially its focus groups that have had seemingly ordinary voters strongly favor Rubio.
After the last debate in Iowa, Breitbart reported that “pollster Frank Luntz got significant airtime to direct a post-debate focus group that unsurprisingly was very favorable to Rubio, the GOP establishment pick in the primary race.”
Breitbart said neither Fox nor Luntz disclosed the pollster’s close ties with Rubio.
According to the conservative online news service, Rubio had paid Luntz more than $250,000 for political work completed in Florida.
Morris said Fox has been frequently giving positive air time to Rubio after reporting on Trump, to the detriment of other candidates.
He said Fox has been downplaying Rubio’s lack of experience and his problematic support for the Gang of Eight amnesty bill, which Morris said was the freshman Florida senator’s “singular accomplishment.”
After Rubio’s “Rick Perry moment” – repeating a similar, scripted line four times within 20 minutes – Fox hosts and guests were in overdrive this past weekend and Monday defending the senator as simply being “consistent” and suggesting the repetition of the lines was not unusual.
As for Rubio’s serious loss Tuesday in New Hampshire, Fox was still trumpeting Rubio.
Fox’s top gun commentator Charles Krauthammer was quick to place blame for Rubio’s dismal showing on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Krauthammer said Christie had engaged in a political “hit” on Rubio, and said his debate attacks were tantamount to a “suicide attack” that primarily benefited Donald Trump.
Morris said that the “rumor” in political circles is that Rupert Murdoch, who controls the network’s parent company 21st Century Fox, is backing Rubio’s candidacy. Meanwhile Roger Ailes, the long-time chairman of the network, Morris said, has been favorably disposed toward Trump.