US POLITICS

Robots Are Following Marco Rubio Around New Hampshire

Cardboard-clad rabble-rousers followed the beleaguered candidate wherever he went

US POLITICS
Marco Rubio. — REUTERS
Feb 09, 2016 at 5:12 PM ET

Marco Rubio is being followed around New Hampshire by a bunch of robots. The candidate, who’s been mocked over the last week for nervously repeating identical lines in speeches, is in the state making a final push as voters head to the primary polls—and some trolls came too.

Members of the progressive research organization American Bridge dressed up as cardboard robots, complete with head-colanders, and trailed the Rubio campaign on Tuesday. After a series of stumbles in Saturday’s debate and again Monday night, the “Rubio is a robot” jokes started flying online. These guys just took it up a notch.

“We have targeted Rubio because of the meltdown he’s having—don’t worry, we dislike the other Republicans plenty, but they haven’t done their best impression of a skipping record this week,” Ben Ray, American Bridge’s Communication Director, said in an email. “Couldn’t resistor the chance to megahertz him while he was down!” 

Things got a bit rough for some of the bots: American Bridge Vice President Eddie Vale claimed he was pushed over by Rubio supporters during the stunt. Ray assured, however, “Eddie and Kevin [our other robot] got out of the rock ’em sock ’em session without getting hurt.”

During Saturday’s debates, Rubio repeated himself four times, riffing on slightly different versions of this line: “And let’s dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.”

On February 8, Rubio again short-circuited, this time in Nashua, New Hampshire, during a speech to supporters.

After a stronger-than-expected showing in Iowa, Rubio came into New Hampshire with high hopes—but it remains to be seen how these recent stutters will impact his chances.