Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaign has allegedly lost the support of Fox News chief Roger Ailes.
Sources within Fox told New York Magazine that Rubio’s performance on Super Tuesday – Minnesota was his only win – was the final straw for a network that has been editorially friendly to his cause. Republican front-runner Donald Trump took Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts and Vermont.
“We’re finished with Rubio. We can’t do the Rubio thing anymore,” Ailes allegedly said, three sources told the magazine on Wednesday.
The sources said Ailes also soured on Rubio after the New York Times revealed the two held a secret meeting in 2013 over the “Gang of 8” immigration bill. Ailes was allegedly convinced to support the proposed legislation, which has become a political albatross around Rubio’s neck ever since.
“Roger hates seeing his name in print,” an Ailes associate told the magazine. “He was appalled the dinner was reported.”
New York Magazine went on to note that Fox pundits such as Stephen Hayes and Charles Krauthammer have given the senator glowing coverage. Bill Sammon, Fox’s Washington managing editor, also happens to be the father of Rubio’s communications director, Brooke Sammon.
Signs of the tension between Rubio’s camp and Fox boiled over on social media Wednesday.
“Rubio World has a new enemy: Sean Hannity. Staffer: ‘What a f—ing a—-le. He lets Trump trash everyone for months. But Marco gives Donald a taste of his own medicine and Hannity gets all offended. ‘He’s a p—y and a sellout.’ Boy, they’re angry,” Politico’s Marc Caputo tweeted Tuesday.
Hannity responded, “Hey Marc,@marcorubio is now pawn for establishment. Sad to me. That’s not man I knew. Glad Politico lets u [sic] use such big words that accurately describes yourself a—-le. And [you are] ‘impartial’ to politics.”
Nonetheless, Rubio appeared as a guest on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” Wednesday evening.
New York Magazine’s sources will be tested Thursday night during the next Republican debate. Fox’s Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier and Chris Wallace will square off with Trump, Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 9 p.m. EST. in Detroit Michigan.
Republican primary voters in the Great Lakes State will head to the polls March 8, followed by Florida and Ohio on March 15.
Update: Michael Clemente, executive vice president at Fox News, released the following statement on Thursday in regards to New York Magazine’s story.
“Consistent with the golden standard of Shermanonymous’ ‘reporting’ on FOX News and Roger Ailes, there is no credence to this narrative or the many other works of fiction he’s repeatedly been proven wrong on Mediaite. Lacking any on-the-record sources, and desperate for attention, his stories are full of made-up quotes, but New York magazine doesn’t seem to care about his overwhelming lack of credibility, journalistic integrity and deeply partisan agenda.”