Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Bad-boy ex-basketball star Dennis Rodman tweeted a semi-profane sentiment at Ted Cruz regarding the hit show The Apprentice on Friday, which you probably didn’t even hear about because literally everything that happened on the campaign trail today was way more ridiculous than that.
‘16 from 30,000
Of all the candidates that have come and gone this presidential cycle, Chris Christie may have had the biggest impact even before Friday. After all, he was the one responsible for Marco Rubio’s worst moment of the campaign during the final debate before the New Hampshire primary. And on Friday, he delivered another blow to the Florida senator by endorsing Donald Trump. It undercut a news cycle that previously was focused on his strong debate performance Thursday night and the Trump-esque mocking he delivered the GOP front-runner at a rally this morning. But yet again, the New Jersey governor took Rubio out at the knees with his surprise endorsement.
It is just the latest example of Trump’s ability to take over the news cycle at any moment. And he demonstrated a certain level of political savvy by rolling out the news when he did. More importantly though, it’s further proof that some of the GOP establishment is willing to do what previously seemed inconceivable -- support Trump as the GOP nominee. It started earlier this week with some members of the House, and now one of the party’s best known tough-talkers is backing the candidate whose personality was once dismissed as too big to win.
POPPING ON NBC POLITICS
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie offered up the latest twist of the Republican presidential primary when he endorsed Donald Trump on Friday, one of us wrote.
GOP reactions to the news were split.
Donald Trump remains the leader of the Republican presidential race, getting support of 39 percent of GOP voters after his three-straight victories in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, according to the latest online NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll.
Candidates fanned out to campaign in the Super Tuesday states after last night’s slugfest.
Watch: Trump tosses a water bottle around mocking Marco Rubio.
And in today’s First Read: Rubio seized the moment at last night’s debate, but was it too late?
FOR THE RECORD…
- Former NBA player Dennis Rodman responding to Ted Cruz bringing up his failed appearance on Celebrity Apprentice. (Rodman was actually fired on the show twice.)
Saturday -- the Democratic primary in South Carolina. Hillary Clinton makes a stop in Alabama before heading to S.C., and Bernie Sanders will spent election night in Minnesota.
Donald Trump is in Arkansas and Tennessee on Saturday. Marco Rubio is in Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas