THE LID: Rainy Days for the Sunshine Senator

Image: Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senator of Florida Marco Rubio speaks at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines
Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senator of Florida Marco Rubio speaks at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa August 18, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua LottJOSHUA LOTT / Reuters

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By Andrew Rafferty and Carrie Dann

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos…. The Republican Party is deeply split over birthright citizenship, an issue that cuts to the very core of what it means to be an Amer--- OMG EVERYBODY LOOK OVER HERE MARCO RUBIO HIT A KID IN THE FACE WITH A FOOTBALL!

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The senator from the Sunshine State visited the Iowa State Fair on a rainy Tuesday that seemed fitting for his dreary poll numbers in the state. Marco Rubio asked for Iowans’ support in the caucuses and told reporters, “We don't run to finish in second or third place anywhere,” when asked about how competitive he would be in the Hawkeye State.

Rubio is tied for sixth in Iowa, according to a CNN/ORC poll released last week. But we knew Iowa would be a tough lift for Rubio, whose past support for a pathway to citizenship put him at odds with many conservative caucus goers – especially when immigration has become such a big issue during the Summer of Donald Trump. The bigger problem, however, is his stalled poll numbers nationally. A national CNN poll released Tuesday had Rubio at 8%, well behind first place Trump (24%), as well as Bush (13%) and Carson (9%).

Rubio hasn’t made the types of unforced errors that other Republicans have. (Think Bush’s Iraq answer and Walker’s policy flips.) In fact, we and others wrote that he was one of the standouts in the first GOP debate. So, the lack of traction has to be frustrating to Team Rubio. The good news -- it’s early. The not so good news -- both Bush and Carson trump (pun intended) Rubio as top second choice candidates in the CNN poll. That means a Trump implosion won’t automatically catapult him upward.


  • One of us(!) writes that Marco Rubio says that Donald Trump’s immigration plan is unworkable.
  • Our own Mark Murray lays out where most of the GOP field stands on Trump’s call to end birthright citizenship.
  • Scott Walker said on his first day in the White House he’ll send legislation to Congress that will “once and for all repeal Obamacare entirely,” NBC’s Shaq Brewster reports.
  • NBC’s Perry Bacon explains what’s in Walker’s “repeal and replace” health care proposal.
  • Tony Dokoupil writes on Hillary Clinton’s break with the Obama administration over drilling in the Arctic.
  • New Jersey’s Sen. Bob Menendez formally came out against the Iran deal, making him the second Senate Democrat to oppose it, NBC’s Halimah Abdullah writes.


RUBIO: The Associated Press writes that political operatives in Iowa and New Hampshire are puzzled by his early state strategy.

SANDERS: He’s hired three more operatives on his digital team, POLITICO writes.

WALKER: His campaign reportedly screened reporters’ questions on a health care policy conference call.

TRUMP: The New York Times notes that his sister might be an ideal person to defend him against accusations of misogyny, but she has not yet spoken up.


“All I can do is be John Kasich. I like myself."

  • The Ohio governor on how he plans out to stick out at the next debate.


Bush, Fiorina, Kasich, Walker, Jindal and Christie attend an education summit in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

Trump, Bush, and Walker all hold separate events in New Hampshire as well.

Lindsey Graham holds a “No Nukes for Iran” discussion in Ottumwa, Iowa.