BEDFORD, N.H. — Marco Rubio’s surprisingly strong showing in the Iowa caucuses reshuffled the already intense competition here in New Hampshire among the Republican establishment candidates, leading some to sharpen their attacks on the freshman senator from Florida ahead of next week’s primary.
The sense of urgency was on display here Tuesday as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie belittled Rubio’s toughness, his intelligence and even his manhood.
“Maybe he’ll do more than 40 minutes on a little stage telling everybody his canned speech that he’s memorized,” Christie said to reporters, mocking Rubio’s tightly controlled campaign appearances. “This isn’t a student council election, everybody. This is an election for president of the United States. Let’s get the boy in the bubble out of the bubble.”
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, meanwhile, expanded his line of attacks beyond Donald Trump to include Rubio and Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), the winner of Monday night’s Iowa contest. Bush said at a town hall meeting in Rindge that Rubio, 44, and Cruz, 45, did not have the “life experience” to be president and questioned whether either had ever sacrificed his personal ambition for the public good.