Making yourself look weak and spineless to every side of one of the most contentious policy debates in America today probably isn’t the best strategy for a presidential hopeful, but that didn’t stop Marco Rubio from serving himself up for an endless feast of dunks tonight. The Republican Senator from Florida appeared alongside his fellow Florida Congressmen Senator Bill Nelson and Representative Ted Deutch (both Democrats) at a CNN town hall about the gun debate tonight. All three took questions from survivors and the parents of victims of last week’s school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and, uh, it didn’t go so well for Rubio. Check out these videos from CNN, and expect way more in-depth analysis from Paste’s politics team soon:
Here’s Fred Guttenberg, who lost his daughter in the Parkland shooting, telling Rubio that his response to the shooting has been “pathetically weak”:
Here’s Cameron Kasky, a Stoneman Douglas student and survivor of the shooting, asking Rubio if he’ll still accept donations from the NRA:
Basically the teenagers and bereaved asked the hard questions that the news media usually doesn’t ask, and every step of the way an NHL arena full of voters and citizens jeered Rubio and let him know exactly how disrespectful and insufficient his mealy-mouthed responses were. The senator tried to play both sides tonight, telling the pro-gun control crowd at the town hall that he sympathized with them and would support certain measures that restricted some legal access to specific guns, while refusing to cast aside the NRA, which has spent over $3 million on Rubio’s various candidacies over the last decade. Rubio tried to save face in front of his constituents, while refusing to commit to any legitimate action about the gun crisis facing America. In the process he pleased absolutely nobody, and reinforced the persistent belief that he’s about as spineless and gelatinous as politicians get. Good job, Marco!
But hey: we’re here to talk about comedy, not politics. That was all just much-needed backstory. Rubio, the self-own king, is already a magnet for the sharpest and most incisive of Twitter critics, and tonight did not disappoint. Here are the funniest tweets from Rubio’s richly deserved social media shredding tonight, each one highlighting the sheer cringeworthiness of Rubio’s self-defeating performance.