ABC’s “This Week” featured the two GOP New Hampshire front runners, Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (in an exclusive interview), jockeying for position ahead of the Tuesday vote.
ABC, which hosted Saturday night’s final GOP debate before the New Hampshire primary, promised coverage centered on the election.
Trump led off, and clearly, as on “Face the Nation,” had Jeb Bush on the brain.
During the debate, Bush criticized Trump for using eminent domain in Atlantic City in an unsuccessful attempt to seize an elderly woman’s property for a limousine parking lot. Trump defended it as a justifiable use of the process.
“I let the court stand,” Trump said. “We could have gone a different way” and appealed.
Turning to Bush, who in many polls is barely in the top 5, Trump said, “Jeb Bush doesn’t understand what eminent domain means.” He cided the Bush family using “private eminent domain” to secure land for the Texas Rangers stadium.
When show host George Stephanopoulos noted that would have been George H.W. Bush, Trump said that didn’t matter … the equivalent of conflating Donald’s actions with those of his own father years ago.
Trump recycled his claims about the stacked crowd at the Saint Anselm College debate, saying that it “shows how broken the system is” and that the Trump campaign was given 20 tickets.
“Ninety percent gave to various candidates, most to Bush,” Trump said.
Trump cited Rubio, saying, “Why does nobody get any response but Bush” during the debate as proof of his claim.
Rubio, second in most recent New Hamshire polls, escaped any real critique from Trump, who simply said that Florida’s junior senator had a “rough night.”
Rubio had comments more pointed related to Trump, whom he said is “running out of time” to learn foreign policy.
In a previous debate, Rubio said, Trump “didn’t know what the nuclear triad was” and on Saturday while talking North Korea, “the most [Trump] could say was something about China and leverage.”
Rubio also had to talk abortion, in response to a debate exchange.
“Abortion is a human rights issue,” Rubio said. “If Jeb wants to make that political, that’s his right.”
Rubio held to his personal position that an “unborn child has the right to live, irrespective of the circumstances under which the child is conceived,” an umbrella that precludes “crisis pregnancy” scenarios.
Meanwhile, Rubio had an interesting “behind the curtain” style defense of his canned talking points about Barack Obama, which found the senator smacked repeatedly by Chris Christie Saturday night.
“We raised more money last night in the first hour of that debate than any other debate,” Rubio said at the open, and at the close, of that interview.
In a later segment, Hillary Clinton said it’s “sad what Senator Rubio has become in the course of this campaign,” saying he’s “diving as far right as he can.”