Marco Rubio supporters appeared to get physical with a protester dressed as a robot in New Hampshire on Tuesday.
In a video circulated by Americans United for Change, a progressive organization, Rubio supporters in New Hampshire grabbed and pushed a man in a robot costume. The person was holding a sign that said “#RobotRubio” and can be heard saying, “Why do you have your hands on me?”
Rubio supporters appeared to block the protester with signs, pushing him back from a large group of supporters.
Rubio is already on skating on thin ice in New Hampshire, particularly after his high-profile exchange with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during Saturday’s GOP debate.
During the debate, Rubio repeated the talking point, “Barack Obama is undertaking an effort to change this country, to make America more like the rest of the world,” four times. The repetition gave further weight to a frequent criticism of Florida’s junior senator over his seeming lack of experience and preparation for a national campaign. Christie followed up with several attacks on Rubio’s repetition, calling the Obama line a “memorized 25-second speech.”
“Marco, the thing is this: When you’re president of the United States, when you’re a governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn’t solve one problem for one person,” Christie said.
The Rubio-Christie exchange inspired a trending Twitter #RubioRobot hashtag, only days before the critical first votes in New Hampshire.
Entering into the primary, FiveThirtyEight reports that Rubio was facing a 42 percent chance of ending up behind Donald Trump, who has a 77 percent chance of finishing first Tuesday night. Rubio now has a 58 percent chance of finishing third or below.
With a combination of Christie blasting Rubio’s canned responses, and the emergence of this new video showing a scuffle with protesters, chances of Rubio finishing third or worse in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary might be greater than previously thought.