January 29, 2016

The fix and verdict is in: Marco Rubio, darling of the GOP establishment, "won" Thursday night's debate.

Let's just say I don't have much faith in these focus groups, and my own impression of Marco Rubio is that you don't get much of an emptier suit than he.

But Fox Insider has a different take:

The participants nearly unanimously agreed that the most powerful and impactful moment of the debate was when Rubio answered Megyn Kelly's tough question on illegal immigration and amnesty.

"We are not going to round up and deport 12 million people, but we're not going to go around handing out citizenship cards either," Rubio said. "There will be a process. We will see what the American people are willing to support. But it will not be unconstitutional executive orders like the ones Barack Obama has forced."

Members of the focus group gave the Florida senator a round of applause, describing him as confident, eloquent, believable, presidential and electable.

In particular, they liked that he mostly refrained from attacking his fellow candidates and instead focused on his positive, aspirational message.

What is this positive, aspirational message they speak of? Excuse me while I spend a few days looking through my DVR for that. All I heard was a lot of talking points and pandering, and I watched the whole damned thing.

Update: Media Matters says Luntz has a serious conflict of interest that Fox helped hide last night:

Luntz also aired two flattering clips of Rubio during the debate, one of which Luntz introduced by saying "watch how well he did on immigration."

A January 2012 Wall Street Journal article reported that Rubio hired Luntz to assist in writing his "100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future," which Luntz and host Megyn Kelly failed to disclose.

But one teacher on Twitter was grateful for Frank's contribution:

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