Marco Rubio defends his 'robotic' moment: 'I would pay them to keep running that clip'

Screen Shot 2016 02 07 at 11.13.19 AMScreenshot/ABCMarco Rubio on ABC’s ‘This Week’

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) defended the series in Saturday night’s GOP debate during which he repeated the same statement attacking President Barack Obama almost verbatim four times, even as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) called him out for repeating a “memorized, 25-second speech.”

On ABC’s “This Week,” Rubio told host George Stephanopoulos that he hopes the clip of what some have called “robotic” keeps getting airtime.

“Actually, I would pay them to keep running that clip, because that’s what I believe — passionately,” he said. “It’s one of the reasons why I’m not running for reelection to the Senate and I’m running for president.”

Stephanopoulos then brought up the criticism directed at Rubio for repeating the same statement, even as Christie dinged him for being overly scripted.

“I’m going to keep saying it because it’s true,” he said. “It is at the core of our campaign. … It’s what I believe and what I’m going to continue to say.”

Here was the exchange between Rubio and Christie that has earned Rubio much criticism.

“Let’s dispel with his fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing,” Rubio said. “He knows exactly what he’s doing. He is trying to change this country.”

“You see everybody, I want the people at home to think about this,” Christie said. “That’s what Washington, DC, does: The drive-by shot at the beginning with incorrect and incomplete information (a reference to an earlier attack from Rubio on New Jersey’s credit rating). And then the memorized, 25-second speech that is exactly what his advisers gave him.”

“Here’s the bottom line: This notion that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing is just not true,” Rubio said. “He knows exactly what he’s doing.”

“There it is!” Christie said. “There it is! The memorized 25-second speech.”

Within minutes, rival campaigns capitalised. A brutal super-cut video of Rubio repeating the line four times began circulating online, and a “Marco Rubio Glitch” Twitter account also sprang up, firing off different versions of the “Obama knows exactly what he’s doing” line. 

Watch Rubio’s ‘This Week’ interview below:

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