It’s a bunch of useless drama, but damn if it wasn’t entertaining. Ben Howe has a post detailing it all here at RedState.
He can’t afford to have news of him skipping two major gatherings of conservatives in a row, especially when so many weren’t sure how to feel about the first one which I reported on last week. He seemed to have genuine scheduling difficulties that caused him to miss the Conservative Review gathering in South Carolina, but to turn around a few days later and have reports that he’s also skipping CPAC? It doesn’t look good.
Fair or not the optics are that he is scared to talk to conservatives.
The source of the news that Senator Rubio would not be attending is not one that I often look to for reliability anymore. So I reached out to the ACU (the governing board for CPAC) to confirm the statement that Breitbart reporter Matt Boyle had quoted.
So case closed? Rubio is making a huge error? Not so fast. Alex Conant, Director of Communications for the Rubio campaign, told RedState that the campaign never indicated it would not come to CPAC, only that they could not confirm Rubio’s schedule YET. Which is a pretty important distinction which is missing from Boyle’s report. In light of this, I reached out to the ACU via DM on twitter for clarification, asking if Rubio’s camp had said they would not be attending or if they had simply said they could not yetconfirm. However, on twitter at least, they are defending their quote in a somewhat ambiguous way.
I’m not terribly happy that the ACU is trying to smear Rubio as being afraid of talking to conservatives. I’m even less thrilled that they ran to Breitbart.com to whine and moan about it. But, perhaps the most offensive thing is that they did not even ask me.