What Should Have Happened at the End of the Debate…
BRET BAIER: Gentlemen, this is the last question of the night. It has been a long time since our first debate, seven months ago in Cleveland. A lot has transpired since then, obviously, including an RNC pledge that all of you signed agreeing to support the party’s nominee and not to launch an independent run. Tonight, in 30 seconds, can you definitively say you will support the Republican nominee, even if that nominee is Donald J. Trump? Senator Rubio, yes or no?
MARCO RUBIO: No, I could not support Donald Trump.
BRET BAIER: Would you care to elaborate? You have time remaining.
MARCO RUBIO: I can say categorically that if Donald Trump is this party’s nominee, I will actively support either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton for president.
BRET BAIER: (boos and gasps from the audience) Mr. Rubio…(continued booing) Mr. Rubio, I think we’re going to violate our own rules and give you additional time, as I suspect this qualifies as breaking news. Could you expand on what has led you to this decision?
MARCO RUBIO: Certainly. (Turning to Donald Trump) Sir, I think you are dangerous, which by itself is enough to disqualify you from being president. But more than being dangerous, you are thoroughly naive about how the world works, both here and abroad. You suggest solutions to problems that can’t possibly be implemented. You suggest solutions to problems that don’t even exist. You are craven, numbskulled, cretinous and a boor. If you win this party’s nomination, I will support either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, with the understanding that regardless of how much I disagree with them on the issues, neither is fundamentally insane. Good day to you, Sir. I shall have nothing to say to you in future.
Okay, it didn’t happen, but it would have been one of those moments that would have taken Rubio from being a second-rate political hack to someone who historically would be remembered in some future version of Profiles of Courage.