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Chris Christie dealt the resurgent Marco Rubio a huge blow with this drop-the-mic attack

The no-nonsense New Jersey governor went on the attack over Rubio’s memorised speeches.

MARCO RUBIO – THE Republican surging with what political operatives often characterise as ‘the big mo’ wilted under sustained attack in the latest debate last night.

The 44-year-old Florida senator came a close third in Iowa, and polls suggest he has the best chance of winning the White House for the Republicans.

The most sustained attack on his qualifications came from New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who said that Rubio had never been involved in any “consequential decision where you had to be held accountable”.

He went on to deliver this knockout line:

Marco, the thing is this. When you’re president of the United States… the memorised 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn’t solve one problem for one person.

rub1

The senator was mocked for repeating the same rehearsed line over and over again — doing exactly what Christie criticised him for.

“Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing,” Rubio said on a loop.

Christie interjected again:

There it is: The memorised 25-second speech

Source: Republican Presidential Debate/YouTube

‘Leadership’

The usually-poised Rubio was booed for accusing the governor of dragging his feet in leaving the campaign trail when his state was hit by a snowstorm last month.

“They had to shame you into going back. You stayed there for 36 hours and then he left and came back,” Rubio said.

Meanwhile former Florida governor Bush – whose dream of following his father and brother into the White House will likely live or die after next Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary – stepped up his game, questioning Rubio’s experience and butting heads with Trump.

“Leadership. You learn this, you learn it by doing it,” he declared.

It’s not something that you just go up, and on the job do it.

In New Hampshire, Trump commands 35% of support among likely Republican voters, a 21-point lead over closest rival Rubio, according to the latest 7News/University of Massachusetts Lowell poll.

Texas Senator Cruz, who won the Iowa caucus but is expected to do less well in New Hampshire, has 13%.

With 9% undecided, there is everything to play for.

© AFP 2016 with reporting from Daragh Brophy. 

Read: The intros at last night’s Republican debate turned into an awkwardly hilarious traffic jam

Read: Three weather warnings issued for the early hours as Storm Imogen hits 

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