On Saturday night, Marco Rubio quickly became a study in what not to do.
In four minutes, Rubio repeated the same answer (almost word-for-word) THREE times. Not only did he make it obvious that the line was prepared and rehearsed, but he played into the narrative that Chris Christie had developed for him of “the memorized 25-second speech.”
True. DMG recommends you prepare talking points for every interview so you can block and bridge to each regardless of the question. But the pivot should always be natural. If you expose the technique, you fail to deliver. It’s a fine line between preparation and canned response. But it’s also possible to walk it. So, what could Rubio have done?
Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.
Christie’s attack: “I like Marco Rubio, and he’s a smart person and a good guy, but he simply does not have the experience to be president of the United States and make these decisions…”
Rubio’s B²: “Well, I think the experience is not just what you did, but how it worked out. Under Chris Christie’s governorship of New Jersey, they’ve been downgraded nine times in their credit rating… But I would add this. Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing…”
Christie’s continued attack: “There it is. There it is. The memorized 25-second speech.”
Rubio: “<address the attack and call out its inaccuracy instead of repeating the Obama talking point>.”
You can B² (block and bridge) an attack ONCE. And only once. If the attack comes back at you a second time, you must respond to it. In politics, the name of the game is authenticity, which can translate to thinking on your feet mid-attack. Continually dodging an attack implies the opposite. If Rubio had followed DMG’s rules, headlines the next day may have told a different story.