According to post-debate polls, Marco Rubio didn't come out of last week's Donald Trump-dominated Republican debate any stronger, but he did leave aligned more closely than ever with pro-life positions. Rubio told the crowd that he didn't support abortion even in cases of incest and rape, and he's spent the ensuing five days since doubling down on his controversial stance.
In fact, he took to Twitter yesterday with the bizarre tweet you see above. How did we get to the point of a presidential candidate taking the bold stance that humans, in fact, can not become cats? Let's back it up a little bit.
Though Rubio wasn't the only man on stage at the Republican debate to support anti-abortion legislation that includes no exceptions for rape or incest, moderator Megyn Kelly pointed that Rubio had supported legislation with such exceptions before. Rubio clarified that he's in favor of any legislation that lessens abortion, but claimed his personal stance is that abortion should be unavailable to rape and incest victims.
Rubio was then grilled about the question on CNN by Chris Cuomo when he claimed that human life begins at conception because a fertilized human egg cannot turn into a donkey or a cat. That point starts at about 7:45 in the video below.
Hillary Clinton then jumped into the fray. Talking about Donald Trump's perceived misogynistic language during the debate, Clinton then segued into criticizing Rubio.
"When one of their major candidates, a much younger man, the senator from Florida, says there should be no exceptions for rape and incest, that is as offensive and as troubling a comment as you can hear from a major candidate running for the presidency," Clinton said during a stop in New Hampshire. "The language may be more colorful and more offensive, but the thinking, the attitude, toward women is very much the same. It just is delivered in a different package."
Rubio then shot back, calling Clinton's own stance on abortion offensive and extremist.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Here's Rubio's response to Clinton's attack on his abortion views pic.twitter.com/zxFn0BJ7Sj— Tierney Sneed (@Tierney_Megan) August 10, 2015
Some Republican talkers are concerned that Rubio's stance could open him to "war on women" attack ads, but Rubio isn't backing down.
Of course, one has to wonder if Rubio sees political value to taking a strong line on the position. He's currently trending water in the range of fourth to seventh place in most polls, and desperately needs something to differentiate himself from the field. Pro-life positions are, as is known to everyone, certainly winners amongst Republicans. Considering that Trump, the current frontrunner, is only a recent convert to the pro-life movement and supports exceptions for rape, perhaps Rubio sees a chance to present himself in stark contrast to others in the field.
Bizarre, attention-getting tweets seem to be part of the game plan too. Clicking on that cat tweet leads you to a prompt to sign up for Rubio's mailing list.