Fox News’ Anti-Rubio Campaign: Roger Ailes Reportedly Orders Staff To Snub Presidential Hopeful

Fox News Marco Rubio

Undoubtedly, Senator Marco Rubio needs a Dream Team show of support for the 2016 elections. Rumors surfaced that Senator Rubio allegedly may have to find another media endorsement other than Fox News Channel’s CEO.

Reportedly, Fox head, Roger Ailes, instructed staff and contributors to snub the Florida lawmaker for two reasons — one logical, the other apparently personal, this according to a report by New York Mag. Unconfirmed sources say that Ailes was overhead issuing an instruction to put an end to selective coverage for Sen. Rubio.

“We’re finished with Rubio…. We can’t do the Rubio thing anymore.”

The Week writer Gabriel Sherman, the author of New York Times Bestseller The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News–and Divided a Country, said three Fox insiders dropped the bombshell about Ailes issuing the directive to assuage Rubio coverage.

Unnamed Fox sources say Ailes lessened his support for Rubio after the senator’s disappointing showing in all but one of 15 primaries and caucuses. Ailes is apparently thinking pragmatically at this point and realizes that the Florida lawmaker has an outside chance of winning the party’s nomination at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

The other reason Fox pared support for Rubio reportedly has to do with a closed-door meeting in 2013. Then, Ailes and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers met to chat secretly about immigration reform.

Rubio led the group of senators — four Republicans and Democratic apiece — who authored the so-called “Gang of Eight” bill. The group proposed a pathway to citizenship (Amnesty) for illegal immigrants, something establishment Republicans don’t support. The measure didn’t pass, but not before Rubio convinced Ailes to support the bill.

RedState suggests that Rubio was the architect of the controversial immigration bill that eventually led to his diminished favor. Presidential candidates like Texas Senator Ted Cruz took his colleague to task, and pundits agree that Rubio’s stance on the bill may be an Achilles heel with his campaign.

“When one reads the details of the selling of the Gang of Eight bill, it is truly amazing that we were never saddled with that monstrosity. It is also clear that Rubio was not some reluctant partner who was sweet-talked into becoming part of the process. He was an active participant and very active to promoting the bill, behind the scenes, to try to convince major conservative media figures to no oppose the bill. In short, Rubio’s involvement in the Gang of Eight was very, very much like his record on immigration in Florida and very, very unlike the stance he has taken since he announced his bid for the presidency.”

Fox’s Ailes agreed at the time to help propel the bill and directed the network to ease up on pushback during news coverage. However, the private meeting leaked and details were published in a New York Times article.

The GOP shot back in a strong rebuke over Rubio’s stance. Meanwhile, Ailes, who detests media coverage of his personal dealings, changed direction on his support for the potential commander-in-chief as Mag wrote.

New York Times weighed in on the impact to Rubio and the legislators who supported the bill.

“It is a history that Mr. Rubio is not eager to highlight as he takes on Donald J. Trump, his rival for the Republican presidential nomination, who has made his vow to crack down on illegal immigration a centerpiece of his campaign.

“Those discussions of just a few years ago now seem of a distant era, when, after the re-election of President Obama, momentum was building to overhaul the nation’s immigration system.”

Sources close to Ailes said he and the network are now searching for another candidate to support for the White House. Despite Rubio’s lackluster campaign and the fallout from the NY Times article, Fox News didn’t totally shun Rubio for his lackluster campaign; he’s appeared in several segments since the rumor surfaced.

Update: Michael Clemente, executive vice president of Fox News, responded to the New York Mag article. In denying merits of the article, he said, “there is no credence to this narrative.”

[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]