By Glenn Thrush (Politico) –
BEDFORD, N.H. — Marco Rubio isn’t really a robot — he isn’t dumb or teleprompter-tied — but he is a calculating and cautious candidate, and in the mean, fast-moving 2016 primary, caution can sometimes kill.
Gloss, discipline, natural speaking talent and planning have been the hallmarks of Rubio’s methodical presidential campaign, positioning him for a surprise third-place win in Iowa and a possible surge here on Tuesday. Rubio knows his path to his party’s nomination is narrow — a needle-thread between the tea party and establishment wings of a divided GOP — but he’s also a fundamentally risk-averse politician who often seeks the safety of a script, as his mechanical recitation of the same anti-Obama talking points four times at the final debate before the primary here painfully revealed.
“It was bizarre, man; why did he keep saying the same thing over and over and over?” said a GOP operative who is close to Rubio’s Washington-based campaign team. “It was like looking at your iPhone and the video freezes and says it’s buffering. Weird.”
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