With the polls finally open, the Rubio Robots are likely to be the last semi-professional trolls of the New Hampshire primary.
for their ilk. In 2016, the old standbys — the giant chicken asking why a candidate won't agree to a debate, the giant dolphin making accusations of flip-flopping because, you know, "Flipper" — were left in the costume shop. This was the year of American Bridge's robot army, of exorcists trying to purge demons from Ted Cruz, of men trying to pose as silent Canadians.
The bros who got bored by Donald Trump
Where? Windham, at a Trump speech
When? Jan. 11
What? The Good Liars, two comedians, dressed up as passionate Trump fans in Make America Great Again caps, worked their way into his event. They loudly cheered the start of Trump's remarks — "Build that wall! Build that wall!" — but as the speech dragged on, they loudly complained that he wasn't telling enough jokes, and got ejected. For 24 hours, as the men were not identified, this was covered as a moment of possible grass-roots backlash to Trump. It was not. It was a skit. "He's saying a bunch of racist s**t we agree with," explained one of the comedians (in character) when their video of the incident was released.
The mounties who can't stand Ted Cruz
When? Feb. 5
What? Two young men, who refused to respond to any questions — in English or in French — stood outside of a packed Cruz event wearing modified Canadian mountie outfits. The message, as it was, echoed some TV ads that a pro-Rubio super PAC had run, accusing Cruz of a "Canadian" plan for a sales tax.
The Ted Cruz Exorcists
Where? At one of the Texas senator's final New Hampshire events, in Raymond.
When? Feb. 8
What? Two men who rose up during Cruz's standard line about protecting religious liberty to wave a cross and mirror and make fun of his looks.
"Ted Cruz, look in the mirror and let the evil spirits leave!" yelled the lead heckler. "Leave, you power-hungry demonic souls! The evil must confront itself! If the demon sees itself in the mirror, the demon will have to leave! That's why the body is so disgusting to look at!"
Cruz waited until security had dragged the hecklers into the snow outside, then joked that they must have been Bernie Sanders supporters. "You know the very odd thing?" he asked. "Usually, lefties don't believe in God."
The very serious Rubio haters
When? Feb. 8
What? A trio of men who made it into Rubio's final, snow-logged pre-primary event waited until halfway through the senator's interview with Fox News host Megyn Kelly. Then they revealed it — a shabby-looking but hard-to-tear banner reading "No record, no experience, no problem, Rubio 2016." They were pushed out of the gym of a community college, into the falling snow, with no small amount of scuffling — and more than a few gigantic Rubio signs. At one point, volunteers held signs to block a doorway so that TV cameras could not follow the men out. A few did, and interviewed the protesters under falling snow.
What the banner protest had in volume, it lacked in originality. The Rubio Robots have lacked for nothing. They planned to hound all of the senator's polling place visits, and were encouraged to see a robot they did not know. Who, after all, was the man in the silver get-up who broke out of a headlock?
"I'm not sure," said Eddie Vale, one of the American Bridge staffers hounding Rubio. (In the video above, he is the man in the cardboard box-suit who sidles up alongside the main robot as the cameras arrive.) "I think Americans United [for Change] is joining in too. The robots are rising!"