But another 2016 contender -- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) -- was ready. Here's his response to local TV station WPBF (h/t to Chris Moody), according to a transcript from his office:
I don’t feel like I’m in a position to have to answer for every person in my party that makes a claim. Democrats aren’t asked to answer every time Joe Biden says something embarrassing, so I don’t know why I should answer every time a Republican does. I’ll suffice it to say that I believe the President loves America; I think his ideas are bad.
This is near-perfect. In one fell swoop, Rubio gets in a dig at the media, bring in another regular gaffer in Biden, places himself above the fray, says Obama loves America (as everybody should; it's not hard, and it's the right political move), and criticizes Obama in a very blunt way.
Yes, there are some on the right who will not like that Rubio said Obama loves America, but these were not voters Rubio was going to win.
In case you forgot -- and sometimes we do -- Marco Rubio is capable of being an extremely gifted messenger.