CBS’s Pelley Uses Trademark Dry Humor, Puns to Revel in Rubio Exit, Trump Wins

For weeknight viewers of the CBS Evening News, they’re treated to consistent helping of puns and cheesy jokes from anchor Scott Pelley on everything from political stories to humorous news briefs and throughout the network’s Super Tuesday 3 special reports, Pelley employed his fair share to knock departed GOP candidate Marco Rubio as Donald Trump racked up more victories.

In the first special report at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Pelley hyped that Trump was the projected winner in Florida and dealt “a big loss for Marco Rubio in his home state” so, therefore, “[t]he Florida sun is about to set on his campaign.”

The jokes for Republicans (but not Democrats) returned over an hour later at the next update around 9:22 p.m. Eastern when, after Rubio officially dropped out, Pelley exclaimed that Trump’s win was “a fatal blow” for Florida’s Junior Senator that meant “ain’t no sunshine and he’s gone.”

Commenting on the race in Ohio, here’s the quick jest that Pelley had for viewers about Governor John Kasich’s home state victory: “In Ohio, a KO for Kasich. He had to win in his home state, and he did.”

CBS’s most extensive summation of the evening came around 10:44 p.m. Eastern when Pelley explained that “[h]alf the states have now voted in primaries and caucuses this year, and Democratic insider Hillary Clinton and Republican outsider Donald Trump appear to be all but unstoppable.”

Pelley read a straightforward breakdown of Hillary Clinton’s wins in Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio (when Illinois and Missouri were not yet decided) ahead of his final quips about the Republicans and how Illinois was no longer “the land of Lincoln” but now “the turf of Trump”:

On the Republican side, Trump won Florida. That forced favorite son Marco Rubio to drop out. Trump also won North Carolina and Illinois, the land of Lincoln, is now the turf of Trump. In Ohio, it was Kasich at the bat, and he did not strike out. He keeps his hopes alive with a big win in his home state.

The relevant portions of the transcript from the CBS News Special Reports on March 15 can be found below.

CBS News Special Report
March 15, 2016
8:00 p.m. Eastern

SCOTT PELLEY: The polls are now closed in the five states holding presidential primaries. Headline of the hour, CBS News projects Donald Trump will win winner-take-all Florida. That's a big loss for Marco Rubio in his home state. The Florida sun is about to set on his campaign. But in winner-take-all Ohio, we estimate that Governor John Kasich is in the lead there. That is a must-win for him in his home state. North Carolina is still a toss-up between Trump and Ted Cruz as the vote count continues.

(....)

9:22 p.m. Eastern

PELLEY: Now for the Republicans, Donald Trump has won Florida, a fatal blow to Marco Rubio, ain't no sunshine, and he's gone. In Ohio, a KO for Kasich. He had to win in his home state, and he did. We see Illinois leaning towards Trump. John Dickerson. 

JOHN DICKERSON: John Kasich stays alive but the big news is he denied 66 delegates for Donald Trump. It's harder for Trump to get the majority of delegates by the convention. 

PELLEY: John, thanks very much.

(....)

10:44 p.m. Eastern

PELLEY: Campaign 2016 update. Half the states have now voted in primaries and caucuses this year, and Democratic insider Hillary Clinton and Republican outsider Donald Trump appear to be all but unstoppable. Have a look. Clinton beat Bernie Sanders tonight in Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina and Clinton has the lead in Illinois as well, but it's still too close to project a winner there. One glimmer of hope for Sanders is Missouri. That's still a toss-up. On the Republican side, Trump won Florida. That forced favorite son Marco Rubio to drop out. Trump also won North Carolina and Illinois, the land of Lincoln, is now the turf of Trump. In Ohio, it was Kasich at the bat, and he did not strike out. He keeps his hopes alive with a big win in his home state. Trump and Ted Cruz are locked in a tight race in Missouri. After his three wins, Trump spoke to supporters in Palm Beach, Florida, tonight. 

DONALD TRUMP: I'm just very proud to be a part of this. I think we're going to go and we're going to do a lot of trips over the next month, but I think we're going to have a great victory and I think more importantly than anything else, we are going to start winning again. This country is going to start winning again. 

PELLEY: Now let's bring in John Dickerson. John?

JOHN DICKERSON: For the people who wanted to stop Donald Trump, John Kasich's win was a big deal. It denied him 66 of those delegates in the winner-take-all state of Ohio but it is a speed bump or does it become a roadblock? We’ll have to see if Kasich and Cruz can coordinate to try to deny Trump the delegates once he gets to the convention. Hillary Clinton is basically the presumptive nominee by now until — unless some crazy thing happens. 

PELLEY: John Dickerson, thank you very much. Headline of the hour — Democrat Clinton wins Florida, Ohio, North Carolina. Trump wins Florida, Illinois, and North Carolina. We'll have more updates later this evening.

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