"Donde esta Marco?" Telemundo anchor and MSNBC contributor Jose Diaz-Balart crowed tonight during live special coverage of the March 8 primaries as he exulted over the Florida Republicans poor showing in primaries in Mississippi and Michigan. The journalist's little bit of Spanish lingo as Rush Limbaugh might call it elicited laughter from left-wing MSNBCer Rachel Maddow.
"We can also count on our friend Jose Diaz-Balart to speak candidly and, 'Donde esta Marco?' may be the phrase that pays tonight," MSNBC breaking-news anchor Brian Williams offered minutes later on the way out to a commercial break. "We're all by lingual tonight!" Diaz-Balart shot back.
Looking ahead one week to the March 15 winner-take-all Florida primary, Diaz-Balart noted that the March 8 results do no bode well for Rubio, particularly as he lags behind Donald Trump in polls of Sunshine state voters.
Of course, "things could change before a week from today but he has a very, very difficult mountain to climb here in Florida, not exactly a state known for its mountains, if you know what I mean," a giddy Diaz-Balart quipped to Williams.
Below you'll find the relevant transcript and video:
The Place for Politics (special primary election coverage)
March 8, 2016; 8:48 p.m. Eastern
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Jose, I won’t make you explain Florida politics, but what do you think tonight does to Florida politics?
JOSE DIAZ-BALART, from Miami, Florida: Well, well, well, my dear friend. “Donde esta Marco?” is the question tonight in Mississippi –
RACHEL MADDOW, anchor laughs
DIAZ-BALART: – and let’s see what’s going on in Michigan. And ever, if ever Florida was important for anybody, I guess it's important for the senator from this great state who all the polls show is not even leading in the polls against Donald Trump.
Of course, things could change before a week from today but he has a very, very difficult mountain to climb here in Florida, not exactly a state known for its mountains, if you know what I mean.
WILLIAMS: Also, Jose, I was just down there, and people and Northerners and Easterners forget Donald Trump really is regarded as a resident of Florida. It's one of his many residents, but he's down there a lot.
DIAZ-BALART: He is down here a lot, especially the winter months which would make him kind of what lot of millions of other people want to do when it's cold up north and they want to come down to a place that's permanently summer in.
But, he has an incredible residence., Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach. And it's a club as well. He's got the Doral Golf Club here in south Florida. He's got a lot of property, spends a lot of time here.
But, you know what, he actually spends less time than Marco Rubio has. Because, you know, Marco Rubio is pretty much from here. And so, a lot of the questions are, well, why is it that Marco Rubio has not been able to make traction or have traction in his home state.
And that, I think, is a question that a lot of us are going to be asking regardless of what happens a week from today.
WILLIAMS: We can also count on our friend Jose Diaz-Balart to speak candidly and, “Donde esta Marco?” may be the phrase that pays tonight. Jose, always–
DIAZ-BALART: We're all by lingual tonight!
WILLIAMS: – a pleasure. Thank you very much.
# # #