The Bot Bombs.…

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Marco Rubio may have to “dis­pel with” his hope of seiz­ing the Republican pres­i­den­tial nomination.

The Florida sen­a­tor enjoyed a burst of momen­tum after some­how claim­ing a third-place vic­to­ry in the Iowa cau­cus­es, and hap­pi­ly watched as GOP offi­cials and donors began to ral­ly around his pres­i­den­tial bid. Rubio’s cam­paign believed that a top-tier fin­ish in the New Hampshire pri­ma­ry would put him in a posi­tion to be the estab­lish­ment favorite who would appeal to mod­er­ates and take on insur­gent can­di­dates like real estate mogul Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

But Rubio’s dis­ap­point­ing fifth-place fin­ish in the Granite State on Tuesday evening, behind Trump, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Cruz, and for­mer Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, put that dream on hold.

It’s unclear whether a sin­gle fac­tor led to Rubio’s dis­ap­point­ing loss in New Hampshire, but it may have been his unusu­al­ly shaky per­for­mance in Saturday’s Republican pres­i­den­tial debate, when he walked into a brick wall named Chris Christie — an error Rubio acknowl­edged on Tuesday night.

Our dis­ap­point­ment tonight is not on you, it’s on me,” Rubio told sup­port­ers in New Hampshire, draw­ing a sharp con­trast with his con­fi­dent pos­ture after Iowa.

I did not do well on Saturday night,” he added. “But lis­ten to me: That will nev­er hap­pen again.” Read more here: The bot bombs