Tuesday night marked another dramatic turn in the 2016 presidential contest. Sen. Marco Rubio saw his White House run come to a screeching halt in his home state of Florida, while Gov. John Kasich got a much-needed boost from his Ohio stomping grounds. Meanwhile, front-runners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton gained even more momentum in their march towards their respective parties’ nominations. But that was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to the night’s memorable moments. Here are the top six:
Trump takes on the press
In an uncharacteristically brief and occasionally even self deprecating victory speech, the reigning Republican front-runner still couldn’t help but take shots at his detractors. In the midst of rehashing pundits’ predictions that he wouldn’t run or remain in the race long and harping on polls that underestimated him, Trump lashed out what he called “disgusting reporters.” Trump appeared to be alluding to former Brietbart reporter Michelle Fields, who recently alleged that his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski manhandled her at one of the candidate’s events. Trump symbolically appeared on stage with Lewandowski, praising his performance along with the performance of his whole team.
Adam Scott gets a starring role
In Trump’s off-the-cuff remarks, he went off on tangent about negative advertising and wound up praising (yet again) Australian golfer Adam Scott’s performance at the candidate’s branded course in Doral. Trump gushed over Scott, calling him “this handsome kid from Australia, one of the greatest golfers in the world.” Meanwhile, actor Adam Scott, of “Parks and Recreation” fame tweeted facetiously: “I’d like Trump to stop talking about me right now please.” And comedian Michael Ian Black pointed out on Twitter: “Trump spending more time congratulating golfer Adam Scott than on any of his policies.”
Male pundits to Clinton: “Smile,” and “Stop shouting”
Hillary Clinton had one of her best nights of the 2016 campaign season on Tuesday. She scored a clean sweep of all five Democratic primary contests over Sen. Bernie Sanders. Unfortunately, the reaction of many male pundits was the sexist suggestion that Clinton need to “smile” more in victory. Several tweets doubled down on the notion that Clinton shouts too much and sounds “shrill” in her victory speeches, seemingly ignoring the fact that all of the remaining candidates in both parties are known for their bellowing, especially the GOP front-runner. Speaking of whom, Trump celebrating his victories by calling Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly “crazy” on Twitter.
So … much … confetti
Ohio Gov. John Kasich had reason to celebrate. He handily won his home state on Tuesday, scoring his first outright victory of the 2016 campaign to date. That said, the amount of confetti dropped at his victory rally was on par with the amount released in Times Square when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. The inspiration for the deluge was reportedly Kasich’s disappointment with the confetti disbursement at his 100th event in New Hampshire earlier this year. Now he can proudly boast of having been buried in the stuff on live television.
Kasich was clearly excited to deliver his first victory speech, and he made delivered some odd turns of phrase in an effort to evoke every day Americans. At one point he referenced a widow “who was married for 50 years who no one calls anymore” and implored someone to take her out to dinner so she can “wear that dress she hasn’t worn in six months.” And in closing Kasich said he was “getting ready to rent a covered wagon.” Okie dokie.
Rubio is #notbitter
After a crushing defeat in his home state of Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio exited the 2016 race, albeit not exactly gracefully. The candidate who became known for delivering victorious sounding concession speeches lamented the fact that “this may not have been the year for a hopeful and optimistic message about our future,” implying that the GOP electorate was persuaded by the “easiest” (a.k.a. Trump) path to victory, capitalizing on their anger. To critics, Rubio’s claim of having run a positive campaign were contradicted by his crude assertions about his opponent’s manhood and examples of where he was to the extreme right of other candidates on issues like abortion and cracking down on U.S. Muslims, for instance.
Perpetual runner-up Sen. Ted Cruz kept up his campaign to persuade the other GOP contenders to drop out of the 2016 race so he can win. In his remarks on Tuesday, he rapturously praised Rubio’s “positive” campaign and inspirational backstory, calling the Florida lawmaker his “friend.” First of all, Cruz infamously doesn’t have many friends in the Senate — he has yet to receive a single endorsement from one of his colleagues — but his comments were also curious considering the fact that the two have consistently hammered each other over their positions on Planned Parenthood, immigration, trade and who is the most conservative. In fact, Rubio once claimed Cruz will “say or do anything to get elected.” Talk amongst yourselves.