Rubio visits Jordan, Israel  on Mideast trip
February 16th, 2013
01:03 PM ET
5 years ago

Rubio visits Jordan, Israel on Mideast trip

(CNN) - Sen. Marco Rubio has arrived in Jordan, where he kicks off a Middle East trip that also takes him to Israel in two days, an aide to the senator told CNN on Sunday.

The Florida Republican will meet with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel as well as Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. In Jordan, he will meet with King Abdullah, he said.

This trip comes days after he delivered the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.

"On foreign policy, America continues to be indispensable to the goal of global liberty, prosperity and safeguarding human rights," Rubio said in his response. "The world is a better place when America is the strongest nation on Earth. But we can't remain powerful if we don't have an economy that can afford it."

The National Jewish Democratic Council blasted Rubio for not mentioning Israel in his response, though Obama only mentioned Israel once in his speech.

Rubio serves on both the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees.

He plans to speak with the Israeli leaders about the peace process with Palestinians and Egypt.

"America's friendship with Israel is a truly special one, and we must continue to do all we can to support this beacon of democracy, religious freedom and free enterprise in the heart of an unstable region," Rubio said in a statement Saturday, announcing his trip. "As Iran continues its pursuit of a nuclear weapon, we must continue to apply pressure through every possible means in order to prevent a nuclear Iran."

In Jordan, he is "interested in learning more firsthand about the impact the Syrian civil war and how the humanitarian crisis that has resulted is impacting Jordan and the region."

Rubio said his wife would accompany him on the trip but not at taxpayer expense. He has previously visited Israel.

- CNN's Steve Brusk, Kevin Bohn, and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

Filed under: Israel • Marco Rubio
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Randy, San Francisco

    Looks like Sen Rubio is off on an early start to be the Republican/Tea Party front runner in 2016. No matter, he still won't measure up to Clinton or Biden.

    February 16, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. ronjayaz

    Y shud he want to visit Israel? Clearly a political ploy that didnt work for Romney and wont work for him. Israel is the least of our concerns right now. I hope he'll mention his Creationist beliefs while there.

    February 16, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. Jerubbaal

    Give it up Rubio, you will never be the POTUS.

    February 16, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. For what it's worth

    It makes you wonder just what the leaders of the middle east think about our "leaders" as they waltz over to get a photo op and back stab the sitting president.

    February 16, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. hmp49

    Nothing going on in the US Senate?

    Oh wait, I forgot, he's already running for President in 2016, Senate isn't important to him anymore.

    February 16, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. ED FL

    That should put the nails in the GOP coffin for their latest attempt to get a potential leader. Miami has lots of old time Jewish population but THEY already know who has been their Benefactor for years. There isn't enough new patrons to give Rubio Miami much less a national ticket..PS REmember to take your water bottles with you Marco.

    February 16, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. hmm

    Clinton vs Rubio anybody?

    February 16, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  8. DorisV

    Rubio needs to spruce up on his knowledge about the Israeli government. Does he not realize that the Israeli government in 1948 expelled Palestinans who had been living in the new country of Israel for generations? Does he not realize that Palestinians are under Israeli dominance in Gaza and the West Bank and tormented on a daily basis by Israel? Israel is not a "beacon of democracy". Read the other side of the story in a book by Ilan Pappe, "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine". David Ben Gurion and Moshe Dyan were two of the leaders of this extermination.

    February 16, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. Woman In California

    Marco can take all the trips to the middle east that he wants that's certainly his right but he'll never do it as anything other than a senator and what possible message could he bring that hasn't been tried before? Since he holds no position to make any changes whatsoever, this is just a photo opt and a chance to add a few lines more to underachieving resume. Bottom line: a waste of time.

    February 16, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. John the Historian

    Well anothe Republican Neocon who wants a proxy war against Iran, a country of 80 million people. Think about the USA could not handle the 29 million people in Iraq. Think about the suicide attacks and the national war debt we will have. We are still paying off the 200 billion dollars from Iraq and no weapons of mass destruction. Will Rubio say it is a slame dunk about Iran's supposed nuclear program. Like always a rich man's war and a poor man's fight. I wonder if he will commit his children to fight in such a war. Haven't these warmongers seen the move Battle of Algiers. I wonder if Rubio is involved with Dick Cheney's Halliburton. Where is that Palestinian state Bush II promised by 2005??? Israel is losing the demographic war with the Arabs. Imagine a war and nobody shows up. Pray for peace.

    February 16, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. Evergreen

    Why does he consider "our friendship with Israel is very special?" I value the friendship of all countries that desire peace and prosperity and willing to work with the US towards those goals.

    February 16, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. Gurgyl

    Stupid idiots. Is Israel trip make you qualifies you get Foreign Affairs experience?? Is Israel a standard place to gain foreign Affairs portfolio?? Nonsense. Are these idiots educated at all??? No wonder USA giploma means nothing–even Harvard, Yale graduates cann't find work now-a-days. Sad.

    February 16, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. Name Kevin

    This guy is a joke, the GOP is using him and he doesn't even know it. It will be hilarious when this fool runs fur president in 2016 and have to defend the racist garbage that will come out of their mouths. They can't help themselves now, they are at the point of no return.

    February 16, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. targar

    Rubio, were you born in the US? do you have your birth certificate? If not Republicans will want to see it

    February 16, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  15. Marie MD

    Is he bringing his own water bottle?
    Honestly, do these clowns think that going to Israel or Jordan is going to give him "international experienct"?
    See how well that went for the twit. This guy is a REAL joke and if this is the best that the rethugs have for 2016 . . . . well, what else can be said.

    February 16, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. ST

    This pompous anchor baby is slowly getting in nerves of some people. I was wondering during his response to State Of Union speech he tried hard to even wear like what the President did. I do not think that it happened for coincidence that they both were in blue ties, as the President came first and he follows after. He now knows that the President will visit Israel, he is now rushing to go there. Why didn't he do this trip last year???

    February 16, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Steve

    With water bottle or without? Seriously this right wing loon is trying to position himself to run for President in 2014. He'll never get enough votes to get close. My advice to his rightwing lunatic supporter is save your money and invest in bottled water.

    February 16, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Why this POS senator dont start and take care the business the US citizens voted for him but he is going in the land of the zionazi terrorists??

    February 16, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  19. ha

    I think he going to run for office in 2016

    February 16, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  20. RomneyWho

    America people don't be fooled by these political self interest clowns. Especially this pseudo leader Rubio the fraud. Like all the others before him, from Palin to Romney, they all try to rack up points on their empty foreign relation experience log book. Like the others, Rubio know very well that he can do nothing about the conditions of the middle east. The Israeli and Palestinian conflict is an ongoing struggle between Israelis and Palestinians that began in the early 20th century. Many attempts have been made to broker a two-state solution but to no avail. The republicans and the democrats are only going through the motions. America is only fooling itself in thinking that fat head Rubio gives a flying *&^%$, he only cares about his own career Period. you seen him on the world stage and it was like watching a child trying to be a grownup. 😦

    February 16, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  21. gracster

    King Abdullah meets the King of Tools–Marco Rubio the Repugnicant truth slayer

    February 16, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  22. Larry L

    Rubio is sporting around rather than staying home and working with Congress to avoid the sequester. That's not a shock – since Rubio is just another Tea Party lap dog and therefore wants our federal government to fail.

    February 16, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. Curt

    Just wondering, who pays for all these trips senators and congress members take? Seems to me they have enough to do at home and the only people meeting with foreign leaders should be the President, Secretary of State and positions like that. In this age of cutbacks surely this is one area that needs to be addressed. Rubio is just one member of congress and any opinions he has does not represent the views of the government.

    February 16, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    I hop the gop teabag goofball is paying out of his own pocket or is it on the taxpayers dime ?????

    February 16, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  25. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    What does this gop stooge know about foreign relations ,another romney embarrasment ????

    February 16, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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