Marco Rubio blasts Obama administration, pushes American leadership abroad
November 20th, 2013
03:14 PM ET
11 months ago

Marco Rubio blasts Obama administration, pushes American leadership abroad

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Marco Rubio pushed his vision for American foreign policy Wednesday at an event by the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

"American leadership has been a force for tremendous good in the world," Rubio said, wondering aloud what kind of world we'd have today if the United States hadn't taken a leading role on the world stage.

"A majority of the world's democracies may not even exist," were it not for the U.S., the first term Republican senator from Florida said.

The speech marks a series of foreign policy addresses for Rubio as the possible 2016 contender tries to reassert his role on the national stage. Rubio's support among the base of the Republican party took a hit over the summer with the Senate passage of an immigration reform bill he helped write.

Some conservatives blasted the bill's minimum 13-year pathway to citizenship for the undocumented to be amnesty for lawbreakers. The bill has gone nowhere in the Republican-controlled House.

Rubio favors House approach over immigration bill he helped author

Wednesday, Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees, focused primarily on foreign policy issues. He did, however, save a few words to urge a fix for U.S. spending on entitlements while also arguing that on surveillance, the U.S. must distinguish between "reasonable concerns" and "conspiracy theories" propagated by NSA leaker Edward Snowden, whom Rubio called a traitor.

Rubio also took a hardline stance against what he perceived as ineffective international leadership by the Obama administration.

"This administration has shown more than just a reluctance to stand up to our enemies," Rubio warned, saying that the U.S. has also failed to support its friends.

Allies of the United States looking at American-led negotiations over heading off a nuclear Iran "see our foreign policy as a riddle," Rubio said, and they "feel that we are overly eager to negotiate a deal."

Iran's goal "has never been peace," Rubio warned, arguing that the regime wants nothing less than to be the dominant power of the Middle East. Rubio argued that negotiators should make clear to Iran that sanctions will continue to increase until the country gives up any ambitions for a nuclear weapon.

The highest priority, Rubio said for U.S. foreign policy, "is the safety of the American people," namely by stopping efforts by "rogue regimes and terrorist groups to acquire nuclear weapons."

Like many in the GOP, Rubio also worried about China, whom he says the U.S. has not taken a hard enough stance against.

"We cannot ignore their increasingly assertive and illegitimate territorial claims," Rubio said, arguing that China should not be contained but rather that the U.S. should make certain that China's intentions are peaceful.

Rubio continued to reiterate that diplomacy must always take precedence before military action. He also argued for a military not hobbled by what he characterized as funding cuts by the Obama administration made crippling when combined with the mandatory cuts known as sequestration. Those cuts, Rubio said, make the U.S. "vulnerable to attack."

Going forward, "America must not fail to recognize our vital role in the world," as a beacon of freedom, Rubio said, speaking of what might happen were the U.S. to create a "vacuum" on the world stage.


Filed under: Marco Rubio
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Another also-ran has-been in the making. Yawn. His immigration reform flip-flop, among other things, makes him a dead end. Keep[ it up tho, Marco...you vomit talking points fed to you by AEI, Alec and Heritage ever so wonderfully.

    November 20, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. Tampa Tim

    Obama has been in office for almost 5 years and has not started an unnecessary war. No wonder this little puppet for defense contractors is upset. If Rubio would keep his mouth shut, no one would know he is not very bright.

    November 20, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. just saying

    sorry.... putin is now the leader of the free world. obama has proven over and over he simply is not up to the task. our enemies laugh at obama's impotence and indecision while our allies cower in fear of being the next to be thrown under the obama bus. obama and his joke of a secretary of state clinton have set the usa back decades in the foreign policy arena.

    as far as iran goes, obama is desperately trying to run out the clock in his term before they go nuclear or israel attacks them. he is not up to the task of leading and fears this situation more than any other. he only knows how to bluster and iran knows this after his syria debacle.

    November 20, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "A majority of the world's democracies may not even exist,"
    -------------------------------------------
    NEWSFLASH!!! Sen. Rubio, don't dare lecture us about democracy when your party is blatantly trying to destroy ours. How about you stand up for YOUR immigration bill which is about democracy. Until then, kick rocks!

    November 20, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. just asking

    Tampa Tim
    Obama has been in office for almost 5 years and has not started an unnecessary war.
    -–

    right, he just totally destablizes countries and sets them on fire then watches as thousands die and allies get flushed down the hopper. libya, egypt, syria

    November 20, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. Bill

    If these GOP clowns put as much effort into governing as they do complaining, they might actually be able to win an election on the national level. But do not count on it. Another dozen years before a republican sees the inside of the White House.

    November 20, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. Fair is Fair

    @ Data –

    "Unless you're picking nits and are referring to condoms ONLY, in which case you seem to be arguing that only men are responsible for birth control? That's an aggressively feminist position for a conservative."
    -------–
    Oh come on, Data. Get real. It takes 2 to make a kid, it takes 2 to prevent one. BOTH are equally responsible. The fact is that probably upwards of 90% of abortions are for convenience should make anyone vomit that abortion is being used as a means of birth control, the result of selfish men who promise a woman the world and very stupid women who believe them.

    November 20, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    -just saying

    sorry.... putin is now the leader of the free world. obama has proven over and over he simply is not up to the task. our enemies laugh at obama's impotence and indecision while our allies cower in fear of being the next to be thrown under the obama bus. obama and his joke of a secretary of state clinton have set the usa back decades in the foreign policy arena.

    as far as iran goes, obama is desperately trying to run out the clock in his term before they go nuclear or israel attacks them. he is not up to the task of leading and fears this situation more than any other. he only knows how to bluster and iran knows this after his syria debacle.
    *************************
    I guess you forgot the fact that our standing was in the toilet after 8 years of unilateral tap-dancing on the world stage. I doubt that anyone would characterize the GOP/Neocon approach to foreign policy as ally-friendly, since they all breathed a sigh of relief when the GOP clown car was pulled off the road. It is interesting how much you seem to love Putin, though: do you have dreams about him?

    November 20, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  9. Vence

    The disintegration reform guy! WOW

    November 20, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    -just asking

    Tampa Tim
    Obama has been in office for almost 5 years and has not started an unnecessary war.
    -–

    right, he just totally destablizes countries and sets them on fire then watches as thousands die and allies get flushed down the hopper. libya, egypt, syria
    *****************
    How does Obama destabilize countries when its the people of those countries that rise up? All he did in Libya was give air support with standoff systems. Egypt, they did it themselves, and then the army removed the Muslim Brotherhood. I guess you don't really pay attention to anything except the echos in the chamber you've locked yourself into.

    November 20, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. tom l

    @The Real TP,

    "I guess you forgot the fact that our standing was in the toilet after 8 years of unilateral tap-dancing on the world stage"

    I know you are man enough to admit when you say something that is patently incorrect. There was a BBC poll of 24,000 people from around the world. Guess what?

    According to poll respondents, 40 percent hold a positive view of U.S. influence worldwide, as opposed to 41 percent who have a negative view, which is essentially the same as a previous BBC poll in early 2009,. That poll showed a 40 percent positive/43 percent negative view of the U.S. abroad.

    Why have you become such a demagogue lately? Repubs want poor quality of life in the US? Do you really believe that? What a childish and silly statement. I don't think dems want poor quality of life; I just believe that they have the wrong viewpoint and ideas on how to accomplish that. I wish you would stop with your hard left turn and calm down. You are actually starting to believe some of the crazy rhetoric from the LWNJ's here.

    November 20, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Silence DoGood

    TeaParty: Stop the terrorists abroad from taking hostages, ignoring the rule of law, and trying to break our government.
    That is OUR job!

    November 20, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  13. CryBabies

    Yeah, I see your point lefties....This guy does not have the integrity of a Barak Obama!!! How foolish of me......Yawn!

    November 20, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. current state of the union

    Yup filibuster your own bill: nah, nothing wrong there

    November 20, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. sonny chapman

    Bring back Bush/Cheney the Draft Dodgers.

    November 20, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    " It takes 2 to make a kid, it takes 2 to prevent one."
    ----------------------------------------–
    So in the case of rape, how does it take 2 to prevent a pregnancy? Just had to throw that one out there since their are radicals against abortion in the event of incest and rape.

    November 20, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. tom l

    How does Obama destabilize countries when its the people of those countries that rise up? All he did in Libya was give air support with standoff systems. Egypt, they did it themselves, and then the army removed the Muslim Brotherhood. I guess you don't really pay attention to anything except the echos in the chamber you've locked yourself into

    Hey!!! Echo chamber is my line! :) But seriously, do you believe in fairy tales too? You are not honestly that naïve to think that we weren't responsible for the overthrow of Egypt and Libya? I mean, really. Wake up and smell the coffee. The U.S. sticks our proverbial nose in to every foreign folly that they can.

    November 20, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. Data Driven

    Fair, I'm certain you didn't mean that only men are responsible for birth control. I was turning your accusation of me employing straw men back on you. Look, I respect your pro-life view, all the more so since you are forward-thinking on contraception. My original point was that many conservatives don't share your views on contraception. Some of them are politicians. Some of those politicians do very well in presidential primaries. Such men would like to make it much more difficult to obtain those prophylactics that you correctly pointed out are currently easy to obtain.

    November 20, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    "American leadership has been a force for tremendous good in the world," Rubio said, wondering aloud what kind of world we'd have today if the United States hadn't taken a leading role on the world stage.

    "A majority of the world's democracies may not even exist," were it not for the U.S., the first term Republican senator from Florida said.
    -------------------------
    Does he even realize what he sounds like? Most attribute America's entry into World War II has the turning point that kept the Western European democracies from being obliterated. It really sounds like he's advocating for World War 3, so that we can get rid of his perceived enemies. That's some really scary, crazy talk.

    November 20, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. don in albuquerque

    @Silence DoGood--OMG!!! You have got to be kidding. Quit taking whatever it is you are taking.

    November 20, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. don in albuquerque

    @just saying-You either are really insane, or really a reincarnation of Benito. Atta boy, show those true colors. You are the one the gov't needs to be watching. Obviously tinfoil hat certifiable.

    November 20, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    tom l.

    Why have you become such a demagogue lately? Repubs want poor quality of life in the US? Do you really believe that? What a childish and silly statement.
    ---------------------
    BREAKING NEWS: (dateline 2011, from the 2012 Republican Presidential Race)

    Hermain Cain ominously announces, "If you're not rich already, then it's your own fault." He was referring to the future decline of the United States, and his complete disregard for the fools who are ill-prepared. His goal was to enact policies that ensure his own persnal survival, everyone else be damned.

    That view is held by most conservatives. They refer to it with a euphimism, "personal responsiblity".

    November 20, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Stating the Obvious

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes
    " It takes 2 to make a kid, it takes 2 to prevent one."
    --------------–
    So in the case of rape, how does it take 2 to prevent a pregnancy? Just had to throw that one out there since their are radicals against abortion in the event of incest and rape.
    --

    How many abortions are performed every year because of rape? Numbers please Mr. Strawman.

    November 20, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. current state of the union

    Saying, the most uneducated person on here, yet he doesn't get it,, repeating gop talking points makes you the sheep. Everything you use as argument is total BS., just because your stupid enough to believe them: doesn't make then true, loser

    November 20, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. just saying

    The Real Tom Paine
    I guess you forgot the fact that our standing was in the toilet after 8 years of unilateral tap-dancing on the world stage. I doubt that anyone would characterize the GOP/Neocon approach to foreign policy as ally-friendly, since they all breathed a sigh of relief when the GOP clown car was pulled off the road. It is interesting how much you seem to love Putin, though: do you have dreams about him?
    --

    yes, i know the truth is very difficult for you to handle. the messiah has turned out to be the maker of messes around the world. he is made a fool of on the world stage by putin and assad and not missed a single opportunity to spit on or destabilize our allies.

    lying sos takes credit for ending the war in iraq when it was bush that signed all of the agreements to end it, then botches the agreement to keep a base or two there. afghanistan, his good war, almost blows it but rushes thousands of troops there and announces their withdrawal in the next breath. taliban says thank you very much, we can wait a few years. meanwhile our men die for nothing.

    November 20, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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