Rubio: Culture keeps U.S.-U.K. bond strong
December 3rd, 2013
10:53 AM ET
5 months ago

Rubio: Culture keeps U.S.-U.K. bond strong

(CNN) - Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, speaking in London at the leading think-thank the Chatham House, said Tuesday America's changing demographics won't affect the country's longtime relationship with the United Kingdom, pushing back at the notion that the U.S.- U.K. bond solely relies on its ancestral ties.

In a speech about foreign policy, the potential presidential candidate also said he was skeptical of the initial nuclear deal reached for Iran. He also focused a significant portion of his remarks on posing threats by the Russian government, even taking a sharp attack on its President, Vladimir Putin.

The importance of 'One Direction' and the royal baby

The first-term Senator from Florida praised the transatlantic alliance between the U.S. and the U.K., saying the partnership is still the leading force in the world and cautioned against letting that relationship slip.

"If we do not stand together for liberty and freedom, and instead allow our historic partnership to fade into history, an enormous vacuum will open up, and imagine the forces of darkness and evil that would gladly move in to fill the void," he said.

He added there will always be critics who argue the two nations have "had their days in the sun" and another world power will lead the way.

"But (those critics) underestimate the power of our nations, the power of our shared values," he said. "They underestimate what we have and can achieve together. More importantly they underestimate the will and moral courage of free men and women."

Asked whether America's increasingly diverse population could splinter the country's allegiance to Europe, Rubio said he doesn't "view that as problematic in any way."

"It's an exaggeration to say that somehow what binds our two nations and two societies together is the fact that people who live in the U.S., their relatives once came from the United Kingdom," he said, adding it's been "a long time since we've had mass migration from" that part of the world.

Rather, he argued, what binds them together is a common culture. As an example, he pointed to his daughters of Cuban descent who woke up early to watch the 2011 royal wedding and then stayed up late earlier this year to hear the announcement of whether the so-called royal baby would be a boy or girl.

And as he was getting ready for the London trip, he added, the most common question he got was whether he would meet a member of the world-famous boy band One Direction.

"I told them that I would not but that I would send them my regards," he said, laughing.

Rubio said those examples "may appear as trivial things" but it "really creates a connection between our two countries that is very real at the people-to-people level."

Iran, Russia and China as rising threats

Weighing in on the interim deal reached last month with Iran to slow its nuclear development, Rubio said he was "personally skeptical" of the agreement, saying Iran's "ultimate goal" for the negotiations is simply to get relief from sanctions, "while retaining the option of developing a nuclear weapon."

He added Iran "does not have a right to enrich" and warned of a potential arms race in the Middle East should Iran develop a nuclear weapon.

Rubio also spent a large part of his speech on the progress made since the Cold War, but argued countries on the eastern edge of Europe are still in danger from Russia's power grip.

The Senator argued the U.S. and the U.K. need to be "blunt about our differences with Vladimir Putin-differences with his government, not differences with his people." He argued Russia pressured Ukraine against a landmark trade deal with the European Union.

The transatlantic alliance also involves "reassuring allies in the region that we support their ambitions to move forward toward liberty, rather than backwards toward the days of Soviet domination."

His trip to London comes a couple of weeks after he delivered a major speech on international affairs in Washington, D.C., seen by many as attempt to boost his foreign policy chops should he decide to run for president in 2016.

Rubio also commented Tuesday on the controversy over China's newly-declared air defense zone over the East China Sea.

"This recent action by Beijing is an example of an issue in which it would be ideal to have America and Europe in lockstep, making clear to Beijing that freedom of flight in the region should not be held hostage to political agendas," he said.


Filed under: 2016 • China • Iran • Marco Rubio • Russia • United Kingdom
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein

    I don't know if this is really going to help his foreign policy crediblity.

    December 3, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. Malory Archer

    To the people of the UK: I'm so very sorry this lying, ignorant, mouth breathing, professional "victim" has darkened your door. Believe me when I tell you that mush mouth only speaks for a tiny, hateful group of so-called "patriots".

    December 3, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  3. Tampa Tim

    Can they just keep him there. When he is out of Florida, our average IQ is higher.

    December 3, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "If we do not stand together for liberty and freedom, and instead allow our historic partnership to fade into history, an enormous vacuum will open up, and imagine the forces of darkness and evil that would gladly move in to fill the void,"
    --------------------------------------------–
    Oh hush Marco! Prime Minister Cameron and President Obama have a good working relationship. They're actually buds. If there were ever a strain between among our countries, it was placed their by that Dubya fella.

    December 3, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Mittens got his foreign policy experience hiding out in France during Vietnam, so England is good, too. By the way, I presume tax payers are paying for Rubio's vacation overseas.

    December 3, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Did anyone tell Mr. Rubio that the British conservatives have implemented draconian austerity cuts in spending since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, which has the British economy in the thrall of a triple dip recession? Everytime the economy begins to recover, the conservatives cut spending, which only serves to starve the struggling economy, sending it back into recession. Austerity spending cuts all across Europe are what has retarded economic growth in the E.U. Did anyone tell Mr. Rubio that?

    December 3, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    Not really. The philosophy of freedom is far more accountable for the ties. Things weren't so rosy once upon a time.

    December 3, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. sonny chapman

    I personally don't care for any part of the "culture" responsible for The Great British EMPIRE.

    December 3, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Marco, why aren't you HERE pushing YOUR immigration bill?

    December 3, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Woman In California

    So the water boy speaks again. A token created specifically to manufacture a controversy (where there is none) and to give the false impression that the GOP welcomes minorities.
    Please excuse his ignorance and lack of understanding on the important issues with regard to foreign policy.
    Signed a U.S. Citizen.

    December 3, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    Ah, yes. Marco Rubio and his foreign policy "grand tour" notes included in the article:

    And as he was getting ready for the London trip, he added, the most common question he got was whether he would meet a member of the world-famous boy band One Direction.

    "I told them that I would not but that I would send them my regards," he said, laughing.

    Rubio said those examples "may appear as trivial things" but it "really creates a connection between our two countries that is very real at the people-to-people level.".

    December 3, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    He added Iran "does not have a right to enrich" and warned of a potential arms race in the Middle East should Iran develop a nuclear weapon.
    ---------------–
    Can someone please explain to the right wing just how arrogant and war-like making such a statement sounds? For a group that loves its' freedom, the right wing sure enjoys telling other people what they can and cannot do. According to the right wing's own moral values, Iran has a right to do most anything it wants to do. it's called "liberty".

    The problem is that the right wing wants to strong arm Iran into doing its' bidding, while the left would much rather convince Iran that not pursuing uranium will be better off for its' population that is suffering from the econmic sanctions.

    December 3, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. Ol' Yeller

    "Rather, he argued, what binds them together is a common culture. As an example, he pointed to his daughters of Cuban descent who woke up early to watch the 2011 royal wedding and then stayed up late earlier this year to hear the announcement of whether the so-called royal baby would be a boy or girl."

    Yes, we like England because they have Queens and Princes and Princesses. He is foreign policy wizard! If he needs to make a tough 3 a.m. decision, he will just go see what his daughters are watching on television.

    Hopefully it isn't Miley Cyrus.

    December 3, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Flagship, NC

    Please excuse his elementry view of the world. This would be a good high school speech (about 10th grade).

    December 3, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. rs

    It's nice to see the GOP returning to the Cold War mentality. They know its over, right?

    December 3, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. rs

    Lynda/Minnesota

    Ah, yes. Marco Rubio and his foreign policy "grand tour" notes included in the article:...
    __________________________
    Well, at least he didn't insult his hosts or embarrass our nation like Mr. Romney did!

    December 3, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Well, at least he didn't insult his hosts or embarrass our nation like Mr. Romney did!"

    Oh, I'll give him that, rs. It's his people-to-people skills I question. He comes across as an infant crying for mama's attention. Of course, this crying for attention IS a well known GOPer trait, so perhaps I'm being too harsh on Mr. Rubio?

    December 3, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. rs

    Lynda/Minnesota

    "Well, at least he didn't insult his hosts or embarrass our nation like Mr. Romney did!"

    Oh, I'll give him that, rs. It's his people-to-people skills I question. He comes across as an infant crying for mama's attention. Of course, this crying for attention IS a well known GOPer trait, so perhaps I'm being too harsh on Mr. Rubio?
    ___________________
    No, no! You're doing fine! :-)

    December 3, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. Marie MD

    How sweet. The Cuban water anchor baby woke up and he speaks about nothing yet again.
    His foreign policy is lying about how his family came from Cuba to the US.

    December 3, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  20. Thomas

    Why doesn't he talk about the deep connection between the US and Cuba ?

    December 3, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |