Marco Rubio returns: He lost a fair amount of buzz after the bipartisan and sweeping immigration reform bill he helped usher through the Senate. But the young GOP senator from Florida apparently still sees himself as a potential presidential contender.
Rubio was candid when asked by ABC’s Jonathan Karl on Sunday’s “This Week” whether he thinks he’s ready to be president.
“I do,” he said. “I think that’s true for multiple other people that would want to run.”
Rubio maintained that he has the necessary experience for the job.
“I mean, I’ll be 43 this month, but the other thing that perhaps people don’t realize: I’ve served now in public office for the better part of 14 years,” he said. “And most importantly, I think a president has to have a clear vision of where the country needs to go and clear ideas about how to get it there. And I think we’re very blessed in our party to have a number of people that fit that criteria.”
Rubio was in New Hampshire over the weekend, making a high-profile visit to the early primary state.
Despite his middle-of-the-road efforts on immigration, Rubio made it clear he will take a harder line in other areas.
Rubio disputes scientists on climate change: On climate change, for instance, Rubio said that despite what scientists say, he doesn’t think human activities are changing the climate and he doesn’t think we can do anything to stop the changing of the climate.
“I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it … and I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy,” he said.
Rubio’s stance may set the bar for Republican candidates such as Sen. Rand Paul as they start to position themselves for 2016.
And Rubio made sure to draw a line between himself and Paul in one area. Paul has supported a law in Kentucky that would allow him to run concurrently for president and seek re-election to the Senate.
If he decides to seek the 2016 GOP nomination, Rubio told ABC’s Karl he wouldn’t run for Senate too, arguing that a presidential campaign is an all-or-nothing proposition.
He was even more critical of another potential 2016 rival. Rubio told ABC he would give Democrat Hillary Clinton an “F” for her tenure as secretary of state.
Biden laying groundwork for 2016? While Rubio was in New Hampshire, Vice President Joe Biden was down visiting South Carolina. He delivered a commencement address Friday at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and later he spoke to Democrats in that state.
Three sources at a fund-raiser confirmed to CNN’s Peter Hamby that Biden made comments touching on the economic policies of former President Bill Clinton. The remarks could be an appetizer to a potential primary fight that Biden could launch against Hillary Clinton if she runs for president. Biden struck a populist tone and focused on the importance of social programs.
The three sources told Hamby that Biden said the fraying of middle-class economic security did not begin during President George W. Bush’s presidency but in the “later years of the Clinton administration.”
Obamacare poll: Americans don’t want to scrap law: A CNN/ORC International poll released Sunday shows that while the health law is not popular, it may not be toxic either. A majority of Americans want either to leave the law as is (12%) or keep it and make changes to fix it (49%). Fewer say they think the law should be repealed and replaced (18%) or scrapped altogether (20%). If you add together those who want to keep the law and those who want to improve it, support is above 60% for some parts of the law.
Delay for Democrats on Benghazi inquiry: CNN’s John King reports Democrats are unlikely to decide if they should take part in a politically charged special congressional inquiry into the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, until House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi can meet with House Speaker John Boehner. The House, however, is out of session all week.