Rubio says Obama's Libyan policy too soft
March 31st, 2011
10:18 AM ET
12 years ago

Rubio says Obama's Libyan policy too soft

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Marco Rubio is laying out a strong stance against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and taking aim at President Obama for not explicitly demanding a regime change in the warring country.
"When an American president says the guy needs to go, you better make sure that it happens because your credibility and your stature in the world is on the line," said the freshman senator in an interview with the conservative Weekly Review Wednesday.

Rubio, the fresh-faced senator from Florida widely regarded by many in the GOP as an up-and-coming rock star, and a possible pick for the No. 2 spot on the 2012 Republican presidential ticket, also sent a letter Wednesday to Sens. Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid - the top Senate Republican and Democrat respectively - calling on the chamber to consent to the president's intervention and clearly define the mission's goal as regime change.

"This resolution should also state that removing Moammar [Gadhafi] from power is in our national interest and therefore should authorize the President to accomplish this goal," he writes in the letter. "To that end, the resolution should urge the President to immediately recognize the Interim Transitional National Council as the legitimate government in Libya."

In a nationally televised speech Monday, Obama said the NATO alliance would orchestrate the intervention going further and dismissed criticism that the Libyan mission fails to go far enough, particularly that Gadhafi's downfall is not a specific objective.

"If we tried to overthrow Gadhafi by force, our coalition would splinter," he said. "We would likely have to put U.S. troops on the ground to accomplish that mission, or risk killing many civilians from the air. The dangers faced by our men and women in uniform would be far greater. So would the costs, and our share of the responsibility for what comes next."

Filed under: Libya • Marco Rubio
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Bob in PA

    Marco is wrong, we should not even be there, not even one little bit.

    March 31, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Mr. "Wet Foot Dry Foot", living off the tax payers.....I still cannot believe I live in your state. People are finding out what you said at your "Tea Party" rally in Palm Beach last week. One and done!!!

    March 31, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. Who opened the gate? The Idiot's have walked In !

    The republican's just need to shut up ! The President's strategy was perfect for the situation ! That's why the action's polled so high ! The President did the right thing here because an open ended commitment would be a formal declaration of war and would surely cost lives and trillion's of dollar's ! We already had one Iraq and the republicans want us to do another ! 2010 was a mistake that will be corrected in 2012 ! The republican's have once again showed that they are clueless and out of sync with America !

    March 31, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. stevetall

    Let me get this straight. Rubio has been a Senator for, what, 5 minutes, and now he's trying to tell the president that we need to go to war with Libya? Back to the diapers, kid! You have so much to learn.

    March 31, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. ThinkAgain

    "To that end, the resolution should urge the President to immediately recognize the Interim Transitional National Council as the legitimate government in Libya."

    What the heck does this guy even know about Libya, other than the latest talking points from Fox? When was the latest high-level security briefing he attended?

    Typical Republican – shooting his mouth off without knowing what the heck he's talking about, doing his best to make President Obama and our country fail.


    March 31, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    The GOP is in trouble if Rubio is a rising rock star in the party. He suffers from the Palin foot in the mouth disease, very unpresidential indeed.

    March 31, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. Ptown

    Repubs are so quick to go to war. Glad we have a president who thinks things through first..

    March 31, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  8. bearced

    Why was it unpatriotic to criticize Bush when he attacked Iraq but it is OK to criticize Obama for lybia?

    March 31, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  9. Biggge

    Who is the guy, have not heard anything from him since the media said he a VP hopeful......I calling you guys out everytime, this is just now important to you..hmmmm. Wonder why.......

    March 31, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Mike in Texas

    Rubio is now trying to appeal to the chicken and war hawks on the right. Before it was the Tea Party. True Tea Party members would not support any military intervention. No matter what Obama does, he is wrong in the eyes of some Republican. I am sure if he did what Rubio said, Rubio would criticize him for something else.

    March 31, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  11. Joe The Plumber

    And Rubio's internation experience is WHAT?

    March 31, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. Tony in Maine

    His few weeks in Congress have made him the "go-to" person for foreign policy as well as tax cutting.

    He's correct – he's not ready to step out of the Peanut Gallery.

    March 31, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. patnamm

    Foot in mouth disease.

    March 31, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  14. Oldie in TampaBay

    Another one that likes to hear himself talk! New as a senator and now KNOWS all the answers! God Help Us ALL!

    March 31, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  15. Bob Ramos

    Question to Senator Rubio – Are you willing to pay the price for removing Quadafi? If no, then shut up. If yes, explain to the American public how you would, in detail, pay the price. Please do the latter after you have reviewed the complete history of the Iraq conflict.

    March 31, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    It does not appear that Mr. Rubio understands diplomacy. What you say, or MUST say, publicly is usually not what you real position is. The best diplomats never reveal what is really on their minds. That is kept in reserve.

    The U.S. cannot return to "cowboy diplomacy", Mr. Rubio. Your comments strongly reflect the juvenile mind set that seems to prevail amongst those on the far right. Just because Mr. Obama said "must go" does not mean that we "must go" in with troops or was even suggesting that course of action for a future date.

    The phrase "must go" has only one meaning to you Mr. Rubio. The most literal and simplistic meaning that one could assume, is the meaning that you have chosen to run with. Of course, it serves your purposes when it comes to the national conversation, but it also does damage to our international image abroad.

    And if you send in the troops, what comes next? Please do not tell me that you will figure that out when you reach that point. Patience, Mr. Rubio. Khadaffi will go. What is the big rush? Let him wear himself down until he has to leave.

    March 31, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Rubio is another republican chicken hawk. Sounds like in Rubio, we have a little John McCain and Joe Lieberman, put together, and dressed in an empty suit.

    March 31, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. ed h0715

    Come on mario . You couldnt stop people from killing each other in Miami , what do you kjnow . First of all , consider the two wars he has to deal with frst of all ( not of his making ) Second , his involvement is limited by resourses available . Remember , all you repubes said we got no money . WELL ?????? So if he did go full boar , you dumb asses would piss and moan about that . Stop it already . God , I cant believe im a card carrying Repubelican . You guys just embarrass me day after day with your idiocy !

    March 31, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. Aaron

    What's ironic are these armchair warriors that want to get the U.S. involved in another war, would never ever put their butts in the line of fire in some faraway desert. They are perfectly content with sending other American men to get killed and maimed, but would never dream of fighting themselves.

    March 31, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  20. Seattle Sue

    Sorry Marco, but your opinion mean less than nothing to me.

    March 31, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
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