Marco Rubio blasts Obama administration, pushes American leadership abroad
November 20th, 2013
03:14 PM ET
9 years 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. The Real Tom Paine

    -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.
    So, one poll gives you what you want to hear, and you accept that as gospel? Even with the sampling size you mention, that's hardly conclusive on a world-wide scale. After the train wreck of the Bush years, expectations for Obama were unrealistically high, so much of that is disappointment that he has not mastered walking on water during his administration. It still does not negate the fact that, aside from Africa, Bush was viewed as unreliable and unwilling to really work with allies. As for my supposed hard left turn, perhaps its in reaction to people who have made patently wrong statements in recent weeks that show a real lack of thought. Frankly, after your insulting post on Veteran's Day and your sheepish attempt at apologising, I figured you had been playing people in here. As far as my stating that Repubs want a poor quality of life, lets examine the facts: they refuse to invest in infrastructure and education, they repeatedly make the mistake of inflicting an extreme morality that bears more resemblance to the Taliban than to our values, and they have labelled anyone who opposes them as a traitor to our way of life. You cannot have a society that regulates personal behavior and yet says that economic activity is to be left alone. As far as my being a demagogue, perhaps its you who needs to step back and ask yosuelf if you would ever speak to anyone in person with the type of smug, arrogant, know-it-all attitude you have adopted. I thought Donna, Sniffit and Just Saying were condescending; you, frankly, beat them by a country mile. You really believe that I want the government telling me what to do with my life every second? Hardly, yet you have lumped me in with people even when I have said nothing. You asked for my opinion recentlyon why I supported the ACA: I gave it, and you preceded to tell me I had answered the question incorrectly, probably because I did not give you the answer you wanted. Do you want to know what people think, or do you want validation of your beliefs? And don't patronise me with telling me to calm down, when you have been one of the worst people in here with starting pissing matches and keeping them going. If you want a civil discussion, have one.

    November 20, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    -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.
    Show me proof that we were actively involved: sorry, but the usual whack-job websites don't count.

    November 20, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    Apparently, when a someone who is center-left gets passioante about their beliefs, they become demagogues. Perhaps it has something to do with people making sweeping statements about liberals supporting the military, and that any support is disengenuous.

    November 20, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    Silly idiot talks about abroad. Did he ever go out of this nation?

    November 20, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. jinx9to88

    "American leadership has been a force for tremendous good in the world," Rubio said,. Translation is America needs a defense budget of $1 trillion dollars a year cause I have donors in the defense contractor business like Cheney.

    November 20, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    I don't know whether or not it is denial, or just utter complete ignorance, but the Middle East would not be in the near chaotic state that it is in now if the Bush administration had not upset the balance of powers by taking down Saddam. The last thing that Saddam wanted was a nuclear Iran. For decades, he regularly made bombing raids to destroy facilities. Another side effect of the Iraq War has been the emboldening of radical extremists to take over countries through terror and chaos.

    November 20, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "I thought Donna, Sniffit and Just Saying were condescending"

    I'll fully admit I'm condescending and I am on purpose. I've had it with these idiots and their ideological reality-denial. However, I resent you grouping me in with Donna and Just Saying, who NEVER rely on facts or provide anything even remotely close to informative posting. I make great efforts to do so and I daresay provide more facts and data on a regular basis than anyone else who frequents this silly site.

    November 20, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. tom l

    @The Real TP,
    When I have more time I will certainly respond to your long response. However, that being said, I am in absolute disbelief that you are still holding on to that one, ONE, comment I made. My goodness. You have got to let that go. We all say things here that we regret. I regretted what I said and apologized. What more would you like me to do?

    What I find highly ironic is that you will accept an apology from our president but you don't do the same when someone you personally interact with won't be afforded the same type of response. I have always been true to my beliefs and been very consistent with my posts yet you still want to go back to a singular comment. Pretty lame of you.

    As far as being "center left and getting passionate", that's fine. It gets to demagoguery when you try to get support by making false claims and promises and using arguments based on emotion rather than reason. It is the height of emotion to pretend that you are better than the other side to the point that you believe that they want failure in the United States. I can't even believe I am taking the time to point this out to you. Dude, neither side wants bad things to happen to the U.S. Both sides have ideas on how to improve the quality of life here. To not recognize and acknowledge that is childish and shows how close minded you really are.

    November 20, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. just asking

    ok, so just where are all of obama's great foreign policy success stories? buehler? buehler?

    November 20, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    " responsible for the overthrow of Egypt and Libya?"

    Look, I'm as sick of interventionist nonsense as the next guy, but both of those countries were already severely destabilized and in the midst of or on their way to all out civil war before we stuck our nose into anything. What we did may have exacerbated instability in the short term, but led to more stability in the long term. That Egypt continues to go through growing pains after a democratically elected leader turned out to be a jackhole, does not change the fact that the people of Egypt now adamantly demand such democracy, have systems in place to hopefully continue it and are on their way to a more stable society.

    November 20, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. tom l

    @The ever more angry and unreasonable Rudy:
    "Hermain Cain ominously announces, "If you're not rich already, then it's your own fault."

    You're joking, right? I mean you have to be joking to take that comment and say that is what all conservatives think. Since you have absolutely no idea how or what a conservative thinks, let me try to educate you. What he is saying there is that this country gives everyone the chance to be a success. We need look no further than the president of the United States for proof of that. He doesn't have to do anything for his personal survival. He worked his butt off, moved to the top of a major corporation, and has his. He needn't do a thing and he will still be rich. What an unbelievable statement by you but nothing surprises me anymore. You think that Obama didn't lie about IYLYPYCKI so it just shows how partisan and close minded you are. Such a sad and sorry life to believe something as ridiculous as that.

    November 20, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    ""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. "

    And our own may as well not exist as far as the GOP/Teatrolls are concerned. Voter suppression via restrictive ID laws that carefully pick and choose which IDs to accept or exclude based on which demographics are likely to already have them, nullification of election results and executive powers via obstruction, demands for secession, nullification laws passed by the states 150 years after the issue was decided, imaginary voter fraud conspiracies, gerrymandering that gives control of the House to the party that received the least votes, ever more restrictive voter registration laws, reduced polling center times, laws to forcefully close polling centers even when there were huge lines and delays, etc. etc. etc. Democracy, to the GOP/Teatrolls, is defined as "elections in which only the right people participate and that result in us winning."

    November 20, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
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