Rubio hits Cruz on national security, immigration
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Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill Trump bets base will stick with him on immigration MORE (R-Fla.) on Sunday continued to hit out at rival White House hopeful Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea GOP state lawmakers meet to plan possible constitutional convention MORE (R-Texas) for his vote to “gut” federal intelligence programs.

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“There are members of the Republican Party, that includes Senator Cruz and Senator [Rand] Paul [Ky.], who have argued that somehow the government is out there spying on everybody, so we need to gut these programs,” Rubio said on “Fox News Sunday.” “That isn’t true.”

Cruz voted for the USA Freedom Act, a bill that killed the National Security Agency’s (NSA) telephone bulk data collection program.

Rubio said government agents who misuse surveillance technology to spy on American citizens should be “fired and prosecuted,” but added that the bill significantly curtailed “valuable tools in the war on terror that allow us to learn more about the terrorists than they know about us, and allow us to identify them and potentially disrupt plots before they’re carried out.”

The Florida senator also went after Cruz on immigration, saying the Texas Republican at one point supported amnesty for illegal immigrants residing in the country.

“But he’s changed his position, and that’s fine, he has a right to do that,” Rubio said. “He needs to answer the question of what he would do with those people that are here illegally.”

“He’s the only Republican candidate — in fact, he’s the only candidate for president that to this point refuses to answer the question of what do we do with people who are here illegally,” Rubio added. “And I think that’s an important point.”