Rubio hits Cruz on national security, immigration
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Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioMexican politicians have a new piñata: Donald Trump Bush ethics lawyer: Congress must tell Trump not to fire Mueller The private alternative to the National Flood Insurance Program  MORE (R-Fla.) on Sunday continued to hit out at rival White House hopeful Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzMcCain votes to advance ObamaCare repeal, replace after vowing to oppose Senate rejects ObamaCare repeal, replacement amendment Senate Dem: We’re trying to block a recess appointment to replace Sessions 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.”