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Rubio, Cruz shift positions on military strikes in Syria

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Cruz has said he opposes military strikes on Syria. He enraged the Obama administration, and some fellow Republicans, by repeating a line from anti-war former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) that the U.S. would be serving as “al Qaeda’s air force” by aiding jihadist rebels in Syria.

But as recently as June, the Tea Party-backed senator said during a Senate floor speech that the U.S. needed to “go in” and secure Assad’s chemical weapons.

“We need to be developing right now a clear, practical plan to go in, locate the weapons, secure or destroy them, and then get out. The United States should be firmly in the lead to make sure the job is done right,” Cruz said.

He added then that the U.S. “might work in concert with our allies, but this needs to be an operation driven by the mission, not by a coalition.”

Rubio, too, has adopted a more dovish tack.

Last week, he voted against the Syria strike resolution approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

But in April, when Assad was first accused of using chemical weapons, Rubio said, “the time for passive engagement in this conflict must come to an end.”

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