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Rubio auditions for VP spot with call for aggressive foreign policy

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Rubio used the address to revive former President Reagan’s foreign-policy legacy in the Republican Party. He outlined a hawkish view of America’s role in world affairs and chided some Republicans for adopting a softer approach.

He delivered the remarks at the Brookings Institution, where he was introduced by Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), a remarkable arrangement considering Rubio’s status as a Senate freshman. Lieberman is a close friend and ally of Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), two of the biggest hawks in the upper chamber. Lieberman’s introduction and the muscularity of the speech itself shows that Rubio sees himself as the inheritor of his party’s interventionist foreign-policy tradition.

Rubio put himself in contrast to rising sentiment among Tea Party Republicans, represented by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), that the United States should reduce its foreign policy entanglements.

Rubio tackled that sentiment directly.

“I disagree with voices in my own party who argue we should not engage at all. Who warn that we should heed the words of John Quincy Adams not to go ‘abroad, in search of monsters to destroy,’ ” he said. 


Quoting a speech former British Prime Minister Tony Blair delivered to Congress in 2003, Rubio said it is the destiny of the United States to set the tone of world order.

For more on Rubio's remarks, click here.