Presidential races

Rubio: Next president needs ‘clear view’ on foreign policy

Greg Nash

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) took a shot at some of his potential Republican presidential rivals Wednesday morning, arguing that they might have to struggle to catch up on national security issues.

“The next president of the United States needs to be someone that has a clear view of what’s happening in the world, a clear strategic vision of America’s role in it and a clear practical plan for how to engage America in global affairs. And I think, for governors, that’s going to be a challenge, at least initially, because they don’t deal with foreign policy on a daily basis,” Rubio said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast after calling national security the “central obligation” of the federal government. 

Rubio’s comments, in response to a question about whether he agreed with some governors’ argument that the next GOP nominee must have executive experience, are a sign that he’s looking to frame himself as the foreign policy candidate, as he weighs a potential presidential bid. Rubio has increasingly looked to emphasize his national security chops in recent months.

“I’ve certainly been very engaged in national security and foreign policy debates,” he said. “The predominant obligation of the federal government is to provide for our national security and to conduct the foreign policy of the United States, and I feel very comfortable discussing and debating that with any of the potential candidates or anyone else.”

The first-term senator reiterated a promise that he would either run for president or for reelection in 2016, saying he’d make a decision in “due time.”

When asked about former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), Rubio called his former mentor a “very credible candidate” who is “going to raise a lot of money” but insisted Bush’s likely candidacy won’t have any impact on his own decision-making process.

Rubio was also critical of President Obama’s recent actions halting deportations for many immigrants here illegally, though he was careful not to use some of the hard-line rhetoric of others in his party.

He said that any comprehensive immigration reform approach done in “one big bill,” like the one he supported last year, was doomed, instead arguing that the border needed to be secured and the legal immigration system needed to be fixed before Americans would stomach changing the legal status for those who are here illegally.

“I’ve tried it. That doesn’t work,” he said of the comprehensive approach.

Tags Marco Rubio

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