Rubio hits Cruz on national security, immigration
© Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioMurky TikTok deal raises questions about China's role Sunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election Florida senators pushing to keep Daylight Savings Time during pandemic MORE (R-Fla.) on Sunday continued to hit out at rival White House hopeful Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Washington on edge amid SCOTUS vacancy Murkowski: Supreme Court nominee should not be taken up before election Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight MORE (R-Texas) for his vote to “gut” federal intelligence programs.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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.”