Rubio criticizes Biden delay in addressing suspected Chinese spy balloon

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
Greg Nash
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) leaves the Old Senate Chamber following the Senate Republican leadership elections on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said on Sunday that President Biden should have addressed the nation sooner about the suspected Chinese spy balloon that traversed the country last week.

“Why didn’t the president go on television? He has the ability to convene the country in cameras and basically explain what we’re dealing with here and why he’s made the decisions he’s making and what they intend to do,” Rubio told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“Presidents have the ability to go before a camera, go before the nation and basically explain these things early on. … I don’t understand why he wouldn’t do that,” he continued.

Rubio also said Biden’s delay in addressing the suspected spy balloon was the “beginning of dereliction of duty.” He added that he does not think that the trajectory of the balloon was a “mystery” and asked why it took so long to disclose the Chinese balloon to the public.

Biden reportedly ordered the U.S. military to shoot down the balloon “as soon as possible” on Wednesday and explained on Saturday that he waited until it was over water to ensure there was no risk on the ground.

Rubio acknowledged that while this is not the first time a Chinese balloon was spotted near the United States, its flight path over the middle of the country was “unprecedented.” Officials had said on Saturday that Chinese balloons traveled over the U.S. three times during the Trump administration.

“That’s why everyone’s reacting the way they’re reacting,” the Florida Republican said. “We’ve never seen this, so this is no comparison to anything that may have happened up to this point.”

Tags China Chinese balloon Joe Biden Marco Rubio Marco Rubio President Joe Biden

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