Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says he plans to make a decision about whether to run in 2016 as a Republican for president “later this year or early next year.”
“I’ll have to make that decision next year,” Rubio said Tuesday on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. “It’s certainly something we’ll think about and talk about with our family and see if that’s a place that we think we can make a difference.”
Rubio argued that “America is at a real crossroads” and if he determines that he “can make a difference” he would “have to strongly consider” a presidential run.
Asked if he would run even if fellow Floridian Jeb Bush runs, Rubio said, “I haven’t even thought about it that way.” He noted that he has “tremendous admiration” for the former Republican governor and argued Bush could be a “very formidable candidate.”
But he suggested a Bush candidacy would not keep him out of the race.
“The truth is, that I think if you’re going to run, it should have nothing to do with who else is in the race,” he said. “It should have to do whether you think you’re prepared to do the job and you think you have a clear vision for where you want to take the country.
Asked by Blitzer if he could beat Hillary Clinton, Rubio replied: “I think Hillary Clinton is going to struggle to win on multiple fronts. First, she’s going to be asked to account for her time as secretary of state. And I don’t think it’s the sterling success people think it is.”
“Quite frankly, much of the foreign policy failures that we see in place today began when she ran the Department of State,” Rubio added.
He said Clinton would “have to answer for Benghazi,” where four Americans including the U.S. ambassador to the country were killed in terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2012.
“I know people want to push that aside, but here’s a fact,” Rubio said. “The State Department knew that the risk level for that facility was extremely high. They should have either closed that facility or provided it adequate security. They did not, under her watch. She will have to answer for that.”