During an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller on Thursday, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said businessman and potential 2012 GOP primary candidate Donald Trump deserves to be taken seriously as a legitimate candidate, noting that “Donald Trump comes to the race with some notoriety — people know who he is.”
But when it came to Trump’s questioning whether or not President Obama was born in the U.S., Rubio said: “I would suggest — if he asked for my opinion — not to focus so much on that issue. There are more important things facing our country. I believe Barack Obama was born in the United States of America …So why are we talking about this?”
(Watch Marco Rubio discuss Donald Trump and the “birther” issue here:)
Rubio also expressed support for Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wisc.) proposed budget, saying “it’s the most serious policy proposal” anyone has thus far put out regarding the budget. Rubio added that President Obama’s budget is “a joke” compared to Ryan’s.
In terms of the possible government shutdown, Rubio said: “I don’t want to see servicemen that are out in Afghanistan not getting their paychecks on the fifteenth of this month. I mean that would be outrageous.”
Rubio also doubled down on his hawkish support of U.S. intervention in Libya, pushing back against the notion the Libyan rebels are terrorists. He called for a the U.S. to recognize the Libyan transition council, to give the rebels some of Gaddafi’s frozen assets, and also suggested setting up a “provisional embassy” in Benghazi.
(Watch Marco Rubio discuss his recommendations for “non-military” methods to help oust Gaddafi):
Rubio also reiterated his support for Israel, saying he is convinced “there is a move afoot in the international community to delegitimize Israel.”
On the political front, Rubio told TheDC he would stay out of the U.S. Senate GOP primary heating up in his home state of Florida, pledging to support the Republican nominee, but also to work with incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson on behalf of Florida.
On a lighter note, Rubio told TheDC he was a fan of movies including “Wedding Crashers,” “The Godfather” and “Pulp Fiction.” In terms of music, Rubio said he likes Pitbull and Niki Minaj, adding: “Look, I don’t let my kids listen to any of this stuff.” Rubio also said he tries to watch “American Idol” when he can.