GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio brushed aside other Republican candidates while at a campaign stop in New Hampshire, referring to their national security policies as “isolationist.”
Rubio didn’t just go after fellow Republicans, but also took shots at Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over her poor record as secretary of state during the Obama administration, The Guardian reports.
Rubio alleged that she had lied about Benghazi and bungled policy regarding Syria and Russia. Since his main concern is other candidates prior to the GOP nomination, he reserved the majority of his remarks for targeting Republicans, especially Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, contrasting the “party of Reagan” with diametrically opposed “isolationist” policies and strange alliances with actors like Russian president Vladimir Putin and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
Rubio mocked Ted Cruz’s idea of carpet bombing the Islamic State “until the sands glow,” saying that because Cruz had backed proposals to cut defense, it’s unclear what weaponry would even be available to carry out that attack.
In regard to our warming relationship with Iran, and by proxy Assad, Rubio reiterated support for Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally under fire for stamping out free speech and brutally executing dissenters of the existing regime.
“Our response should be to stand with our allies,” he said.
His wide-ranging criticisms sparked heated response from the Clinton and Cruz campaigns. Christina Reynolds, a spokeswoman for the Clinton campaign, said that Rubio’s criticisms of the Obama administration are “ironic considering he backed many of the very policies he now points to as problematic.”
According to Reynolds, Rubio supported Obama’s intervention into Libya and also opposed authorizing the use of force against the Syrian regime after it was reported that Assad used chemical weapons on civilians.
The Cruz campaign also issued a statement.
“So Rubio’s foreign policy and national security strategy is to invade Middle Eastern countries, create power vacuums for terrorist organizations, allow their people to come to America unvetted, give them legal status and citizenship, then impose a massive surveillance state to monitor the problem,” Alice Stewart, a Cruz spokeswoman, told The Guardian in a statement.
“I’m trying to figure out if it is more incoherent than dangerous or vice versa,” she added.
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