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Marco Rubio on Homeland Security

 

 


Plenty of crescent moons in Arlington National Cemetery

Q: Mr. Trump, you told CNN, "Islam hates us." Did you mean all 1.6 billion Muslims?

TRUMP: I mean a lot of them. There's tremendous hatred. And I will stick with exactly what I said.

Q: Senator Rubio, your supporter, Republican Senator Jeff Flake said in response to that comment, "Republicans are better than this." Do you agree?

RUBIO: I know that a lot of people find appeal in the things Donald says because he says what people wish they could say. The problem is, presidents can't just say anything they want. It has consequences, here and around the world. I can also tell you if you go to Arlington National Cemetery, you're going to see crescent moons there. If you go anywhere in the world you're going see American men and women serving us in uniform that are Muslims. Anyone who is willing to die for this country is someone that loves America. No matter what their religious background may be.

Source: 2016 GOP primary debate in Miami , Mar 10, 2016

US security is more important than Apple

Q: What about the government requiring Apple to unlock an Apple iPhone used by a terrorist?

CRUZ: Apple should be forced to comply with the court order because a search and seizure is reasonable if it has judicial authorization and probable cause.

RUBIO: The only thing they're being asked to do, is allow us to disable the self- destruct mode that's in the Apple phone so that we can try to guess using our own systems what the password of this killer was. Apple doesn't want to do it because they think it hurts their brand. Well, let me tell you, their brand is not superior to the national security of the United States of America.

KASICH: The president should have convened a meeting with Apple and our security forces. You lock the door and you say you're not coming out until you reach an agreement that both gives the security people what they need and protects the rights of Americans.

Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

George W. Bush kept us safe and dealt with Hussein

RUBIO: I thank God it was George W. Bush in the White House on 9/11 and not Al Gore. I think you can look back in hindsight and say a couple of things, but he kept us safe. Not only did he keep us safe, but no matter what you want to say about weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein was in violation of U.N. resolutions, in open violation, and the world wouldn't do anything about it, and George W. Bush enforced what the international community refused to do.

KASICH: We thought there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Colin Powell, who is one of the most distinguished generals in modern times said there were weapons there. The fact is we got ourselves in the middle of a civil war. The borders of that country were drawn after World War I by Westerners that didn't understand what was happening there. The tragedy of it is that we're still embroiled. If there weren't weapons of mass destruction we should never have gone.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina , Feb 13, 2016

FactCheck: Yes, Air Force is now smallest in its history

Sen. Marco Rubio asserted, "Today, we are on pace to have the smallest Army since the end of World War II, the smallest Navy in 100 years, the smallest Air Force in our history." It seemed to us that, with ever-improving technology since the Air Force was formed in 1947, that Rubio had to be mistaken, so we dug up old records from 1968 (the peak of Vietnam) and 1980 (when Reagan started building up "the hollow military") and compared to today:

Category19681980 2015
Personnel905,000 558,000307,000
Aircraft15,50010,1005,600
Budget (2015 $)$545B$393B$140B

We checked other years too: between WWII and Vietnam, the counts were much higher due to the Korean War. In summary, any way you measure it, Rubio is correct: the Air Force is the smallest now whether you count personnel, aircraft, or budget.

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on 2016 Fox Republican debate in Iowa , Jan 28, 2016

Send more terrorists to Gitmo; find out everything they know

Sen. Rand PAUL: [For the liberty movement], the NSA is a big issue. Ted Cruz said he was for NSA reform, but then he told Marco Rubio, "no, no, no, I voted for the bill because I'm for the government collecting 100% of your cell phone records." I don't think Ted can have it both ways.

RUBIO: I believe the world is a safer and a better place when America is the strongest power in the world. And I believe only with a strong America will we defeat this radical group, this apocalyptic group called ISIS. That's why when I'm president we are going to rebuild our intelligence capabilities. And they're going to tell us where the terrorists are. And a rebuilt U.S. military is going to destroy these terrorists. And if we capture any of these ISIS killers alive, they are going to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and we're going to find out everything they know, because when I'm president, unlike Barack Obama, we will keep this country safe.

Source: 2016 Fox News Republican two-tiered debate in Iowa , Jan 28, 2016

Haul terrorists to Guantanamo for enhanced interrogation

Waterboarding may be illegal, but "I would bring it back," says Donald Trump. As for Marco Rubio, he vows to haul captured terrorists to Guantanamo Bay and "find out everything they know."

Last year Congress enshrined a torture ban into federal law: In June, the Senate voted 78-21 to approve an amendment, sponsored by Sens. John McCain and Dianne Feinstein, that became law. Rubio missed the vote but opposed the measure, saying he didn't want to deny future presidents "important tools for protecting the American people." He also complained about "telegraphing to the enemy what interrogation techniques we will or won't use."

The McCain-Feinstein amendment requires that all interrogation comply with the Army Field Manual, a publicly available document that forbids waterboarding as well as the use of electric shocks, dogs, nudity, hypothermia and mock executions. All were elements of the CIA's interrogation program in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Source: Politico.com, "GOP candidates on anti-torture law" , Jan 21, 2016

Hillary not qualified and Obama apologizes too much

Hillary Clinton is disqualified from being commander in chief. Someone who cannot handle intelligence information cannot be commander in chief and someone who lies to the families of those victims in Benghazi can never be president. Barack Obama believes that America is an arrogant global power that needs to be cut down. That's how you get a foreign policy where we cut deals with enemies like Iran and we betray allies and we go around the world like he has done and apologize for America.
Source: Fox Business Republican 2-tier debate , Jan 14, 2016

Modernize all three legs of the nuclear triad

Q: Of the three legs of the nuclear triad, which is your priority?

TRUMP: For me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very important to me.

RUBIO: First, let's explain to people at home what the triad is. The triad is our ability to conduct nuclear attacks using airplanes, using missiles launched from silos, and also from our nuclear subs. All three of them are critical. It gives us the ability at deterrence. Now, some have become more critical than others; for example, the submarines. And that's the Ohio Class submarine that needs to be modernized. The air component also needs to be modernized. The B-52 is an outdated model that was flown by the grandparents of people that are flying it now. And we need a serious modernization program as well on our silo-launched missiles. All three are critical for the defense of the country.

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican two-tier debate , Dec 15, 2015

World is safer when America is the strongest military power

Sen. Rand PAUL: Rubio's plan for $1 trillion in new military spending--you get something that looks, to me, not very conservative.

RUBIO: I do want to rebuild the American military.

PAUL: How is it conservative?

RUBIO: I know that Rand is a committed isolationist. I'm not. I believe the world is a stronger and a better place, when the US is the strongest military power in the world.

PAUL: Yeah, but, Marco, you can not be a conservative if you're going to keep promoting new programs that you're not going to pay for.

RUBIO: We can't even have an economy if we're not safe. There are radical jihadist in the Middle East beheading people and crucifying Christians. A radical Shia cleric in Iran trying to get a nuclear weapon, the Chinese taking over the South China Sea. Yes, I believe the world is a safer--no, I don't believe, I know that the world is a safer place when America is the strongest military power in the world.

PAUL: No. I don't think we are any safer from bankruptcy court.

Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

Radical terrorism cannot be solved by intellect

CARSON: I have no argument with being aggressive where aggression is needed. But it is not needed in every circumstance. There is a time when you can use your intellect to come up with other ways to do things.

RUBIO: But radical terrorism cannot be solved by intellect. It cannot--they require--what they need, is they need an operating space. That's what Afghanistan was for Al Qaida. It was a vacuum that they filled, and they created an operating space. That's why they had to be drawn out of there. That's why they had to be destroyed. It is the reason why ISIS has grown as well. We allowed a vacuum to emerge in Syria. They used it as an operating space to grow; and today they're not just in Iraq and Syria anymore, they're now in Libya, conducting operations in the Sinai. They're now in Afghanistan, trying to supplant the Taliban as the most powerful radical jihadist group on the ground there, as well. You cannot allow radical jihadists to have an operating safe haven anywhere in the world.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

Don't use military for pinpricks; only engage to win

Let's remember what the president said. He said the attack he would conduct would be a pinprick. Well, the United States military was not built to conduct pinprick attacks. If the United States military is going to be engaged by a commander-in-chief, it should only be engaged in an endeavor to win. And we're not going to authorize use of force if you're not put in a position where they can win. Quite frankly, people don't trust this president as commander-in-chief because of that.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

We're eviscerating our military in dangerous times

These are dangerous times that we live in. And the next president better be someone that understands these issues and has good judgment about them because the number one issue that a president will ever confront, and the most important obligation that the federal government has, is to keep this nation safe. We are not doing that. We are eviscerating our military. And we have a president that is more respectful to the ayatollah in Iran than he is to the prime minister of Israel.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

Empower V.A. to care more about vets than bureaucrats

Q: What are you going to do for our nation's veterans?

RUBIO: God has blessed America with young men and women willing to risk their lives and sometimes die in uniform for the safety and security of our people. Unfortunately today we have a VA that does not do enough for them. I am proud that last year we helped change the law. We changed the law to give the power to the VA secretary the ability to fire any executive that isn't doing their job. And it is outrageous they've only fired one person to date. When I'm president of the United States, we're going to have a VA that cares more about our veterans than about the bureaucrats who work at the VA.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Defense spending is most important federal obligation

I believe defense spending is the most important obligation of the federal government. That doesn't mean we throw money away, or we put money in places where it doesn't belong or we fund projects that have no utility. But it does mean that the most important thing the federal government does for America is defend it.

There have been times in our history when we've tried to save money by cutting back on defense spending. Interesting to point out that in times in the past we've taken what they call a peace dividend--in essence, this idea that the world is no longer unstable or unsafe, and we can now spend less on defense--each and every time, we've had to come back and make up for it later as a new threat emerged. I don't think we can make the argument that this is a time when the world is stable or peaceful, and yet this is a time of dramatic reductions of defense spending. This is the worst possible time to be reducing our defense spending and yet that is what we are doing.

Source: Rubio Senate Floor Speech "Defense Spending" (Press release) , Mar 24, 2015

Modernize military to be used 10 years in the future

When we talk about modernization, we are not talking about the commander in chief today. When we decide how much money we're going to spend on modernizing our military capabilities, what we're deciding is what are the technologies and tools that are going to be available to a future commander in chief in 5, 10 or 15 years. These innovative systems that we use today, that have cut down on civilian casualties, that have allowed to improve our targeting, our intelligence-gathering capabilities, that have made the United States the premier fighting force in all of human history--all of those things were developed a decade ago or longer through years of experimentation and testing, through innovation. So if we cut back on that now in ten years, a future commander in chief will be faced with a threat to our national security, and we will not have the latest, greatest technology on the planet to address it.
Source: Rubio Senate Floor Speech "Defense Spending" (Press release) , Mar 24, 2015

We need coherent interrogation policy, & keep it classified

Sen. Ted Cruz took a stand against torture: "Senate Democrats have endangered Americans all over the world by releasing classified tactics, which have since rightly been outlawed, used by the intelligence community in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks," Cruz said in a statement.

Like Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio weighed in with one of the strongest responses, in a joint statement with Idaho's Sen. Jim Risch, calling the release of the report "reckless and irresponsible" and demanding a more current detention and interrogation policy: "As a nation at war, we need a coherent detention and interrogation policy in order to extract valuable intelligence about terrorist networks from captured operatives. The Obama Administration has no detention policy, and it has hindered U.S. efforts to fight terrorism globally," they said. Rubio later told reporters he didn't support brutal interrogation methods, however.

Source: MSNBC 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Dec 11, 2014

We need NSA intel to fight emerging terrorist threats

Republicans have a rift with the tech industry over domestic spying. More than a year of work by tech leaders like Facebook and Google to curtail the National Security Agency's surveillance authorities failed this month in part because Sen. Rubio joined Sen. Paul, usually a supporter, in voting against it.

A high-stakes vote over the future of the NSA further tested Republicans' relationships in the Valley. Paul and others had supported a major overhaul of the agency's authorities to collect Americans' communications in bulk--but the senator shocked tech giants and civil-liberties groups when he pulled support at the last minute, as the USA Freedom Act reached the Senate floor for a key procedural vote. Rubio long had stated his opposition, citing emerging terrorist threats and the need for more intelligence.

Paul defended his vote on surveillance reform, stressing in an interview he "couldn't vote for it because it reauthorized the PATRIOT Act"--a law he described as "heinous."

Source: Politico.com 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 29, 2014

Increased military investment demonstrates leadership

Rubio has spent much of 2014 promoting himself as a foreign policy expert through a series of speeches: "Too many leaders in both parties, including our president and some who aspire to be president, have shown they would rather wait for poll numbers to change than demonstrate the leadership necessary to shape them," Rubio said while advocating increased military investment.
Source: Reuters 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 18, 2014

ISIL's goal is to drive us out of the region

Q: The president is going to make a speech to outline to his strategy; the "next phase," as he put it, is going to be "going on the offensive against ISIL," his quote. This is not going to be an announcement on U.S. ground troops but will be similar to the kind of counterterrorism campaigns we have carried out in the past. So what do you want to hear?

RUBIO: I want to hear what he should have said months ago: clearly explain to the American people what our national security interests are in the region, especially in what is happening in Syria and Iraq; accurately describe to the American people the risk that ISIL poses for us short-term and long-term and why they matter. This is a group that has made very clear they want to establish an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East and the only way they're going to be able to do that is to drive us from the region. Second, he needs to clearly outline what we're going to do about it, and I hope that will include a sustained air campaign.

Source: Face the Nation 2014 interview: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 7, 2014

ISIL is a threat because many members have US passports

Q: The president says ISIL does not pose a threat now to the US homeland--but they could develop such a threat. Do you think they pose a threat to the homeland now?

RUBIO: I do. I believe they do. And I'll tell you why I believe that. First and foremost because they are replete with both European and American fighters who have passports that allow them immediate access into the United States. Second, because I think it's important not to overestimate the amount of intelligence that we have on these groups. They have become increasingly capable at evading detection. So for us to simply sit back and say we don't think they pose a threat because we haven't seen one I think would be shortsighted. The fact of the matter is this group has, among their ranks, hundreds if not thousands of people with the capability of entering the United States quickly and easily and we should not take that lightly.

Source: Face the Nation 2014 interview: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 7, 2014

ISIS is a more serious threat than al Qaeda

Q: How serious is the threat posed by ISIS militants?

RUBIO: Certainly potentially more dangerous today than al Qaeda. They are an extremely radical group with increasing capabilities, and a very clear design. They want to establish an Islamic caliphate in sections of both Syria and Iraq, and other places. Potentially, Jordan is next. And then they want to launch attacks in the exterior, external operations, including targeting our homeland. This is an extremely serious national security risk for the country if they were to establish that safe haven of operation. The reason why al Qaeda was able to carry out the 9/11 attacks is because they had a safe operating space in Afghanistan that the Taliban had given them. And now history is trying to repeat itself here. ISIS is trying to establish the exact same thing in the Iraq-Syria region. And from this caliphate that they're setting up, they will continue to recruit and train and plot and plan and eventually carry out external operations.

Source: Face the Nation 2014 interview: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 22, 2014

No one has been held accountable for Benghazi

Q: On the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya: there have already been 13 congressional hearings on the attack. Do we really need another committee investigating Benghazi?

RUBIO: Yes. No one has been accountable. I mean, who has been accountable for what happened in Benghazi? This administration has a tendency on foreign policy issues in particular, not to worry nearly as much about what to do, and to worry more about what to say. And they decided not just to mislead the American public, but to mislead the families of these victims as to exactly what had happened.

Q: But you have the Republican Party raising money off this investigation. Is that appropriate?

RUBIO: I would prefer that we would focus not on the fundraising elements or the political elements of it, because I think it takes away from the reality of how serious a situation this is.

Q: How big a problem is this going to be for Hillary Clinton?

RUBIO: She's going to have to be held accountable for the State Department's failures.

Source: ABC This Week 2014 series of 2016 presidential hopefuls , May 11, 2014

World is a better place when America is the strongest nation

On foreign policy, America continues to be indispensable to the goal of global liberty, prosperity and safeguarding human rights. The world is a better place when America is the strongest nation on earth. But we can't remain powerful if we don't have an economy that can afford it.
Source: GOP Response to 2013 State of the Union Address , Feb 12, 2013

9/11 about people who hate what America stands for

Today, my thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against our nation. In the aftermath of the attacks, we are thankful for the dedication of the brave men and women of the US Armed Forces, Intelligence Community, and law enforcement agencies, [who] defend America at home and abroad and work to prevent another terrorist attack.

America and our freedoms have always had enemies. Even now, there are people all over the world who hate what America stands for and the example we provide the world. These enemies want to impose their world view on others. Eleven years later, the world remains a dangerous place and our nation remains at war. It is imperative that we continue the fight against radical Islamists, terrorist sympathizers and those who harbor them. As Americans, we should never forget the innocent lives we lost on September 11th, and we should renew our commitment to stand for the freedoms we have always defended.

Source: Rubio Senate office Press release, "Anniversary of Sept. 11" , Sep 11, 2012

Safer place when America is strongest country in the world

Q: People have tried to paint the race in Florida as one which it would be difficult for you to win as a conservative.

A: Every one of our issues polls in the majority. Our positions are mainstream positions. It's pretty simple. I think the private sector creates jobs, not government. I think our government cannot continue to spend more money than it takes in. And I think the world is a safer place when America is the strongest country in the world. These are mainstream positions. It's my opponents, it's Washington DC that's far outside the mainstream. They may not believe that in the fancy editorial boards, but everyday Floridians believe that Washington is taking us down a road that will rob us of our exceptionalism. And we're the only campaign offering a clear alternative on that front.

Source: 2010 Fox News interview, Primary Night edition of "Hannity" , Aug 25, 2010

No greater risk than radical Islamic terrorists

Q: How would you address both foreign and domestic terrorist threats on the US?

A: There is no greater risk to our security than radical Islamic terrorists. We must be active in targeting and destroying terrorist cells and their leaders. If they are captured, we need to try them before military tribunals in Guantanamo not in civilian courts in Manhattan.

Source: League of Women Voters 2010 Candidate Questionnaire , Aug 11, 2010

Islamic terrorists want to impose their view of the world

Americans are looking for a clear alternative on the issue of national defense. There is no greater risk to this country than the risk posed by radical Islamic terrorists. These terrorists aren't trying to kill us because we offended them. They attacked us because they want to impose their view of the world on as many people as they can and America is standing in their way. We need to make it unmistakably clear that we will take whatever it takes for however long it takes to defeat radical Islamic terrorism. We will punish, we will punish their allies like Iran and we will stand with our allies like Israel. We will target and we will destroy terrorist cells and the leaders of those cells. The ones that survive we will capture them. We will capture them, we will get useful information from them and then we will bring them to justice in front of a military tribunal in Guantanamo. As I said in front of a military tribunal in Guantanamo, not a civilian court room in Manhattan.
Source: Speech to 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 20, 2010

No evidence to change policy of don't ask, don't tell

U.S. Senate rivals Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio both said today they oppose abolishing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy affecting gays and lesbians in the military. The 1993 policy was intended to be a political compromise that let gay men and women serve so long as they stayed silent about their sexuality. But President Barack Obama and top military leaders say it is time to end the discrimination all together.

"We are a nation at war. The governor believes the current policy has worked, and there is no need to make changes," a Crist campaign spokeswoman said.

"Marco Rubio supports the current policy and doesn't see any evidence it needs to be changed," a campaign spokesman said.

Source: St. Petersburg Times' coverage of 2010 Florida Senate debate , Feb 4, 2010

Voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps.

Congressional Summary: A bill to extend expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 relating to access to business records, individual terrorists as agents of foreign powers, and roving wiretaps until December 8, 2011.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Smith, R-TX]: America is safe today not because terrorists and spies have given up their goal to destroy our freedoms and our way of life. We are safe today because the men and women of our Armed Forces, our intelligence community, and our law enforcement agencies work every single day to protect us. And Congress must ensure that they are equipped with the resources they need to counteract continuing terrorist threats. On Feb. 28, three important provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act will expire. These provisions give investigators in national security cases the authority to conduct "roving" wiretaps, to seek certain business records, and to gather intelligence on lone terrorists who are not affiliated with a known terrorist group. The Patriot Act works. It has proved effective in preventing terrorist attacks and protecting Americans. To let these provisions expire would leave every American less safe.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Conyers, D-MI]: Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows a secret FISA court to authorize our government to collect business records or anything else, requiring that a person or business produce virtually any type record. We didn't think that that was right then. We don't think it's right now. This provision is contrary to traditional notions of search and seizure which require the government to show reasonable suspicion or probable cause before undertaking an investigation that infringes upon a person's privacy. And so I urge a "no" vote on the extension of these expiring provisions.
Status: Passed 86-12

Reference: FISA Sunsets Extension Act; Bill H.514 ; vote number 11-SV019 on Feb 17, 2011

Supports banning homosexuals in the military.

Rubio supports the CC survey question on banning homosexuals in the military

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Enforcing the 1993 law banning homosexuals in the military"

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q3a on Aug 11, 2010

Sponsored opposing the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

Rubio co-sponsored Resolution on UN

Congressional Summary:Expressing the conditions for the US becoming a signatory to the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

  1. the President should not sign the Arms Trade Treaty, and that the Senate should not ratify the ATT; and
  2. that no Federal funds should be authorized to implement the ATT.

Opponent's argument against bill:(United Nations press release, June 3, 2013):

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon str

Source: S.CON.RES.7 & H.CON.RES.23 : 13-SC007 on Mar 13, 2013

Other candidates on Homeland Security: Marco Rubio on other issues:
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Alexander Snitker
Charlie Crist
Rick Scott
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Bill Nelson

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