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Marco Rubio on Homeland Security

 


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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Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
2016 Democratic Candidates:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)
2016 Third Party Candidates:
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
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Page last updated: Jul 09, 2015