Marco Rubio on War & Peace

Republican Florida Senator


Imminent, credible threat obliges president to act

If the President of the United States is presented with information that there is an imminent and credible threat that could cost the lives of not a couple of hundred potentially hundreds, if not thousands of American servicemen and women and other personnel in the region the President has an obligation to act. Any President would have an obligation to act. And this President did.
Source: CBS Face the Nation 2020 on 2016 Florida senate race , Jan 5, 2020

Selling arms to Saudi Arabia gives us leverage over them

Q: You said that if it Saudi Arabia had something to do with Jamal Khashoggi's murder that "a complete revolt against our policies with Saudi Arabia would take place in Congress."

RUBIO: In Congress right now there is no pro-Saudi element that's going to stick with our relationship with Saudi Arabia as it's currently structured if they lured this man into this consulate, and killed him. As far as the options that are concerned, people talk a lot about the arms sales.

Q: The President said, basically, because there's $110 billion arms purchases on order from Saudi Arabia that that has to be weighed in the response.

RUBIO: It's not about the money; I would have phrased it differently. There are plenty other countries that would want to buy arms from the U.S. But when you sell arms to Saudi Arabia, it gives you leverage over them because they need replacement parts and training. You can't sanction a country by cutting them off of something if you never provided it in the first place.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2018 interviews of 2020 hopefuls , Oct 14, 2018

Khashoggi: stop Saudi arms sales & reduce Yemen involvement

Q: What affect should Jamal Khashoggi's murder have on Saudi relations?

FLAKE: Well, severe action needs to be taken and I think the Congress will take it upon themselves to take that action if Saudi Arabia was involved.

Q: The president has ruled That involvement barely survived in the last go-round with the National Defense Authorization Act. It certainly won't survive with this kind of accusation

Q: You say if it is true. Is there any other explanation at this point?

FLAKE: There sure doesn't seem to be. There's just no good explanation and I think they know it. I wouldn't be surprised to hear different explanations that frankly won't make much sense, that it was done by lower level folks. That's what I would expect to come next.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2018 interviews of 2020 hopefuls , Oct 14, 2018

North Korea should denuclearize, but I'm not optimistic

Q: Do you support the summit meetings between President Trump and with Kim Jong-un?

RUBIO: It depends. North Korea is a strange place. They're playing a game. Kim Jong-un, these nuclear weapons are something he's psychologically attached to. They're what give him the prestige and importance. We're not talking about him because of his global and economic power. We're talking about them because they have nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. And he knows that. And so for him to give that up is going to be very difficult. So, my suspicion remains that he is going to try to get as much sanctions relief as possible without having to give up his weapons. And I think it's going to be a lot of twists and turns along the way to try to get there, if it's even possible. But I hope I'm wrong. I would love to see them denuclearize. I'm not very optimistic about that.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2018 interviews of 2020 hopefuls , May 27, 2018

North Korea's nukes are about prestige, not about diplomacy

Q: You said you 100% support President Trump's decision to pull out of the North Korean summit?

RUBIO: The first thing we all have to do is stop pretending that we're dealing with the old Soviet Union, or that we're negotiating with Italy or France. This is a very erratic regime that's very distrustful and paranoid about the rest of the world. They've never dealt with outsiders, they don't have an established diplomatic core. They have no history of it. And Kim Jong-un has a personal psychological attachment to these nuclear weapons. They make him feel prestigious; they make him feel powerful. And they have, quite frankly, been what his regime has been known for since he took over seven years ago. This is a man who has to figure out how to survive in power for 50-something years as a dictator and is probably afraid that if he gets rid of these weapons at some point, someone's going to take him out.

Source: ABC This Week 2018 interviews of 2020 hopefuls , May 27, 2018

We cannot live in a world where North Korea can nuke us

Q: Are we going to war with North Korea?

RUBIO: I hope not. Obviously, we have to ask ourselves a very fundamental question. And that is, "can we live in a world where Kim Jong-un possesses not just nuclear weapons, but the ability to deliver those weapons against the continental US?" If the answer is yes, then I suppose that there are all sorts of things we would not do. If the answer is no--and the answer is no for me--then the options before you are truly quite limited. And none of those options are good. We must do almost whatever it takes, just about anything, to prevent Kim Jong-un from acquiring a nuclear capability he can deliver against the US mainland.

Q: So, what is the endgame? Removing all missiles?

RUBIO: The best possible outcome would be that he walks away from his long-range missile program. That's an unacceptable risk that. That cannot happen. If he continues to test them, if he continues to make progress in that direction, then we have got a big problem.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2017 interviews of 2020 hopefuls , Apr 23, 2017

Timetable in Afghanistan emboldened Taliban to wait us out

Q: Bob Gates, the former secretary of defense, had a book out this week. What did you think about his disclosures?

RUBIO: I have two thoughts. The first is my preference would be that people would refrain from writing these sorts of things until the president is out of office, because I it undermines the ability to conduct foreign policy. That being said, I don't think we can ignore what is in that book. The motivations in Afghanistan was primarily political: the president had that this is not his war. And you saw that reflected in the decision that he made at the same time that he announced the surge, he also announced an exit date and strategy, thereby emboldening Taliban to believe they can wait us out. And the result is now evident across the globe. Our allies see us as unreliable and our enemies feel emboldened. And I think that this is--confirms our worst fears that this is an administration that lacks a strategic foreign policy and in fact largely driven by politics and tactics.

Source: Face the Nation 2014 interview: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jan 12, 2014

Goal for Korea: denuclearize the peninsula and to unify it

Q: On North Korea, are we following the right policies?

RUBIO: I believe the administration has acted responsibly. I think they've done three things that are important:

  1. They've made very can clear that there is not going to be any food or any conceptions in exchange for downsizing these provocations.
  2. They've repositioned assets, to do two things--they protect the US and our territory, but they also let our allies understand clearly that we are going to live up to our security commitments.
  3. I'm also encouraged that Secretary Kerry went to China and met with the president of China. Hopefully we can get the Chinese to recalibrate their relationship to North Korea and realize that what's there now on that peninsula is unsustainable.
The ultimate solution to the Korean problem is to denuclearize the peninsula and to unify it. And that's the goal we should be working towards, because what North Korea has is not a government, what North Korea is being run by is a criminal syndicate.
Source: CBS Face the Nation 2013 series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Apr 14, 2013

Marco Rubio on ISIL

I've warned about ISIS in Libya for 2 years; US troops there

Q: You proposed sending a larger number of American ground troops to help defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq...

RUBIO: That's correct, and Libya.

Q: Because military commanders say the biggest ISIS threat to Europe now is coming from Libya, not Syria?

RUBIO: Correct.

Q: So if you're for putting more U.S. ground troops in Iraq and Syria, are you also ready to send U.S. ground troops on the ground in Libya?

RUBIO: Well, what I've argued from the very beginning is that in order to defeat ISIS, you must deny them operating spaces. Today that operating space has largely been based in Iraq and Syria, but I've been warning about the Libyan presence for the better part of two years. So they need to be targeted wherever they have an operating space. They can only be defeated if they are driven out and the territory is held by Sunni Arabs. But it will require a specific number of American special operators, in combination with an increase in air strikes.

Source: 2016 Fox News GOP debate in Detroit Michigan , Mar 3, 2016

Against ISIS, either they win, or we win

[Obama] doesn't understand the threat in ISIS. He consistently underestimates it. There is a war against radical jihadists terrorists, and it is a war that they win or we win. When I'm president, we are going to win this war on ISIS. The most powerful intelligence agency in the world is going to tell us where we are, the most powerful military in the world is going to destroy them. If we capture them alive, they are getting a one-way ticket to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Source: Fox Business Republican 2-tier debate , Jan 14, 2016

Civilian causalities unfortunate but inevitable

Q: One of your rivals, Senator Ted Cruz, said over the weekend that we have to dramatically ramp up the airstrikes, even if it means more civilian casualties. Your take?

RUBIO: I don't think any nation on Earth takes more pains in avoiding civilian casualties than the United States. The reality, unfortunately, is that many of these terrorist groups deliberately operate from the center of civilian areas, because they want there to be civilian casualties for propaganda use. We've seen that as well used by the enemies of Israel on repeated occasions. Obviously, we're going to take great pains to avoid civilian casualties, but at the end of the day, no one has killed more civilians and more innocents here than ISIS has. And although we'll take extraordinary steps to avoid civilian casualties, there is, of course, no guarantee, especially, given the fact, that you're operating against these individuals, who have no regard for human life.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 15, 2015

Declare war on ISIS, fight via Sunni tribes and Kurds

Q: The president's assistant said that the terrorist attack in Paris was an act of war by ISIL. What do you think the president should be doing right now?

RUBIO: This is clearly an act of war on one of our NATO allies and we should invoke Article 5 of the NATO agreement and bring everyone together to put together a coalition to confront this challenge.

Q: The question is how--Senator Lindsey Graham, says put 10,000 troops on the ground.

RUBIO: I think it's premature to say the exact numbers. I think that we need to begin to work more closely with the Sunni tribes in Iraq who do not want to work under the thumb of the central government in Iraq as well as the Kurds. The only way to ultimately defeat ISIS is for them to be defeated ideologically and militarily, by Sunnis themselves. But we are going to have to increase special operations attacks, targeting ISIS leadership and revealing that they are not invincible.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 15, 2015

ISIS hates our way of life; either they win or we win

Radical terrorist groups are not just in Syria and in Iraq, ISIS is now in Libya. They are a significant presence in Libya, Afghanistan, and a growing presence in Pakistan. Soon they will be in Turkey. They will try Jordan. They will try Saudi Arabia. They are coming to us. They don't hate us simply because we support Israel. They hate us because of our values. They hate us because our girls go to school. They hate us because women drive in the United States. Either they win or we win.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

ISIS plan: US air support for Sunni forces on the ground

[In his CPAC speech, Rubio said, "ISIS is a radical Sunni Islamic group. They need to be defeated on the ground by a Sunni military force with air support from the United States. Put together a coalition of armed regional governments to confront [ISIS] on the ground with U.S. special forces support, logistical support, intelligence support and the most devastating air support possible, and you will wipe ISIS out."

Obama's strategy to defeat ISIS is largely identical to Marco Rubio's. The senator fleshed this out at CPAC: target ISIS by using local ground forces, coupled with air support from the United States, all while U.S. officials take the lead in assembling an international coalition. That, as of this morning, is Rubio's plan. It's also exactly what Obama has been doing since August.

Source: MSNBC on 2015 Conservative Political Action Conf. , Feb 27, 2015

Confront and defeat ISIL now, or we will have to do so later

Three likely Republican White House contenders thrust the party's foreign policy divide into the spotlight with their votes and comments on a measure to arm moderate Syrian rebels. While Florida Senator Marco Rubio voted in favor of the plan, which passed, Kentucky's Rand Paul and Texas Senator Ted Cruz voted against it, with Paul opposing intervention.

"Intervention is a mistake. Intervention when both sides are evil is a mistake. Intervention that destabilizes the Middle East is a mistake. And yet, here we are again, wading into a civil war," Paul said.

His doubts ran contrary to the thinking of Rubio, who advocated an aggressive response, saying the threat should have been addressed earlier. "If we do not confront and defeat ISIL now we will have to do so later, and it will take a lot longer, be a lot costlier, and be more painful," Rubio said, using an acronym for Islamic State. "If we fail to approve this, the nations of that region will say America is not truly engaged."

Source: Reuters 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 18, 2014

Airstrikes in Syria and Iraq to target ISIL

Q: Are you ready for the president to order airstrikes in to Syria?

RUBIO: Absolutely. I think it's critical that we do that. If you're serious about defeating ISIL, you have to go after where they're headquartered. What is important to understand about their presence in Syria is that they are generating revenue in Syria, with former Assad refineries that they now control and they're generating revenue from. But all of their supplies, their command and control structure, is being operated from there. You cannot defeat ISIL unless you hit them in those parts of Syria that they now control, where the Syrian government is not even present. ISIL is a group that poses an immediate danger to the United States. And if we are serious about defeating them, then we must strike them both in Syria and in Iraq.

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

Stay involved in Iraq to fight ISIS, not for nation-building

Q: You believe our future involvement in Iraq is a direct threat to our national security?

RUBIO: Without a doubt. I think this is an urgent counterterrorism matter. I know a lot has been talked about the future of Iraq as a country, and that is a very legitimate issue that needs to be looked at. But, for me, this is not about nation-building or imposing democracy. This is a counterterrorism risk that we need to nip in the bud. It is my view that we will either deal with ISIS now or we will deal with them later. And, later, they're going to be stronger and harder to reach.

Q: Given that this is a direct throat to U.S. national security, what should this administration be doing?

RUBIO: I certainly hope that the 300 additional special forces and trainers going in is not simply a symbolic measure. I hope it's the first step in a multistep process.

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

Assist Iraqi government in fighting ISIL

Q: Is there anything we can do now in Iraq?

RUBIO: I'd be open-minded to providing assistance to the Iraqi government in terms of training and equipment to allow them to deal with the challenges. I would not underestimate the impact that these rebels al Qaeda-linked forces in in Syria are now having cross border in Iraq. I think's going to be a growing factor. Some have asked me this week if I would support another invasion of Iraq, of course not. I don't think that's a solution at this point. But I think we're going to be dealing with this for some time. But ultimately, the only way to solve this problem is for the Iraqi government to be able to solve it. They need the military and security resources in the short-term. But in the long-term, they need a stable political process, otherwise this is going to be an ongoing problem forever.

Source: Face the Nation 2014 interview: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jan 12, 2014

Marco Rubio on Mideast

Boots on ground in Syria; coordinate with Kurds

Q: The US is sending 50 special operations forces into Syria. Is that enough?

RUBIO: Well, it's an important start. I think the broader issue is, what is the strategy? And I think the strategy has to involve more coordination with the Kurds and also with Sunnis, because you're not going to defeat ISIS, a radical Sunni movement, without a robust anti-ISIS Sunni coalition. So, I do think it's important tactical step forward. It needs to be backed up with increased airstrikes and so forth.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2015 interview by Bob Schieffer , Nov 1, 2015

Theocratic ayatollahs should never possess nuclear weapons

We need a commander-in-chief who will stand up and protect this country. And I'll tell you, I can't wait to stand on that debate stage with Hillary Clinton and to make abundantly clear if you vote for Hillary, you are voting for the Ayatollah Khomeini to possess a nuclear weapon and if you elect me as president, under no circumstances will a theocratic ayatollah who chants death to America ever be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

We should have supported Syrian uprising from its start

The uprising in Syria was started by the Syrian people. I warned at the time that if we did not find moderate elements that we could equip and arm, that void would be filled by radical jihadists. The president didn't listen, and that's exactly what happened. That is why ISIS grew. That is why ISIS then came over the border from Syria and back into Iraq. And the more we disengage, the more airplanes from Moscow you're going to see flying out of Damascus and out of Syria.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

Keep sanctions against Iran instead of Obama's nuke deal

Q: Governor Scott Walker says he would rip up this Iranian nuclear deal on day one. What would President Marco Rubio do?

A: The sanctions are already in place. And they would be reinstated. And that's what I would do as president. You don't need to have a Cabinet fully formed to do that. We will not use the national security waiver to hold back US sanctions against Iran, especially not as a result of this flawed deal that he's pursuing. I think that the sanctions were actually forcing Iran to the table. I think we should have asked for a lot more. It also requires us to help Iran technically, economically, develop themselves as a country and become a stronger regional power. That undermines our relationships with our Arab allies in the region and, of course, the state of Israel. I think it almost guarantees that there will now be an arms race in the Middle East.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jul 19, 2015

No mistake to invade Iraq in 2003; we thought Iraq had WMDs

Q: Back in 2003, when asked if the Iraq invasion was a mistake, you said, "I don't believe it was; the world is a better place because Saddam Hussein doesn't run Iraq." After finding that there were no weapons of mass destruction, would you, if you knew that, have been in favor of the Iraqi invasion?

RUBIO: Well, not only would I have not been in favor of it, President Bush would not have been in favor of it. And he said so.

Q: So, it made sense to invade Iraq in 2003, but now you say it was a mistake?

RUBIO: That was not the same question. The question was whether it was a mistake. And my answer was it's not a mistake. I still say it was not a mistake, because the president was presented with intelligence that said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, it was governed by a man who had committed atrocities in the past with weapons of mass destruction.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , May 17, 2015

Airstrikes to topple Syrian government are counterproductive

Q: [In calling for airstrikes in Syria and Iraq to target ISIL], this is a bit of a change for you, is it not? You were a little reluctant about going in to Syria, if I recall?

RUBIO: Well, if you recall, at that time, what the president characterized basically as a symbolic military action against the Assad government, which I thought would be counterproductive. I thought the best way to topple Assad was to arm, equip, train and capacitate moderate rebel elements within Syria. I thought that was a better approach. This is different. We're talking about targeting ISIL, which is a group that poses an immediate danger to the United States. And if we are serious about defeating them, then we must strike them both in Syria and in Iraq. The previous debate was about what to do with Assad, and I thought the best way to topple Assad was not through airstrikes, but through equipping the moderate rebel elements.

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

Lack of long-term US status in Iraq opens it for al Qaeda

Q: It look like Iraq may fall back in the hands of the rebels. Has this war going to turn out to be a tragic waste?

RUBIO: Much of what has happened in Iraq lately has been the result of poor leadership within Iraq. Contributing to that is the fact that the US does not have long-term status in Iraq. As a result, air space [can be] used by Iranians and others to do all sorts of things. Ultimately whether it's Afghanistan or Iraq, future of those countries is in the hands of their own people. And the US can't rescue them from themselves. But I do think we have a strategic interest in what happens there. And it poses a real challenge, because if you start adding it up now, Bob, you have an ungoverned space in Iraq, ungoverned spaces in Syria, potentially ungoverned spaces if Afghanistan begins to fall back, ungoverned spaces in Africa. This is all fertile territory for al Qaeda and other radical elements to set up training camps and plot attacks against the homeland and our interests.

Source: Face the Nation 2014 interview: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jan 12, 2014

Equip and train non-jihadist Syrians to topple Assad

Rubio released a statement noting that the nation has "significant national interests at stake in the conflict in Syria" and accused the president of "leading from behind."

Over two years ago, Rubio said, he urged the U.S. to "identify non-jihadist groups in Syria and help train and equip them so that they could not only topple Assad, but also be the best organized, trained and armed group on the ground in a post-Assad Syria." But failure to act means that "we are now left with no good options."

"Military action, taken simply to save face, is not a wise use of force," Rubio said. "My advice is to either lay out a comprehensive plan using all of the tools at our disposal that stands a reasonable chance of allowing the moderate opposition to remove Assad and replace him with a stable secular government. Or, at this point, simply focus our resources on helping our allies in the region protect themselves from the threat they and we will increasingly face from an unstable Syria."

Source: ABC News "Candidates stand on Syria" , Aug 31, 2013

Syria: arm rebels last year; now just work with some

Q: You pushed for a long time for the US to arm the rebels. Is this going to make a difference?

RUBIO: In foreign policy, timing matters. These were options for us a year and a half ago, before this became this chaotic. It behooved us to identify whether there were any elements there within Syria fighting against Assad that we could work with, reasonable people that wouldn't carry out human rights violations, and could be part of building a new Syria. We failed to do that. So now our options are quite limited. Now the strongest groups fighting against Assad, unfortunately, are al Qaeda-linked elements.

Q: So here, now, what would President Rubio do? Would you commit US forces to a no-fly zone?

RUBIO: If I was in charge of this issue, we never would have gotten to this point. That being said, I think we need to continue to search for elements on the ground that we can work with, so that if & when Assad falls, they will manage a future, hopefully democratic Syria, and peaceful Syria.

Source: ABC This Week 2013 series of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 16, 2013

New Iranian leader is more moderate but still supports nukes

Q: We had a big election in Iran over the weekend. The most moderate candidate won. Is Iran under a President Rohani going to be potentially less of a threat than Iran under President Ahmadinejad?

RUBIO: First of all, a moderate by Iranian political standards is not what we could describe as moderate here in the West, but let me just say that I hope so, because the people of Iran do not want the future that their leaders have wanted. The people of Iran want to engage with the rest of the world, and hopefully this will be a step in that direction. But I'm not all that optimistic. In order to have better relations, not just with the US but with the world, Iran needs to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions. And unfortunately, this gentleman who was just elected is a strong supporter of the nuclear program and the nuclear weaponization as well.

Source: ABC This Week 2013 series of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 16, 2013

Supports intervention in Libya & tougher sanctions on Syria

[Rubio is a] new member of the Foreign Relations Committee. "I am a big believer that very little of what happens in our daily lives is not directly influenced by things that are happening around the world," Rubio explains. "We're not Liechtenstein; we're not Monaco; we're the United States. So our interests are found globally everywhere. The world needs a strong, decisive America as much as ever," he adds.

Rubio has not been shy in pushing for that sort of muscular foreign policy approach. In hearings, he has been an outspoken voice for intervention in Libya ever since the anti-government protesters first began clashing with dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi's forces over the winter. He supported a push for a resolution to authorize the use of American military force.

On the unrest in Syria, where the Obama administration has moved cautiously in pressuring strongman Bashar al-Assad, Rubio teamed with Lieberman to introduce a resolution calling for tougher sanctions on the Assad regime.

Source: Congressional Quarterly Profiles: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 12, 2011

2007 troop surge was the right thing to do

The withdrawal of American combat brigades from Iraq marks an important milestone in a struggle that has eliminated security threats and helped democracy take root there. Because of America's commitment and sacrifices in Iraq, the Iraqi people, the region and the world are all safer today.

Tonight, I join the American people in honoring, remembering and thanking the brave men and women who fulfilled their duty and have helped bring a truly responsible end to combat operations in Iraq, where the Iraqi people now govern and protect their sovereign nation.

We should thank our troops who, under the leadership of Generals David Petraeus and Ray Odierno, brought Iraq back from the brink. We should also acknowledge President Bush and Members of Congress from both parties who did what was right in 2007 by supporting the troop surge that has made Iraq a safer and more stable nation. Their wisdom, political courage and faith in our troops have helped make this important milestone possible.

Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.marcorubio.com , Aug 31, 2010

Opposes timetable for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Rubio opposes the F2A survey question on troop withdrawal

Faith2Action.org is "the nation's largest network of pro-family groups." They provide election resources for each state, including Voter Guides and Congressional Scorecards excerpted here. The Faith2Action survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: 'Set a timetable for withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan '

Source: Faith2Action Survey 10-FF-q17 on Sep 19, 2010

Iranian nuclear weapons: prevention instead of containment.

Rubio co-sponsored Resolution on Iran's nuclear program

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, that Congress--
  1. Reaffirms that the US Government has a vital interest in working together to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
  2. warns that time is limited to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
  3. urges continued and increasing economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran until a full and sustained suspension of all uranium enrichment-related activities;
  4. expresses that the window for diplomacy is closing;
  5. expresses support for the universal rights and democratic aspirations of the people of Iran;
  6. strongly supports US policy to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
  7. rejects any US policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat.
Source: HRes568/SR41 12-SJR41 on May 24, 2012

Sponsored shutting down Iranian foreign reserves.

Rubio co-sponsored Iran Sanctions Loophole Elimination Act

Congressional Summary:Prohibits US-based correspondent accounts or a payable-through accounts by a foreign financial institution that knowingly:

Arguments for and against bill: (New York Times, May 8, 2013): Seeking to escalate pressure on Iran, a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that would deny the Iranian government access to its foreign exchange reserves, estimated to be worth as much as $100 billion. The legislation would be the first major new sanction confronting Iran since its inconclusive round of negotiations last month on its disputed nuclear program.

Sponsors of the legislation contend that Iran is not bargaining in good faith while it continues to enrich uranium. Part of the reason, they say, is that Iran has been able to work around the worst effects of the sanctions by tapping its foreign currency reserves overseas, which are largely beyond the reach of current restrictions. "Closing the foreign currency loophole in our sanctions policy is critical in our efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability," the sponsors said.

Critics said the new legislation risked further alienating Iranians who suspect that the sanctions' true purpose is not to pressure Iran in the nuclear negotiations, but to cause an economic implosion that would lead to regime change. "When we've cemented a sanctions escalation path, we're creating a trajectory toward actual confrontation," said the founder of the National Iranian American Council, a Washington group that opposes sanctions. Some Iranian leaders, he said, see the sanctions "as a train that can only go in one direction and has no brakes."

Source: S.892 13-S892 on May 8, 2013

Iran must accept long-term intrusive nuke inspection.

Rubio signed demanding that Iran accept intrusive nuclear inspection

Excerpts from Letter from 85 Senators to President Obama We all hope that nuclear negotiations succeed in preventing Iran from ever developing a nuclear weapons capability. For diplomacy to succeed, however, we must couple our willingness to negotiate with a united and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime. We urge you to insist on the realization of these core principles with Iran:

Iran must clearly understand the consequences of failing to reach an acceptable final agreement. We must signal unequivocally to Iran that rejecting negotiations and continuing its nuclear weapon program will lead to much more dramatic sanctions, including further limitations on Iran's oil exports.

Opposing argument: (Cato Institute, "Enforcing Iran Nuke Deal," Jan. 25, 2017): More than anything else, the Iran nuclear deal must be kept because the alternative is a return to ever-heightening tensions and clamoring by hawks in both countries. From 2003 to 2014, years of unrelenting U.S. sanctions and confrontation, Iran went from 164 centrifuges to 19,000. The hostile approach generates a more expansive, less transparent Iranian nuclear program and increases the chances for another disastrous U.S. war in the Middle East. Let's hope the Trump administration chooses not to go that route.

Source: Iran Nukes Letter 14LTR-NUKE on Mar 18, 2014

No nuclear deal with Iran without Congressional input.

Rubio signed the Letter to Iran from 47 Republican Senators

Ballotpedia.org summary:Dozens of Republican senators wrote an open letter to the leadership of Iran, warning them that any nuclear deal signed between Iran and U.S. President Barack Obama might not last beyond his presidency, without Congress signing off on it as well. No Democrats signed it. [The letter caused intense backlash. V.P. Joe Biden said of the letter, "In 36 years in the US Senate, I cannot recall another instance in which senators wrote directly to advise another country--much less a longtime foreign adversary--that the president does not have the constitutional authority to reach a meaningful understanding with them." On Twitter, the hashtag "47Traitors" became the top trending topic in the world, and a debate raged as to whether the 47 who signed the letter were traitors or patriots. Here is the text of the letter.

An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran:

Under our Constitution, while the president negotiates international agreements, Congress plays the significant role of ratifying them. In the case of a treaty, the Senate must ratify it by a 2/3 vote. A so-called congressional-executive agreement requires a majority vote in both the House and the Senate (which, because of procedural rules, effectively means a three-fifths vote in the Senate). Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.

We will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.

We hope this letter enriches your knowledge of our constitutional system and promotes mutual understanding and clarity as nuclear negotiations progress.

Source: Letter to Iran from 47 Republican Senators 15-LTR-IR on Mar 9, 2015

Hold Assad accountable for slaughter of civilians.

Rubio signed holding Assad accountable for slaughter of civilians

Excerpts from Letter from 14 Senators to Secretary of State Tillerson: A February 7 Amnesty International report asserts that up to 13,000 people have been methodically executed at the Saydnaya Prison as part of a calculated campaign of extrajudicial execution authorized at the highest levels of the Syrian government.

Assad's actions--including the confirmed use of chemical weapons—provide sufficient documentation exists to charge Bashar al-Assad with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Russia, [despite its support of the Assad regime], must join the international community in seeking to hold Assad accountable, stop enabling the slaughter of the Syrian people, and undertake efforts to remove Iran-affiliated fighters from Syria.

Opposing argument: (ACLU blog, "Protect Syrian Civilians," 4/4/2017): Following the April 4 chemical attack, the president launched cruise missiles. There is no doubt that that the use of chemical weapons against civilians in northern Syria was illegal and immoral. However, the ACLU objected to President Trump unilaterally launching strikes without advance congressional authorization. The Constitution is clear that only Congress can declare war and authorize the use of our armed forces, absent an emergency need to stop a sudden attack.

Opposing argument: (Heritage Foundation, "Terrorism Report"): [The US should] support measures to hold Bashar al-Assad accountable to the Syrian people. Assad must answer for his crimes, and the Syrian people should be given discretion as to how this process is conducted. Their options could include trial in a domestic court, inviting the International Criminal Court into Syria, or establishing a truth and reconciliation commission. Such a measure might also help to reduce the flow of foreign fighters into Syria.

Source: Syria Letter 17LTR-SYR on Feb 22, 2017

President ok to use military force against Iran.

Rubio voted NAY the Iran War Powers Resolution

Axios.com summary: The House passed a symbolic war powers resolution directing President Trump to halt the use of military force against Iran unless he obtains approval from Congress.

The big picture: A classified briefing on the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani [by the US military] left Democrats and even some Republicans deeply skeptical, with many claiming that officials did not provide evidence that there was an "imminent" threat from Iran. Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) said they will vote in favor of a similar resolution in the Senate [S J Res 68].

What opponents are saying: Former national security adviser and notorious Iran hawk John Bolton tweeted: "The 1973 War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional. It reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of how the Constitution allocated foreign affairs authority between the President and Congress. The Resolution should be repealed." Pres. Trump quote tweeted Bolton and added: "Smart analysis, I fully agree!"

What supporters are saying: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was one of the few Republicans to vote in favor of the resolution, stating on the House floor: "Killing Soleimani was the right decision, but engaging in another forever war in the Middle East would be the wrong decision." Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced legislation that would block funding for offensive military force against Iran without congressional authorization. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) is also seeking to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which has been used repeatedly to justify war in the Middle East in the wake of 9/11. Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against the AUMF in 2001, criticizing it as a "blank check."

Legislative outcome: H Con Res 83 Passed House 224-194-13 on 1/9/20; S J Res 68 passed Senate 55-45-0 on 2/13/20. Vetoed 5/6; Senate veto override failed 5/7/20.

Source: Congressional vote 20-SCR33 on Jan 9, 2020

Other candidates on War & Peace: Marco Rubio on other issues:
FL Gubernatorial:
Adam Putnam
Alexander Snitker
Andrew Gillum
Annette Taddeo
Bill Nelson
Charlie Crist
Gwen Graham
Nikki Fried
Philip Levine
Rick Scott
Ron DeSantis
Wayne Messam
FL Senatorial:
Bill Nelson
Carlos Lopez-Cantera
Charlie Crist
David Jolly
Edward Janowski
Pam Keith
Patrick Murphy
Rick Scott
Ron DeSantis

FL politicians
FL Archives
Senate races 2021-22:
AK: Incumbent Lisa Murkowski(R)
vs.Challenger Kelly Tshibaka(R)
vs.2020 candidate Al Gross(D)
AL: Incumbent Richard Shelby(R) vs.U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks(R) vs.Ambassador Lynda Blanchard(R) vs.Katie Britt(R) vs.Judge Jessica Taylor(R) vs.Brandaun Dean(D) vs.State Rep. John Merrill(R)
AR: Incumbent John Boozman(R)
vs.Candidate Dan Whitfield(D)
vs.Jake Bequette(R)
AZ: Incumbent Mark Kelly(D)
vs.CEO Jim Lamon(R) vs.Blake Masters(R)
vs.A.G. Mark Brnovich(R) vs.Mick McGuire(R)
CA: Incumbent Alex Padilla(D)
vs.2018 Senate candidate James Bradley(R)
vs.Lily Zhou(R)
vs.State Rep. Jerome Horton(D)
CO: Incumbent Michael Bennet(D)
vs.Eli Bremer(R)
vs.USAF Lt. Darryl Glenn(R)
CT: Incumbent Richard Blumenthal(D)
vs.Challenger Joe Visconti(R)
vs.2018 & 2020 House candidate John Flynn(R)
FL: Incumbent Marco Rubio(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Val Demings(D)
vs.U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson(D)
GA: Incumbent Raphael Warnock(D)
vs.Navy vet Latham Saddler(R)
vs.Gary Black(R)
vs.Herschel Walker(R)
HI: Incumbent Brian Schatz(D)
vs.Former State Rep. Cam Cavasso(R ?)
IA: Incumbent Chuck Grassley(R)
vs.State Sen. Jim Carlin(R)
vs.Michael Franken(D)
vs.Bob Krause(D)
vs.Former U.S. Rep IA-1 Abby Finkenauer(D)
ID: Incumbent Mike Crapo(R)
vs.James Vandermaas(D)
vs.Natalie Fleming(R)
IL: Incumbent Tammy Duckworth(D)
vs.U.S.Rep. Adam Kinzinger(? R)
vs.Peggy Hubbard(R)
IN: Incumbent Todd Young(R)
vs.Challenger Haneefah Abdul-Khaaliq(D)
vs.Psychologist Valerie McCray(D)
vs.Thomas McDermott(D)
KS: Incumbent Jerry Moran(R)
vs.Michael Soetaert(D)
vs.Mark Holland(D)
vs.Joan Farr(R)
KY: Incumbent Rand Paul(R)
vs.State Rep Charles Booker(D)
LA: Incumbent John Kennedy(R)
vs.Luke Mixon(D)
vs.Gary Chambers(D)

MD: Incumbent Chris Van Hollen(D)
vs.Colin Byrd(D)
MO: Incumbent Roy Blunt(R)
vs.Eric Greitens(R) vs.Scott Sifton(D)
vs.Eric Schmitt(R) vs.Lucas Kunce(D)
vs.Mark McClosky(R) vs.Vicky Hartzler(R)
vs.Tim Shepard(D) vs.Billy Long(R)
NC: Incumbent Richard Burr(R,retiring)
Erica Smith(D) vs.Mark Walker(R)
vs.Ted Budd(R) vs.Pat McCrory(R)
vs.Cheri Beasley(D) vs.Rett Newton(D)
vs.Jeff Jackson(D) vs.Marjorie K. Eastman(R)
ND: Incumbent John Hoeven(R)
vs.Michael J. Steele(D)
NH: Incumbent Maggie Hassan(D)
vs.Don Bolduc(R)
vs.Chris Sununu(R ?)
NV: Incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto(D)
vs.Adam Laxalt(R)
NY: Incumbent Chuck Schumer(D)
vs.Antoine Tucker(R)
OH: Incumbent Rob Portman(R,retiring)
Bernie Moreno(R) vs.Tim Ryan(D)
vs.Jane Timken(R) vs.Josh Mandel(R)
vs.JD Vance(R) vs.Mike Gibbons(R)
vs.Morgan Harper(D) vs.Matt Dolan(R)
OK: Incumbent James Lankford(R)
vs.Nathan Dahm(R)
vs.Joan Farr(R)
OR: Incumbent Ron Wyden(D)
vs.QAnon adherent Jo Rae Perkins(R)
vs.Jason Beebe(R)
PA: Incumbent Pat Toomey(R,retiring)
vs.Everett Stern(R) vs.Jeff Bartos(R)
vs.Val Arkoosh(D) vs.Carla Sands(R)
vs.John Fetterman(D) vs.Malcolm Kenyatta(D)
vs.Kathy Barnette(R) vs.Sharif Street(D)
vs.Conor Lamb(D) vs.Sean Parnell(R)
vs.Craig Snyder(R) vs.Mehmet Oz(R)
SC: Incumbent Tim Scott(R)
vs.State Rep. Krystle Matthews(D)
SD: Incumbent John Thune(R)
vs.State Rep. Billie Sutton(? D)
UT: Incumbent Mike Lee(R) vs.Allen Glines(D)
vs.Austin Searle(D) vs.Evan McMullin(I)
VT: Incumbent Patrick Leahy(D)
vs.Scott Milne(? R)
vs.Peter Welch(D)
WA: Incumbent Patty Murray(D)
vs.Challenger Tiffany Smiley(R)
WI: Incumbent Ron Johnson(R) vs.Tom Nelson(D)
vs.Sarah Godlewski(D) vs.Alex Lasry(D)
vs.Chris Larson(D) vs.Mandela Barnes(D)
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Other Senators
Senate Votes (analysis)
Bill Sponsorships
Policy Reports
Group Ratings

Page last updated: Jan 11, 2022