Meet the Press   |  April 14, 2013

Rubio on North Korea: ‘It’s a mistake to view it as a government’

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio discusses the administration’s handling of the foreign policy complications in U.S. relationships with North Korea and Cuba.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> i want to ask you about north korea can as the administration waits for a potential missile launch from kim jong -un. how do you think the admission has handled it? how do you defuse this crisis?

>> i don't have much qualms with the way they've handled it, to be quite frank. i think they've taken the right steps to protect the united states and to make very clear that we are going to live up to our security obligations to our allies in the reswron. the truth of the matter is that i think it's a mistake to view north korea can as a government. it is more like a criminal syndicate . and this young man now in charge of government there is even more erratic, as hard as it is to believe, than his predecessors. it's a very dangerous situation. i'm glad to see secretary kerry visited china yesterday. i think it's important that the chinese weigh in on this. i think in the long term it's the goal of everyone to see a unified korea that actually provides for the people of north korea , the kind of life that they need. i think certainly in the short term what we have to ensure is all of our allies in the region clearly understand that we are going to live up to our security commitment, that we are position ed militarily to defend the united states if, in fact, these guys carry out an irrational act and long term to make them understand that this pattern of irresponsible behavior followed by some sort of reward in the form of food aid that those days are over and that is what's important, that we not reward that behavior with any sort of aid.

>> you were critical of the administration after a trip down to cuba by beyonce and jay-z. they were seen vacationing there, walking through the streets. it was sanctioned by the treasury department . isn't the broader issue here, senator, what, if anything, will it take to get more normal relations with cuba and the united states ?

>> well, that's up to cuba . if cuba wants normal relations, there are certain things they need to do like become a normal country that respects the rights of their citizens. i thought it was hypocritical of beyonce and jay-z to go down to cuba . there is a rapper on a hunger strike and has been persecuted because of his lyrics. jay-z wears a shirt of a man who was a racist and a killer. he's not in the middle of any public discourse here. it's important to point out when people take stances like that that are absurd, beyond that the fundamental problem is not jay-d and beyonce . the problem is these trips to cuba are being abused. they are not people to people trips, they are tourist trips that provide a currency for a tyrannical regime at that get hard currency . that's why the trips need to be ca carefully cruet nized.

>> final question on politics, can a nominee of the republican party in 2016 be a champion for an immigration reform policy that provides a pathway to citizen for for illegal immigrants in this country?

>> i think the nominee in our party needs to have answerses to the problems our country faces and immigration is a serious problem. the supposed 11 million people here undocumented is not a theory. no one is talking about bringing 11 million people here illegally. they are here now. they are here for the rest of their lives. if someone believes we can round them up and deport them, they should advocate that. i don't think that's a reasonable goal. if someone thinks we should make life miserable for them so they self-deport, it doesn't work. we can leave things the way they are, status quo, and that is amnesty. or try to address it in a way that's responsible and that's what i'm attempting to do and what i hope i can convince my fellow republicans to be supportive of.