Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio preached the importance of American military might and slammed both President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for weakening the nation abroad when he laid out his foreign policy “doctrine” on Wednesday.
“American strength is a means of preventing war, not promoting it...Weakness, on the other hand, is the friend of danger and the enemy of peace,” Rubio said at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
Rubio said his doctrine consists of three pillars -- 1) American strength through "adequately" funding the U.S. military; 2) using U.S. power "to oppose any violations of international waters, airspace, cyberspace, our outer space"; and 3) supporting "the spread of economic and political freedom" across the globe.
“Since the end of the Cold War, the threats facing America have changed, but the need for American Strength has not,” Rubio said. “It has only grown more pressing as the world has grown more interconnected.”
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Rubio's remarks come after his hawkish-sounding address at a GOP event last weekend in South Carolina. "People ask what should our strategy be on global jihadists and terrorists, I refer them to the movie 'Taken,'" Rubio said then. "'We will look for you, we will find you, and we will kill you."
The Florida senator cited the rise of ISIS, Russian aggression in Ukraine, and both North Korea’s and Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons as examples of President Obama’s foreign policy failures.
“We simply cannot afford to elect as our next president one of the leading agents of this administration’s foreign policy – a leader from yesterday whose tenure as Secretary of State was ineffective at best and dangerously negligent at worst,” Rubio said during a speech littered with shots at the Democratic frontrunner.
Rubio also faced the question that has dominated the 2016 new cycle as of late: With 20/20 hindsight would you have invaded Iraq?
"Not only would I not have been in favor of it, President [George W.] Bush wouldn't have been in favor of it,” he said.
But as recently as March of this year, Rubio said that "the world is a better place because Saddam Hussein does not run Iraq."