On Monday’s broadcast of Hugh Hewitt’s radio program, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) reacted to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s takeaways as the nation’s top diplomat in her new memoir “Hard Choices.”
According to Rubio, Clinton fell short in some areas, which he said made her vulnerable for criticism.
Partial transcript as follows:
HEWITT: Sen. Rubio, in this book, and you spent a lot of time on foreign policy in the last few years, Hillary writes in Page 470, “It is impossible to watch the suffering in Syria, including as a private citizen, and not ask what more could have been done.” How does that strike you?
RUBIO: Well, again, I mean, I’ve read excerpts where she said she actually argued that in meetings within the White House about what the steps should be taken in that regard. So I’d say two things about the Syrian conflict. Clearly, the humanitarian aspects of it are important, and we need to care about that. But more important from the political perspective, or from an administrative perspective, is the national security interests of the United States. Is it not in the interest of the United States for Syria to become a vast ungoverned space where foreign fighters stream in and use it as a base of operations like they used to use Afghanistan. That’s what it’s becoming. That’s why I argued in the early stages of that conflict that we should try to identify the more modern elements, and ensure that they were well-equipped and armed so that there wouldn’t be a vacuum created. That didn’t happen. And I know she argues in the book that she advocated for that. That may or may not be, but the White House didn’t pursue that track, and now what you’ve seen is that the majority of the rebels that are fighting in Syria are not Syrians. They’re coming from all over the world including Europe, and they’re radical jihadists.
HEWITT: If it turns out that she runs for president, and it turns out that you run for president, will you be afraid of debating her foreign policy record with her?
RUBIO: You know, anyone, whoever runs for president against Hillary Clinton, I think, is going to have ample space to criticize foreign policy. What is the signature foreign policy achievement of this administration? If you look at the world today from where it was a few years ago, doubts about America’s leadership have never been higher, certainly in the last decade. You know, with George W. Bush, people can disagree about different decisions that he may or may not have made with regards to foreign policy. But there was never any question that the U.S. was going to lead the free nations of the world. Around the world today, perhaps, the most common theme is one of serious doubt about the U.S.’ willingness to lead or ability to lead, whether it’s in Asia or Europe, or in any part of the planet, so what is the signature achievement of her four and a half years at the State Department?
HEWITT: Do you think there is one?
RUBIO: I do not. In fact, I think if you look at the administration’s foreign policy especially during her watch, it completely lacked any sort of strategic vision of what America’s role is in the world in the 21st Century.
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