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Rubio: ‘Very Difficult’ to Influence Foreign Policy From Senate

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said he hopes voters will pick “someone who has more of a track record than just a handful of years as a backbencher in the state legislature followed by a handful of years in the Senate” as president in 2016 and that it is “very difficult to set the tone” on foreign policy “simply from the Senate” on Monday’s “Hugh Hewitt Show.”

When asked whether he thought voters would look “for someone who’s serious about American strength in the world?” Rubio responded, “absolutely. I hope so. And I think they’ll also hopefully look for someone who has more of a track record than just a handful of years as a backbencher in the state legislature followed by a handful of years in the Senate, not having, not really–done anything serious about any major issues.”

He continued, “as I look at my own considerations, I’m reminded that I served nine years in the Florida legislature, the third-largest state in the country. I was its presiding officer for two years, and also ran the Florida House from an administrative point of view, served four years in the Senate where I have dedicated significant amount of time to both travel and study and actually involved in shaping the policies on everything from the Western Hemisphere to policies in Asia. And I think that’s obviously not just me, but there are others as well out there running who’ll bring to the table characteristics that are much different from the person who currently occupies the office. But look, the biggest problem with Barack Obama is, you know, he was elected on the notion that here was this young candidate that was going to bring about generational change in our policies, and then got elected and basically pursued the same tired, big government ideas of the last 60 years.”

Rubio concluded, “I think you can do a lot in the Senate to further national security issues and foreign policy. But I really think, that when it comes to foreign policy, and the national security of this country, the election we’re going to have in November of 2016 will be the most important election we’ve had in probably half a century, if not longer. And it’s very difficult to set the tone simply from the Senate. You can be one of many voices, and influential voices in the Senate. But ultimately, only the presidency can set the true tenor and direction of our foreign policy and national security. And I don’t think anyone can argue that we are safer or more respected in the world today than we were five years ago.” He also stated that he would not be deterred from running by Jeb Bush’s prospective candidacy.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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