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Rubio: I Would ‘Destroy’ Iran’s Nuclear Program If It Tries To Build a Weapon

Florida Senator and Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio vowed that if elected president if Iran tries to build a nuclear weapon, “we will destroy your program” on Thursday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel.

Rubio stated, “people who vote for me will know they are voting to repeal the deal with Iran on day number one, not just impose the American sanctions that we have in place, increase them, and back it up with a credible threat of military force. In essence, as long as you’re spinning centrifuges, we will have crippling sanctions on you. And if you try to build a weapon, we will destroy your program. By the way — the most effective, one of the most effective weapons against Iran in this fight, is to allow America to drill for more oil, and to export it. Today we are banned from exporting. We export more oil to Japan, to India, to these other countries that are buying from Iran, that will also hurt the Iranian regime.”

Earlier, Rubio dismissed current poll results, stating that the campaign still has a long way to go. He then commented on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails, “it’s a very serious issue. Look, there are people that have been charged with criminal offenses for less. On top of that, it’s just highly irresponsible. I mean, look, I’m on the Intelligence Committee. I have access to highly classified information of the same level that she had access to, and we would never put that in an email, quite frankly, you only look at that in — either in a secure environment, or on paper in a secure environment. You never email that stuff around. Someone did something very wrong her. She should have known when it she saw it, and her staff should have known better, staff that she supervised. It shows sloppiness, irresponsibility, quite frankly, incompetence, and perhaps even criminality in regards to why there needs to be an investigation. And I’m glad to see that the FBI is taking it more seriously.”

Rubio then agreed with host Sean Hannity that fellow candidate Donald Trump’s rise is due to frustration with the Republican Party, adding, “beyond it, I would say that, look at this, three of the last four elections have been change elections. Obviously, in 2008,  that was the theme of the Obama campaign. In 2010, when I was elected, it was a massive counter-reaction to what Obama had done. In 2014, once again, the American people voted for change. And nothing has changed. And so people are upset. They see that everything goes up in prices. Their paychecks are stagnant. America is getting weaker in the world. And people are angry, and rightfully so. And the question is what do we do with that anger? My answer is, we need channel that anger into activism. We can’t let anger define us, for example, as Republicans, but we do need to let it motivate us to finally do something. And that’s why this election’s so important. This is not just about who you like more. We can’t afford, we literally as a nation, cannot afford, four to eight more years of the same stuff. And Hillary Clinton, or Bernie Sanders, or Joe Biden, or anyone for that matter, they are all running on the promise, not just to continue the Obama policies, but to expand them. We can’t afford that as a country. We just can’t.”

Rubio also weighed in on immigration, stating with regards to border security, “we know how to do that. And we’ve done it in some parts of the border, and not enough parts of the border because people are still coming in. It requires more fencing, and more — building a wall, but it also requires more sensors, more personnel, etc. That alone won’t be enough, though. Because, as I’ve said repeatedly, four out of ten illegal immigrants entered the country on a visa, and they overstayed it. That’s why you need a mandatory E-Verify system, so you can’t get a job if you’re here illegally. That’s why you need an entry/exit tracking system. And what I’ve said repeatedly is, until you do that, and it’s in place, and it is actually working, you’re not going to be able to do anything else. And anyone who believes that we can move on this in some massive piece of legislation, at this point, after two illegal actions that you’ve outlined, and the problem that happened at the border a year ago with minors, they’re delusional, if they think we can move forward on this with one massive piece of legislation.”

Rubio added, “if we do that, the first thing that I just outlined, the border security, and it’s working. And then we have to do something else first, too, and that is, we have to modernize the legal immigration system. We can’t continue to allow people to come here based on family connection. It has to be based on merit, on what you can contribute economically. After we’ve done those two things, I think people will be reasonable about what do you do with someone who’s not a criminal? If they’re a criminal, they have to leave. But if they’re not a criminal, and they’re gonna — and they’ve been here a long time, they have to — they’re willing to pay a fine, pay taxes, they get a work permit, and that’s all they’ll have for a very long time. And that’s if — and some people say forever. I don’t even think you can get to that part of debate until you’ve done the other two things. ‘Let’s see how the other two things work first,’ is what people are saying.'”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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