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Rubio: ‘We’re Back to 1979,’ US ‘Relegated to Second-Tier’ With Regards to Russia

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Florida Senator and Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio stated, “we’re back to 1979” and that the US “been relegated to second-tier with regards to the Russians” on Wednesday’s “Sean Hannity Show.”

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Rubio said, “we’re back to 1979, you know, that era where the Russians were doing whatever they wanted — or the Soviets at that time, around the world, where Iran was taking our hostages, and we were impotent to do anything about it. In essence, in many [cases], we’re reminiscent of that era in which America appeared to be decline in the eyes of the world. And today, now we have president and a country that’s been relegated to second-tier with regards to the Russians and what they’re doing under Vladimir Putin, at the UN this week, and so forth. It now appears like he’s the one that’s leading the charge and taking bold stands. But look, let’s not be confused…the first airstrikes they conducted were [in] an area that quite frankly, neither ISIS nor al-Nusra [are] overly active. It’s areas that they’re targeting other opponents of the Assad regime, and this — they know are going to have a permanent air base, of significant magnitude, in Syria, as a way to project power regionally, and in direct competition with our interests in the region.”

Rubio further blamed the president’s equivocation and unreliability as a player in the Middle East for Russia’s rise. Rubio added that if he was president, “we wouldn’t be in this situation. Three years ago, I advocated that we needed to do something. I advocated, let’s go to these generals that are defecting the Assad army, let’s go to these defectors, not radical jihadists, defectors who want to get rid of Assad, and let’s work with them so they can be the ones that replace him.”

He continued that he doesn’t “envision any time in the near future where Syria can be a functioning nation-state along its existing borders–,” and that Russia now has “an air power component to their influence in the region. And look, just today, as they announced that they were going to conduct these airstrikes, there were open media reports that the Russians warned the US, do not have any planes in this area, because we’re operating here. I mean, this will lead to the prospect of potential conflict with [the] Russian Air Force in the region, and so forth.”

Rubio concluded, “in the eyes of the world, we look like we are weak. We look like we’re indecisive. We look less influential, at the expense of a gangster in Moscow named Vladimir Putin.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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