ROCK HILL, South Carolina — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush slammed the lack of inexperience of first-term Senator Marco Rubio in an exclusive interview on Breitbart News Daily that aired on Friday morning.
In the interview, conducted with this reporter on Thursday evening aboard his campaign bus here after a boisterous Bush town hall in which he–unlike Rubio’s town halls–actually took questions, Bush laid out how highly inexperienced on foreign policy and national security matters Rubio actually is.
“Sure, look, Marco has gone to a few committee hearings on the Foreign Relations Committee,” Bush said when asked if Rubio had enough experience to protect America from national security threats. “He hasn’t even traveled to Iraq.”
Bush’s comments come on the heels of two significant developments showing his lack of resolve when it comes to America’s national security and defense policy. First, as Breitbart News detailed in an exclusive from the campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rubio skipped a whopping 18 votes on the defense bill the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The skipped votes included the vote on final passage of the final conference report which was eventually sent to the president’s desk, and that comes after Rubio argued when skipping the omnibus spending bill vote that skipping a vote means he opposes the bill–meaning according to his own logic he opposed the final NDAA, yet is attacking Cruz for voting against the bill’s final passage as though Cruz is somehow weak on defense. Secondly, an even more stunning report out Thursday from the Tampa Bay Times’ Alex Leary shows that Rubio has skipped an astonishing 60 percent of foreign policy related hearings despite touting his work on such issues on the campaign trail.
Bush in his interview with Breitbart News Daily then, after asking how much time there was to explain his experience versus Rubio’s lack thereof, laid out how as governor of Florida he was the commander in chief of the Florida National Guard.
“Eight years, I was commander in chief of the Florida National Guard,” Bush said. “I went to visit the Guard in Iraq and Afghanistan as their commander in chief. Eight hurricanes and four tropical storms requires real essential leadership. It was $150 billion in insured and uninsured losses. We got the state back on its feet far faster than people could imagine. I didn’t blame anybody. I didn’t blame FEMA. I didn’t blame ‘the dog ate my homework.’ I was all in and people appreciated it. I led.”
Bush noted that unlike Rubio, he has extensive experience in dealing with leaders abroad.
“I’ve lived overseas. I’ve done business overseas,” Bush said. “I’ve led trade missions twice or three times a year for eight years. The largest trade missions to Latin America were ones that I led. I negotiated a trade agreement with Israel on one of my five visits to Israel. I know leaders around the world. I’ve taken 89 trips overseas since I’ve left as governor.”
As such, Bush said it’s ridiculous that Rubio is attempting to claim he has more foreign policy experience than Bush.
“It’s kind of hard to be lectured by a one term guy,” Bush said. “He’s gifted, a great guy, but for him to suggest I don’t have foreign policy experience and he does when his record of accomplishment is struggling to find something he can say he’s done? Is to sponsor a bill that creates sanctions for Hezbollah, which passed by a voice vote of 96 to nothing and he didn’t even show up to vote? And to support some risk corridor deal he took credit for which the sponsors of actually the effort denied that he was involved in? And the passage of one bill—one bill—in his five years? That record of accomplishment pales by comparison to the record I have as governor of the state of Florida both in terms of solving big problems and foreign policy.”