Frank Gaffney: Rubio Was Seen As ‘Establishment’s Darling’ With ‘John McCain’s Attitudes’ On Foreign Policy

Republican presidential candidate U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), flanked by his family, speaks at a primary night rally on March 15, 2016 in Miami, Florida. Rubio announced he was suspending his campaign after losing his home state of Florida to Republican rival Donald Trump. (Photo by
Angel Valentin/Getty Images

Frank Gaffney, president and founder of the Center for Security Policy, joined host Stephen K. Bannon of Breitbart News Daily on Wednesday morning to discuss the role of national security policy in the 2016 election, particularly the demise of Senator Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign.

Bannon asked if Rubio’s connection to “neocon” foreign policy was a reason his once-promising campaign failed to catch fire with Republican primary voters.

Gaffney noted that the meaning of the term “neocon” has become “obscured with the passage of time,” but some use it as shorthand for the interventionist foreign policy and nation-building strategies Rubio favored.

“I think that Marco Rubio’s campaign had a lot of problems,” said Gaffney. “Part of it was the sort of policy approach that he was taking on national security, no doubt about it. It didn’t resonate with the American people,” he said on Breitbart News Daily, on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125.

Gaffney stressed that national security issues were only part of Rubio’s downfall – the “icing on the cake” of his campaign’s failure.  

“He was seen, increasingly, as the Establishment’s darling, and this was not what the electorate wanted, period.  To the extent that national security played in his campaign, I think that he was sounding too much like, as you say, the Establishment’s orthodoxy – the John McCain attitudes, the Lindsay Graham attitudes, the Mitt Romney attitudes on national security.”

Gaffney noted that “some of those are policies that most of us would actually agree with,” including the idea of “peace through strength,” but it was “too much wrapped up in this nonsense about how we’ve got to go in and nation-build, and bring democracy to a lot of places that, frankly, most Americans have felt over the past decade and a half or so, has not panned out.”

Moving forward, Gaffney thought national security events – very likely of a grim nature – would shape the rest of the GOP primary and general election contest.

“Unfortunately, what we’re hearing from our own government, what we’re hearing from the British government, what we’re hearing from Europol and others is, we are likely to be subjected to some spectacular and very damaging attacks,” he said.  “And if that happens, obviously, everything pivots again.”

“I think there seems to be a consensus forming, among the remaining Republican candidates, that  we’ve got to rebuild our national defense capabilities,” he continued.  “We are in a dangerous world.  It has been made more dangerous, not just by Barack Obama’s policies, but by Hillary Clinton’s.  And God knows, if Bernie Sanders were their nominee, it would be more dangerous still.”

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125 weekdays from 6:00AM to 9:00AM EST.

You can listen to the full interview with Frank Gaffney below: