Rubio: US Should ‘Respond and Defend Turkey’ If It Is Attacked By Russia

Florida Senator and Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio stated that the US should “respond and defend Turkey if they come under assault from the Russians” on Tuesday’s “Happening Now” on the Fox News Channel.

Rubio stated, “Turkey is a member of the NATO alliance, and so, if the NATO alliance is to remain vibrant, then we we have to live up to our commitments in that alliance. We can’t decide that we’re not going to work on behalf of one of these countries. Do we have concern about things that are happening in Turkey? I absolutely do. Erdogan has taken that country in a more– I would say, a little bit more radical direction. They’ve broken from a longstanding good relationship with Israel. You’ve see him kowtow to some of the more Islamist elements of their political parties in the country, so there is deep concerns about what’s happening internally within Turkey, and quite frankly, a little bit of lack of cooperation on their part in the fight against isis up until recently. That said, they are still a member of the NATO alliance, and if we were not to come to Turkey’s defense and assistance in any instance, it would undermine the nato alliance, and so that’s something we need to understand.”

Rubio was then asked what he would do if Russia took “measures” against Turkey. Rubio responded by saying that he warned such confrontations could happen as a result of Russia’s involvement in the Middle East. He added, “this is a critical moment, because if Russia believes that they can respond and retaliate against Turkey, because NATO’s not going to do anything about it, what they are basically doing is they are making the argument that NATO is no longer viable, that it is a feckless alliance. And so it’s important for us to be very clear, that we will respond and defend Turkey if they come under assault from the Russians, otherwise the entire NATO alliance comes into question.”

He further argued that if the US showed its support of Turkey, Russia would not attack Turkey.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett