President Obama's foreign policy lacks a strategic approach that stands up to global bullies and protects American values and "our ability to conduct trade and commerce with any market in the world," Sen. Marco Rubio said Saturday.
In the weekly Republican address, the Florida Republican said reclaiming the American Dream depends on an effective foreign policy.
"Today, foreign policy is an important part of our domestic policy," he said. "And our economic well-being is deeply dependent on our national security."
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And though Rubio acknowledged Americans are tired of wars overseas, and "anxious to focus on problems here at home … the truth is that now, more than ever before, a crisis halfway around the world can have a bigger impact on our pocketbooks than some crisis halfway across town.
Yet, Rubio charged, Obama "doesn't seem to understand this."
"Instead of shaping world events, he has often simply reacted to them," he said. "And instead of a foreign policy based on strategy, his foreign policy is based on politics."
Rubio said Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Crimea when he failed to "bully the Ukrainian people" over their moves "to create stronger economic ties with the West."
“We cannot allow the precedent to be set that in order to engage the West in trade and commerce, smaller nations must first seek the permission of their more powerful neighbors," Rubio said.
The president "talks tough" about Putin, he said. "But his actions have not gone far enough to change Putin’s calculation that the benefits of his aggression outweigh the costs."
Rubio is urging passage of a bill introduced by Senate Republicans to provide Ukraine with defensive military assistance, impose new sanctions and urging the president "to speed up deployments of missile defense in Eastern Europe" and sell more American natural gas to Europe.
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