Rubio Sees Both Sides in Privacy Debate

Thursday, 01 Aug 2013 05:26 PM

By Greg Richter

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Part of the inter-party feud between Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, involves the balance between national security and individual privacy rights, and at least one fellow Republican agrees with both sides.

"We have to do both," Sen. Marco Rubio said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto."

The recent name-calling between Paul and Christie has threatened to trivialize the debate, Rubio said, but the issue is significant and shouldn't be pushed to the side, he said.

Christie, a more traditional Republican, fears libertarian GOP members such as Paul are so concerned about individual privacy that they are willing to open the country up to terrorist attack.

Paul denies that accusation, and Rubio agrees, telling Cavuto that some spying, however uncomfortable, is necessary.

"We know that terrorists use technology to coordinate," Rubio said. "If Osama bin Laden was calling someone in the United States we would want to know that, because I promise you it wasn't his stockbroker he was calling."

But balancing that need with the need for privacy isn't easy, he admits. The problem with investigating is that the more the public knows, the easier it is for America's enemies to use it against us.

"We have to be able to do some of this," he said, "but we also have to be able to do it in a way that Americans have confidence in it."

Cavuto said Rubio is usually the "adult in the room" in such debates and searches for ways to find common ground. He asked if Rubio worries the current party infighting could cause Republicans the same problems it did in in 1964 when Barry Goldwater won a contested primary, but lost the general election.

"I think we all need to stand for what we believe in," Rubio responded, saying that the GOP was big enough to foster vibrant debate.

Rubio, however, didn't agree with both sides in the war of words between civil rights activist Jesse Jackson and Rubio's home state governor, Rick Scott. Scott has demanded an apology from civil rights activist Jesse Jackson for calling Florida the "Selma of our time" over the George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin killing.

"The only things sadder than (Jackson's) comments is the fact that people still pay attention to some of them," Rubio said.



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