Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida challenged the notion that the 2016 Republican nominee should be a governor and not a Washington insider.
He said that national security and foreign policy were too important to leave to someone who had little experience in the international arena, according to ABC News
Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and likely contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, was responding to remarks Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had made separately to ABC News' chief White House correspondent, Jonathan Karl.
Walker, himself a possible competitor for the nomination, had said: "I think both the presidential and the vice presidential nominee should either be a former or current governor, people who have done successful things in their states, who have taken on big reforms, who are ready to move America forward."
Said Rubio, "Well, if I was a governor, I'd say the same thing."
He added that a governor could gain the necessary foreign policy experience, but "I would also say that, you know, taking a trip to some foreign city for two days does not make you Henry Kissinger either."
The junior senator from Florida was taking part in a forum of probable Republican presidential candidates — all senators — in Palm Springs, California, convened by the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce
. The group is connected to conservative mega-contributors Charles and David Koch.
The two other senators at the Sunday forum were Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky. The conversation, largely about foreign policy, was moderated Karl.
Paul said that Jimmy Carter had been a governor before going to the White House and that "didn't turn out so well."
But, he added, the president's previous office was less important than being levelheaded. "Really, what you want in a commander in chief is someone who has strength, wisdom, judgment, someone who believes that war is the last resort, not the first resort."
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