Tags: Trump Administration | Iran | Marco Rubio | Marco Rubio | presidential | bid | Jeb Bush

Marco Rubio: Time May Come to Consider Military Action on Iran

By    |   Sunday, 19 April 2015 01:43 PM

Sen. Marco Rubio doesn't support putting boots on the ground in the Middle East, but he envisions that a time may come when military action could be needed against Iran.

"Iran continues to develop long-range rockets," the Florida Republican and presidential candidate told CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer Sunday. "They're not trying to put a man on the moon. The reason why they're developing intercontinental ballistic missiles [is ] to hold a leverage point initially against Europe, and ultimately against the United States."

But still, he said, it is "absolutely" necessary to be certain Iran does not have a nuclear weapon.

"I think the best way to achieve that is to leave in place the unilateral sanctions and international sanctions," said Rubio. "You combine with that very clear demarcation of the regime — if you cross this threshold you will face military action on the part of the United States. We don't want that to happen, [but] the risk of nuclear Iran is so great that option must be on the table."

If the United States does not use that option, Rubio said, "someone else will."

"The Saudis will not watch them build a bomb," he continued. "The Israelis will not sit there and watch a regime that calls for their destruction. But again we would hope to have avoided that point by severely limiting and sanctioning Iran for nuclear ambitions. Quite frankly, I think this deal could literally deal to increasing prospects for war."

Rubio also discussed his prospects for the 2016 presidential campaign, sharply criticizing Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton while praising his friend and former mentor, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

But he rejected comparisons to President Barack Obama, who like Rubio had only been in the Senate a few years before running for the presidency.

Rubio continued to refuse to say anything bad about Bush, noting he has a "tremendous personal admiration for him."

"My view is that there will be multiple people running," said Rubio of the wide GOP slate of candidates. "We were blessed as Republicans to have a strong field of quality people that are running ... America is going to get a better president for it."

And even though Rubio had said in the past that he wouldn't run against Bush, there "comes a point in time where if you have an opportunity to serve your country legitimately, serve your country."

But he believes he'll be a better president than Clinton, because her presidency "would be another four years of Barack Obama."

Rubio said he has not seen her distinguish herself on a single issue that does not agree with Obama, especially on foreign policy.

"Today our enemies fear us less," he said. "We have less influence in the world today than it did four to six years ago."

Rubio also discussed the immigration issue, including being part of the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" group that put together a comprehensive immigration reform bill that ended up netting him a great deal of criticism from his own party.

But he denied that he walked away from the bill because of the controversy.

"What I'm saying is we can't do it in a piece of legislation," he said. "We understand that we have to deal with 12 million human beings that have been here longer than a decade; we know we have to deal with it. We're not prepared to deal with it until first you can prove to us this will never happen again."

And if he became president, Rubio says, he'd never put the bill he helped with into law.

"The first thing I would do is ask Congress to pass their specific bill that puts in place e-verify, and entry-exit tracking to improve security on the border," he said. "Once we achieve that, that will modernize our legal immigration system."

The biggest issue facing a president, though, is foreign policy, he said, and now there are threats far more complicated than in the past, including the risk of a rising China and the threat of radical jihadist groups.

"I don't think we're doing as well as we could be, on any of these fronts," he said.

Rubio also addressed climate change and the issue of same-sex marriage in the long-ranging interview.

On climate change, Rubio said he it still needs to be determined how much humans are responsible, as taking the wrong actions could be devastating to the nation's economy.

On the same sex issue, Rubio, who said last week that he would attend the gay marriage of a friend or loved one, told Schieffer that he still believes the definition of marriage should be that it's between a man and a woman.

However, he believes that decision should be made at the state level, as he doesn't believe it is a constitutional matter.

And Rubio said that he also does not believe that being a homosexual is a matter of choice: "The bottom line is, I believe sexual preference is something that people are born with."

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Sen. Marco Rubio doesn't support putting boots on the ground in the Middle East, but he envisions that a time may come when military action could be needed against Iran. Iran continues to develop long-range rockets, the Florida Republican and presidential candidate told...
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