Published On: Tue, Nov 17th, 2015

Marco Rubio attacks Ted Cruz, Rand Paul on NSA votes

Sen. Marco Rubio on Monday night attacked fellow Republicans, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz by name, whom Rubio said voted to “weaken our intelligence programs,” as opponents of the NSA surveillance program.

“At least two of my colleagues in the Senate aspiring to the presidency – Senator Cruz in particular – have voted to weaken the U.S. intelligence programs just in the last month and a half,” he said during a discussion at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council event in Washington. “And the weakening of our intelligence gathering capabilities leaves America vulnerable.”

His comments referenced Sen. Rand Paul as well, though not by name. Both Paul and Cruz voted in favor of the USA Freedom Act in June, which would have reigned in government surveillance programs.

Marco Rubio 2015 Defending the American Dream Summitt Ohio photo Gage Skidmore

Marco Rubio at the 2015 Defending the American Dream Summitt in Ohio photo/ Gage Skidmore

Rubio called the issue of intelligence gathering a “distinctive issue of debate in the presidential race,” capitalizing on the Paris terrorist attacks and the fear that is sweeping through media headlines.

The Florida Senator went so far as to suggest the government would need to “force” technology companies to turn over information about their users to the government, in response to a question on the issue.

“The U.S. government has neither the competence, the money or the time to spy on every American, and so that’s not happening,” he said. “But we need to have access to this information in order to save lives, especially in an exigent circumstances. And so we need the cooperation with these technology companies, but ultimately the authority of the United States might be necessary.”

Rubio took aim at Russia, suggesting the nation is only involved in Syria to attack non-ISIS forces and create a “false choice” for the world to choose between the Assad regime and ISIS. He emphasized the need for a no-fly safe zone in Syria for those fleeing the chaos there, and suggested if Russia were to break such a zone they’d be asking for the U.S. To attack.

“I think that we would be more than capable of discouraging the Russians from conducting those attacks,” he said.

Pressed on whether that means the U.S. Would “shoot down” a Russian plane, Rubio said “I don’t think it will get to that point but that would be their choice,” noting the U.S.’s “superior military capability in the region.”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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