Marco Rubio Shares His Thoughts On Robert Mueller, Russia, And Cuba

After President Trump mused about the possibility of firing special counsel Robert Mueller, staffers at the White House reportedly talked him out of it. But, because we can never really predict what Trump is going to do, the question still looms in many minds.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), appeared on CNN’s State of the Union this weekend, and he faced questions about the possibility of Trump firing Mueller from Jake Tapper:

“Well, first of all, that’s not going to happen,” Rubio noted. “I don’t believe it’s going to happen. And here’s what I would say. The best thing that could happen for the president, and the country, is a full and credible investigation. I really, truly believe that.”

Tapper then pointed out that he didn’t think Trump would fire FBI Director James Comey until he went and did it.

“I don’t think we saw that coming,” Rubio stated. “But I don’t think that has in any way impeded the work of the FBI on these matters.”

When Tapper asked the senator if he had any questions about Mueller’s integrity, he replied that he had “no reason to” and that Mueller’s “reputation is stellar.”

Rubio also noted that it’s important for the American people to know how the Russians hacked into elections systems and how our country will fight back.

Tapper went on to ask Rubio about the changes to the United States policy toward Cuba. When the host brought up the fact that Trump initially brought up human rights concerns before backing off on them, Rubio said, “It’s in our national security interest to have human rights and democracy in our region.” He added, “Today, every country in our hemisphere has had at least one free and fair election in the last decade and a half or so, except for one: the island of Cuba, and so hopefully we’re getting closer to the day when that happens there as well.”

Check out the full interview here:

Marco Rubio Used to Believe in Small Government – What Changed?

An effort to guarantee paid leave for new parents is gaining steam among the right. Ivanka Trump, who has made the issue her pet project within her father’s administration, expressed her support on Twitter for a study by the AEI-Brookings Project on Paid Family Leave. The study was conducted by a working group of academics representing both ends of the political spectrum.

Paid family leave has become one of the common causes of the nanny-state government crowd in recent years. Along with the $15 dollar minimum wage, free college, and single-payer healthcare, it is often cited as yet another essential measure to create the ideal cradle to grave welfare state of Bernie Sanders’ dreams.

Indeed, Sanders has introduced his own plan. As did Hillary Clinton. And Kristen Gillebrand

It’s not hard to see why liberals love the idea. It is a centrally planned, top-down entitlement in the same mold as the Great Society or New Deal. Most proposals, including the AEI-Brookings plan, would assess a new payroll tax. This would work like Social Security and Medicare, which impose taxes on employers and employees alike. The tax would be mandated for all Americans, so even men and women well past their parenting years would pay into a system from which they would never benefit.

While precise costs are impossible to determine at this point, federal entitlements always miss projections and add to the deficit. For example, a 2013 report from the Social Security and Medicare Trustees found those programs are facing long-term deficits in the trillions of dollars. Anyone with concerns for the annual deficit or national debt should not be excited at the idea of a new entitlement. 

Liberals, of course, tend to dismiss history and fiscal realities. This time, they argue, we will get it right. And Trump, who referenced his support for paid family leave during his address to Congress earlier this year, is not governed by any particular ideology. It’s not surprising that he or his daughter would support such a big government effort.

But we should expect more from Marco Rubio, which is why his tweet on Wednesday supporting Ivanka Trump’s family leave initiative is so disappointing.

In America, no family should be forced to put off having children due to economic insecurity. @IvankaTrump is doing important work.”

Marco Rubio is one of the good guys. I supported him in 2016, and still think he would make a great president. 

But when a politician begins a sentence with the phrase, in America, no family should, you can bet we are about to hear an emotional plea for the progressive cause du jour.

Of course, we all wish that no family should be homeless, or live below the poverty line, or lack health coverage, or suffer from illiteracy, or struggle with the consequences of drug addiction. Those are all bad things, and no one wants their fellow citizens suffering through them. And yes, we all want new moms and dads to have the freedom to focus on their new child during the first weeks of his or her life.

Where conservatives differ from liberals, however, is in our skepticism that the federal government can effectively alleviate any of these burdens. Where liberals wish to implement one-size-fits-all solutions to diverse and difficult problems, conservatives emphasize mediating institutions like local government, the church, and family. Where liberals want to throw trillions of dollars at federal programs, conservatives point to decades of experience and trillions of spent tax dollars to show that previous efforts made problems worse.

Senator Rubio used to understand this.

To be fair, Rubio’ s soft spot for this issue dates back to at least 2015 when he announced his own plan for family medical leave. Instead of a new payroll tax, Rubio called for tax incentives to encourage businesses to offer paid parental leave to employees. While this framework is probably better than the one laid out by AEI-Brookings and endorsed by Ivanka Trump, it still embraces the idea that parental paid leave is a responsibility of, and could be successfully implemented by, the federal government.

I would remind Senator Rubio of the words uttered by a young, articulate conservative explaining why big government solutions never work:

Because more government breeds complicated rules and laws that a small business can’t afford to follow. Because more government raises taxes on employers who then pass the costs on to their employees through fewer hours, lower pay and even layoffs. And because many government programs that claim to help the middle class, often end up hurting them instead.”

That was Senator Rubio in 2013. What’s changed?

Trump Looks To Tighten Obama’s Relaxed Relationship With Cuba

It looks as though the White House is getting ready to announce a reversal of the Obama administration’s Cuba policy. A bipartisan effort from Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menedez (D-NJ) and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) has helped lead President Trump to walk back Obama’s reopening of relations with the island dictatorship.

Obama drastically changed Cuba policy during his time in office, reestablishing diplomatic relations, reopening travel, and easing restrictions on commerce with Cuba. His administration allowed all these reversals of longstanding US policy against the Communist nation without demanding concessions that would give the Cuban people freedom.

This information coming from an anti-embargo group, which spoke on the condition of anonymity, was confirmed Sunday by John Kavulich of the nonpartisan U.S. – Cuba Trade and Economic Council. “The Trump Administration has been ‘ready’ since February 2017 to announce changes, but issues unrelated to Cuba have intervened,” Kavulich said.

[…]

Trump himself has been on both sides of the issue. He told TheDC in 2015 that the “concept of opening with Cuba is fine,” but on the campaign trail he threatened to “terminate” deals that the Obama administration made with Cuba.

The campaign trail rhetoric carried over into the administration, as Trump said in a February press conference that he has “very similar views” on Cuba as Sen. Rubio.

Diaz-Balart and Rubio both appear confident that Trump will enact a roll back of the Obama-era Cuba policy.

“I have no doubt that you’re going to see in short order a different policy,” Diaz-Balart has said. Menendez has not commented publicly on any potential changes to Cuba policy since Trump took office.

Oddly enough, some of the strongest opposition to any moves by Trump to undo Obama’s policy changes seems to be coming from the president’s fellow Republicans.

A bill introduced by Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake Thursday to remove all travel restrictions with Cuba has nine Republican cosponsors.

“Recognizing the inherent right of Americans to travel to Cuba isn’t a concession to dictators, it is an expression of freedom,” Sen. Flake said in a statement. “It is Americans who are penalized by our travel ban, not the Cuban government.”

It will certainly be interesting to see whether the White House enacts a return to pre-Obama Cuba policy, but no matter what happens, the Cuban people will be no more free than they were when Obama opened the door between Cuba and the United States. And that’s the biggest shame of it all.

What’s Wrong With People? Rubio Ignites Twitter By Quoting The Bible

Sen. Marco Rubio is one of those Christians who isn’t afraid to share his faith. But some don’t like that in a politician–so when Rubio shared some scripture on Twitter, they couldn’t leave it alone.

Two tweets (here and here)…

 

brought these insane responses.

 

This one is particularly snotty, saying that Rubio shouldn’t quote scripture on his own Twitter page because he “identifies as US senator.”

Here’s a particularly mean-sprited swipe at families who are victims of tragedies.

What is wrong with these people? Can’t they let someone express their religion without making jackasses of themselves?

Have they even read the First Amendment? It protects religious speech and practice from the government, not the other way around.

Rubio took all this in stride. tweeting “Really? I triggered a @Twitter freakout by quoting the #Bible”

Yes, sir, unfortunately for our country, God is not popular right now. But for those who really think Rubio is “hiding behind religion,” feel free to watch him share the Gospel and give an answer to an atheist (during his 2016 campaign). The man is for real.

 

NEW: Russian Cyberattack Targeted Rubio Staff As Recently As This Week

Russian cyber-attacks and hacking attempts were not limited to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the past election. Cybersecurity experts testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee said that several prominent Republicans including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) were targeted by “coordinated social media attacks” that apparently originated in Russia per CNN.

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Senator Rubio testified that members of his campaign staff were targeted at least twice. “Former members of my presidential campaign team who had access to the internal information of my presidential campaign were targeted by IP addresses with an unknown location within Russia,” Rubio said Thursday. “That effort was unsuccessful. I would also inform the committee within the last 24 hours, at 10:45 a.m. yesterday, [Wednesday, March 29] a second attempt was made, again, against former members of my presidential campaign team who had access to our internal information — again targeted from an IP address from an unknown location in Russia. And that effort was also unsuccessful.”

Clinton Watts, a former FBI agent and Senior Fellow at the George Washington Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, said that the attacks were not limited Rubio, but that all Republican candidates, with the exception of Donald Trump, were targeted by the Russians.

Watts noted that the attacks were ongoing. “This past week we observed social media campaigns targeting speaker of the House Paul Ryan hoping to foment further unrest amongst US democratic institutions,” he said.

Watts said later on CNN that Trump and his advisors, either knowingly or unknowingly, espoused Russian propaganda stories during the campaign. “What we can’t tell is whether President Trump realized he was actually citing Russian propaganda at times, which did happen. What did happen was his campaign manager [Paul Manafort] cited Russian propaganda seven days after it had been debunked in August 2016,” Watts said. “We see lots of lines that are pushed by the Kremlin that are fed into information briefings.”

“The other part is the coordination,” he continued. “We see hacks, we see leaks and those are very synchronized or come out very quickly with the campaign back in August, September, October. And that tends to lead to the belief that there was coordination.”

“The ultimate objective [of Putin] is to destroy democracies from the inside out,” Watts told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

When asked during the Senate hearing by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oreg.) how the Intelligence Committee could track the cyberattacks to their source, Watts said that investigators should follow the money trail to determine who is bankrolling the many “fake news outlets, conspiratorial websites” run from Eastern Europe. Watts said that his best guess was that the outlets were funded by “some Russian intel asset.”

Watts also said that investigators should “Follow the trail of dead Russians.” He continued, “There have been more dead Russians in the past three months that are tied to this investigation, who have assets in banks all over the world. They are dropping dead even in western countries.”

Marco Rubio’s Mature Approach to Explaining Why Elizabeth Warren Was Silenced is Worth Hearing in Full

Princess Fauxcahontas, or as she is known by her government name, Senator Elizabeth Warren, in early prep for her 2020 presidential run, thought she would make a big scene, by violating Senate Rule 19.

Basically, one senator can’t stand up in the Senate and talk smack about another senator, making claims about things they may or may not have done, as a way of questioning their integrity.

If someone sets about to violate Senate Rule 19, the Senate can vote to shut that mess down, with no exceptions!

And that is just what they did with Warren.

Of course, the usual leftist grievance mongers are up in arms, howling over the unfairness of life, and how Warren was treated shabbily.

The facts are, she set herself up. Neither her gender nor the “D” after her name give her special rights, apart from what any other senator is subject to.

Of those who spoke up, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) gave one of the most mature, passionate defenses of implementing the rule with Senator Warren.

Some excellent parts from Rubio’s speech include:

I want people to think about our politics here in America, because I’m telling you guys that I don’t know of a single nation in this history of the world that’s been able to solve its problems when half the people in the country absolutely hate the other half of the people in that country. This is the most important country in the word, and people in this body cannot function if people are offending one another and that’s why those rules are in place.

“Turn on the news and watch these parliaments around the world where people throw chairs at each other. And punches. And ask yourself how that makes you feel about those countries. Doesn’t give you a lot of confidence about those countries.

Now I’m not arguing that we’re anywhere near that here tonight, but we’re flirting with it. We’re flirting with it in this body and we’re flirting with it in this country. We have become a society incapable of having debates anymore.

He also assured those listening that it wasn’t a partisan issue.

It’s just decency.

You can hear Senator Rubio speak, here, and believe me, it is worth it.

Senator Marco Rubio Speaks Powerfully on Behalf of the Unborn

I have always enjoyed listening to Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) speak, especially on issues of faith and life. There are few who can meet quite the same level of eloquence and passion as Senator Rubio, and for all of the attacks against him that argue to the contrary, the man has a true conservative’s heart.

His remarks today, in honor of the 2017 March for Life, were featured at Lifenews.com and he perfectly defines what the modern fight for the right to life is all about.

I’m encouraged that we have Senator Rubio and others who share his respect for unborn life sitting in the seat of lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

I’m encouraged that we have a president who, for all the issues I have with him, seems willing to hear them out, and to stand with them.

With that said, I’ll give you Senator Rubio’s full remarks. Whatever you’re doing, stop, and take a couple of minutes to read.
When you’re done, seek out Senator Rubio somewhere on social media and thank him for the stand he has taken in defense of the unborn.

I intend to.

For 43 years, Americans from across the country have traveled to the nation’s capital to unite in support of the simple yet powerful belief that all human beings have the right to life. The March for Life is a movement that serves as a voice for the voiceless and helps defend the defenseless, and I will never apologize for standing up for this fundamental human right.

Even as we mourn the morally tragic and abhorrent legacy of Roe v. Wade, this year’s March for Life is an opportunity to recommit ourselves to advancing pro-life policies after a decade of playing defense against the Democrats’ pro-abortion agenda. Thankfully, the annual number of abortions in the United States has dropped to the lowest level in decades, but our work is far from done. We must win the policy battles to come, continue to peacefully persuade hearts and minds, and cultivate a culture of life that makes abortion even more rare.

Roe v. Wade was a fundamentally flawed decision, one that manufactured a constitutional right to end innocent lives – a right that does not exist in our Constitution and directly contradicts our Declaration of Independence’s commitment to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This decision is a constant reminder of the important role presidents play in nominating judges to the federal bench, and the responsibility senators have to vet them. As President Trump prepares to nominate Antonin Scalia’s successor to the U.S. Supreme Court, we have the first significant opportunity in a long time to restore our judiciary’s proper role as arbiters of the law, not creators of it. It is imperative that we rally behind nominees who understand their job does not entail legislating from the bench.

Outside the courtroom, we must continue winning over public opinion – with science firmly on our side. On certain issues, liberals insist that science is irrefutable and should lead us to adopt policies that destroy our economy and cost workers their paychecks. However, one notable exception to their appeal to science is abortion. Advancements in science have only bolstered the argument for life, and proven that unborn children are capable of feeling pain at 20 weeks in the womb. Despite this scientific conclusion, most Democrats choose to ignore the evidence and support abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy, even 5 months. According to a November 2014 Quinnipiac survey, 60 percent of adults – including 59 percent of women – support restrictions on abortion after 20 weeks.

The more the science of embryology and neurological developments is researched and better understood, the more clear it has become that every unborn child is a person. This scientific fact is why abortion advocates resort to justifying millions of abortions by pointing to the most infrequently reported reasons. In the last two years in Florida, less than one-third of one percent of all abortions were performed due to rape or incest, according to Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration. Out of 135,687 abortions, only .047 percent were performed because the mother’s life was endangered. The vast majority of abortions (92 percent) were simply elective.

The 2016 election was a clarion call for the restoration of the sanctity of life. Americans returned a pro-life majority to Congress and elected a president who has decried late-term abortions. President Trump already acted to defend life by restoring a Reagan Administration directive ensuring U.S. taxpayer dollars are not used to perform or promote abortions overseas. I hope Congress will act in the coming months to make the Hyde Amendment permanent law.

In the U.S. Senate, I have worked to pass legislation protecting human life. In 2013, I voted for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. In advance of today’s march, I reintroduced the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, which would prohibit the transportation of a minor child across a state line to obtain an abortion and make it harder for criminals to cover up rape. More than 80 percent of Americans believe parents have a right to know if their child undergoes an abortion, and I believe we should close the loophole that allows people to get around states’ parental notification laws.

Today, as the March for Life commences, I am proud to stand with the people who make up this movement. I also recognize how difficult reality can be for those young women who find themselves grappling with an unplanned pregnancy. Two rights are in conflict: the right of women to control their bodies, and the right of every unborn child to live. For me, I will always err on the side of life. We must do everything we can to give every human life a chance, and the March for Life is a big reason we are making progress and have hope for a better future.

Well said, Senator. Well said, indeed.

BREAKING: Rubio To Support Tillerson Nomination

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) has announced on his Facebook page that he will support the nomination of Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State. Senator Rubio had been the last Republican holdout after Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced their support for Trump’s pick over the weekend.

Many senators were concerned about Tillerson’s lack of diplomatic experience as well as his ties to Russia and Vladimir Putin. As head of Exxon Mobil, Tillerson had negotiated oil deals with Russia and was awarded an Order of Friendship medal by the Russian president in 2013.

In his statement, Rubio said that Tillerson allayed many of his fears during the confirmation process. “He acknowledged that Russia conducted a campaign of active measures designed to undermine our elections,” Rubio wrote. “He stated that Russia’s taking of Crimea was illegal and illegitimate. He affirmed that our NATO ‘Article V commitment is inviolable.’ He endorsed the Magnitsky Act. He accurately characterized the conflict in eastern Ukraine as a Russian invasion, and he supports providing defensive weapons to Ukraine.” Tillerson differs with President Trump on several of these issues.

Rubio was also critical of Tillerson’s reluctance to be tough on Russia. “Despite his extensive experience in Russia and his personal relationship with many of its leaders, he claimed he did not have sufficient information to determine whether Putin and his cronies were responsible for ordering the murder of countless dissidents, journalists, and political opponents. He indicated he would support sanctions on Putin for meddling in our elections only if they met the impossible condition that they not affect U.S. businesses operating in Russia. While he stated that the ‘status quo’ should be maintained for now on sanctions put in place following Putin’s illegal taking of Crimea, he was unwilling to firmly commit to maintaining them so long as Russia continues to occupy Crimea and eastern Ukraine.”

Nevertheless, Rubio wrote, “I must balance these concerns with his extensive experience and success in international commerce, and my belief that the president is entitled to significant deference when it comes to his choices for the cabinet.”

The support of Rubio, Graham and McCain means that Tillerson is certain to be confirmed as Secretary of State. With 48 votes (including two independents), Senate Democrats cannot block the nomination without Republican help. Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) eliminated the filibuster on most presidential nominations in 2013.