April 13, 2015—The Republican presidential primary field is officially crowded. Now it’s three U.S. senators: Florida’s Marco Rubio, Kentucky’s Rand Paul, and Texas’s Ted Cruz.
These fresh faces of the GOP aren’t just competing for the nomination, but the brand of their party. Ronald Reagan famously referred to the Republican coalition as a three-legged stool: national security conservatives, libertarian conservatives, and social conservatives. Those stool legs are respectively Rubio, Paul, and Cruz. But as the party has been swept up by neoconservative foreign policy since the Reagan administration, Rubio will struggle to fly that neocon flag higher and prouder while projecting an image of young and new leadership.
Here are five quotes that entrench “uniquely qualified” Rubio in the neocon camp:
“They want a weapon to trigger a global cataclysm that will bring about the arrival of the Thirteenth Imam! I know this sounds bizarre!”
To Rubio, and all neocons, war is a preventive measure. Disregarding the global consequences of a unilateral first strike on Iran such as the imminent introduction of Russia into the conflict over the death of its technicians in the country, closing down 20 percent of the world’s petroleum trade, and erupting other wars in Lebanon and Israel, Rubio sees this all as a “solution.”
Government creating more problems than the ones it seeks to solve. Sound familiar? That’s the neocon blind approach to aggressive, constant interventionism that Rubio will cheerlead with more gusto than even the yet-to-announce Governor Jeb Bush, his Florida counterpart in the primary.
“Look at Vietnam and look at China, countries that we have engaged. They are no more politically free today than they were when that engagement started.”
Rubio emotionally [spn-media-asset pos=4 align=left size=thumbnail]came out against Obama’s moves to ease some sanctions on Cuba (and Americans), oddly claiming that it wouldn’t work any better than what has occurred under new relations with the Vietnamese and Chinese. Rubio floundered when pressed on that neocon logic. When asked if US relations with China should be cut off, Rubio responded, “From a geopolitical perspective, our approach to China by necessity has to be different from Cuba.”
Rubio’s commitment to fighting a new Cold War is classic neocon doctrine, and due to his familial connection to Cuba, this could be seen as his signature policy approach.
“I disagree with voices in my own party who argue we should not engage at all, who warn we should heed the words of John Quincy Adams not to go ‘abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.'”
Neocons depend on a total blackout of traditional American foreign policy in order to attract support from the grassroots. Rubio, as a habit, turned to grandiloquence to explain his opposition to traditional American foreign policy: “I disagree, because all around us we see the human face of America’s influence in the world.”
“Empowering and supporting Syria’s opposition today will give us our best chance of influencing it tomorrow.”
The cavalier Rubio spoke those words in the run up to the emergence of the Islamic State. Neocons make the darndest promises.
“In every region of the world, we should always search for ways to use U.S. aid and humanitarian assistance to strengthen our influence, the effectiveness of our leadership, and the service of our interests and ideals.”
Who has the more soaring, flowery rhetoric — Obama or the neocons? Though they back largely the same policies, Rubio’s performances make the case for the latter. Elite neocons William Kristol and Robert Kagan founded the Project for a New American Century, and it’s that namesake Rubio borrowed for rolling out his key campaign theme:
Is there enough support among Republican grassroots for a neocon like Marco Rubio to win the nomination? Let us know what you think with a comment below.
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