Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) shot back at Senator Rand Paul on ABC’s This Week after being called an isolationist by the Kentucky senator.
Host George Stephanopoulos read from Paul’s Twitter account: “Senator @marcorubio is acting like an isolationist who wants to retreat to our borders and perhaps build a moat. I reject this isolationism.”
Hitting back at that accusation, Rubio told Stephanopoulos:
If he wants to become the chief cheerleader of Obama’s foreign policy he certainly has the right to do that. I’m going to continue to oppose the Obama-Paul foreign policy on Cuba, because I know it won’t lead to freedom and liberty for the Cuban people, which is my sole interest here.
Earlier in the program, Rubio explained that he indeed wants closer ties with Cuba, but insisted that they come about as a result of a policy that leads to freedom for the country.
“It’s not that I simply want to continue doing what we’ve been doing,” Rubio assured. “I’m OK with changing policy towards Cuba, but it has to be a policy change that has a reasonable chance of achieving freedom for the Cuban people.”
Clarifying his view, Rubio stated that the president’s current Cuba policy “will not lead to freedom.”
Stephanopoulos challenged Rubio’s stance reminding him that the United States has ties to some other countries that don’t share America’s democratic politics. And while Rubio agreed that these other countries may have large economies to show because of these policies, the lack of freedoms present is a huge indicator that they aren’t working:
Certainly, I would not hold up China or Saudi Arabia or Vietnam as examples of political freedom — proving my point that engagement by itself does not guarantee or even lead to political freedoms.