Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Wednesday slammed a deal that released captive USAID contractor Alan Gross in exchange for three Cubans jailed in the United States for spying, branding President Barack Obama as potentially the “worst negotiator” in the history of the nation.
“At a minimum, I would say this. Barack Obama is the worst negotiator that we’ve had as President since at least Jimmy Carter, and maybe in the history of this country,” he said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
Rubio, whose parents emigrated to the U.S. from Cuba, said he was glad Gross would be reunited with his family. But he added that the prisoner exchange would set a “very dangerous precedent.”
“It puts a price on every American abroad,” he said. “Governments now know that if they take an American hostage, they can get very significant concessions from the U.S.”
The Florida Republican also criticized Obama’s reported move to normalize relations with Cuba, arguing that opening up commerce and trade on the communist island wouldn’t bring democracy to its people.
“It’s absurd, and it’s part of a long record of coddling dictators and tyrants that this administration has established,” he said.
Rubio said Congress would not support lifting the embargo against Cuba.