Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said Tuesday that he’s “very skeptical” that the proposed airstrike on Syria will deter the Assad regime from using chemical weapons in the future, while arguing that he’d have handled the situation far better than President Barack Obama.
“I don’t believe we should take military action unless we have a clear and achievable goal in mind,” Rubio told Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier. “And one of the clear goals of this action he’s arguing for is to impede Assad from using chemical weapons in the future. I am highly skeptical. Now we have a closed hearing tomorrow where classified information will be discussed, and I’ll wait until then to reserve judgment. But I remain very skeptical that the kind of attack they’re contemplating, this limited attack, is going to actually achieve that goal of preventing Assad from using chemical weapons in the future.”
When Baier asked the Florida senator what he’d have done if he had been commander-in-chief, Rubio eschewed specifics but asserted that the U.S. would have “never gotten to this stage” with Syria if he had been in the White House.
“Well, first of all, we have to outline what should have been done because that’s important,” Rubio said. “We have to understand, if I had been in charge — or someone else, hopefully — we’d have never gotten to this stage. So if we inherited this mess, which we have now, I think our obligation is to try to figure out what is the least worst option available to us because they’re all bad. And part of that equation, I can’t tell you right now until we go through that intelligence briefing tomorrow because one of the key questions we have to ask ourselves is, ‘Who are these so-called moderates on the ground in Syria and are they even capable of taking control of the country and giving us a rational, secular, stable government?’ That’s a key question.”