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Politics / Politics

Rubio Flexes His Hawkish Muscles

Marco Rubio speaks to the press in Florida.

April 20, 2011

Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) fiscal profile has been the main attraction for conservatives who support him, but he is also crafting a foreign policy reputation, which, if he plans to run for higher office down the road, could make him a more well-rounded candidate.

Rubio chats with National Review's Robert Costa about foreign policy in a piece out today. He identifies the late-Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), a hawkish former Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, as his model. He also mentions two books he keeps at his side: "Courting Disaster," former George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen's defense of the CIA's interrogation program during the Bush administration; and "Power, Faith, and Fantasy," Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren's book on the history of the U.S. in the Middle East. Rubio has also recently read Bush's autobiography, "Decision Points."

"It is so important that conservatism does not translate into isolationism," Rubio says. "Isolationism has never worked for America. It is not going to work in the 21st century."

As much as Rubio has focused on fiscal matters, adopting stances on the debt ceiling and continuing resolutions that have garnered a lot of attention, he frequently discussed foreign policy on the campaign trail in 2010 and it's worth watching how his foreign policy track unfolds as his name continues to be mentioned as a possibility for national office in the future.

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