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2016 contenders: Why Syria is tough for GOP's Marco Rubio (+video)

Sen. Marco Rubio believes the US must intervene in Syria. But backing Obama on military strikes would have been politically costly. So he found a way to vote no.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) explains why he is pessimistic about the prospect of regime change in Syria at the Defending the American Dream Summit in Orlando, Florida.
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Of all the presumed contenders for president in 2016, both Republican and Democratic, none is in a tougher spot over Syria than Sen. Marco Rubio.

The Florida Republican spent two years urging US intervention in that nation’s civil war, but now, he says, the Obama administration has got it all wrong in calling for a military strike. On Wednesday, Senator Rubio voted against granting President Obama limited authority to take military action. The resolution passed, 10-7.

“While I have long argued forcefully for engagement in empowering the Syrian people, I have never supported the use of US military force in the conflict. And I still don’t,” Rubio said after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote. “I remain unconvinced that the use of force proposed here will work.”

Rubio voted no alongside fellow committeeman Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky, another likely 2016-er who, like Rubio, was elected to the Senate with strong tea party support. But the two men hold sharply differing views on foreign policy: Senator Paul hails from the libertarian/isolationist wing of the Republican Party (as does fellow GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who also appears to have the 2016 bug).


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