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ICYMI: Rubio Joins Face the Nation

Feb 7, 2022 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Face the Nation to discuss the Russian buildup of arms on the Ukrainian border, Russian-Chinese relations, his Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, and more. See below for a rushed transcript provided by CBS and watch the full interview here.

face the nation


On the Vice President’s powers for certifying elections:
“If President Trump runs for re-election, I believe he would defeat Joe Biden, and I don’t want Kamala Harris to have the power as vice president to overturn that election, and … that’s the same thing that I concluded back in January of 2021. 
“When that issue was raised, I looked at it, had analyzed it and came to the same conclusion that vice presidents can’t simply decide not to certify an election.”
On the partisan nature of the January 6th Commission in the House of Representatives:
“Anybody who committed crimes on January 6th should be prosecuted. If you entered the Capitol and you committed acts of violence [or] you were there to hurt people, you should be prosecuted. They are being prosecuted. 
“The January 6th commission is not the place to do this. That’s what prosecutors are supposed to do. This commission is a partisan scam. The purpose of this commission is to try and embarrass, smear, and harass as many Republicans as they can get their hands on.”
“That’s what the commission is doing. I know that’s what the commission is doing because they’re focused well beyond January 6th. There are people, for example, like an older member of the RNC whose husband just died. She wasn’t even in Washington on January 6th. But she signed some papers… She can’t afford to lawyer up, and she’s being harassed by this commission. This commission is nothing but a partisan tool designed to go out and smear and attack and get their hands on as many people as they can, including people that weren’t in Washington on January 6th.
“I do not believe that we need a congressional committee to harass Americans that weren’t even in Washington on January 6th, that were not in favor of what happened on that day, and have condemned what happened on that day. [The commission] wants to smear them anyway. I’m against that, yes.”
On the continued threat of a Russian invasion into Ukraine: 
“The impact [of an invasion] would begin by destabilizing Europe. This is the single greatest threat Europe has faced since the 1940s and the refugee surge would be one. 
“It would have a global impact because we’re now all of a sudden once again living in a world in which countries and leaders can decide that something belongs to them and they go in and take it by force. There are plenty of countries in Europe that have complaints about treaties that were signed over 100 years ago. We know how China claims Taiwan. It has territorial disputes with India on its borders. 
“If we now live in a world where you can just go in and take a country because you claim it or [claim] parts of it belong to you and you can do so militarily… we’ve entered a very dangerous period in human history once again. I think it has enormous consequences if and when that happens.”
On the potential response of U.S. sanctions by Russia and China:
“There are two things here. The first- there is no U.S. combat role in Ukraine. There isn’t going to be one. I don’t know of anyone who supports it, not even the Ukrainians. 
“Vladimir Putin has to pay a high price if he does this. Not just for him to pay the price, but for other countries [and leaders] to see the high price of doing that kind of thing. [The] price should be that his economy should be crippled and hurt badly. That will require unity not just from the Europeans, but other countries around the world, but beginning with the Europeans. If they’re not going to impose those sanctions and stick with them, then over time, he will be able to blunt it. 
“The easiest part for him is going to be the invasion. The harder part is going to be the occupation. Ukrainians are not going to welcome him with roses. He’s going to have to explain to Russian mothers why their sons keep coming home injured, killed, and maimed from this occupation of [Ukraine]. 
“Any country on Earth knows how painful and difficult it is to occupy a country that doesn’t want you there for a substantial period of time. It should be us with our experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. [Putin will] pay a tremendous price that way as well… If in fact, he moves forward with this, as I believe personally, [and] I hope I’m wrong. I really do… I truly believe that he has decided that he wants Ukraine to be neutral. He’s going to impose neutrality. He’ll either get it through a signed agreement or he’ll impose it militarily.”
On recognizing China’s use of slave labor during the supply chain crisis:
“[The United States] need to do this no matter what, because this country has to be a country that makes things again. If we’ve learned anything over the last couple of years is that you have to have a manufacturing and industrial capability. You can’t be dependent on foreign supply chains entirely, especially those located in a place like China because of a pandemic, a war, or out of leverage against us. You could be cut off and create an economic crisis. 
“We’ve passed [the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act]. We passed a bill that says if something is made in a factory in that part of China, we are going to presume it’s made by slave labor and not allow it into the country unless companies can prove that that’s not the case. 
“Ultimately the best thing we can do to not have supply chain disruptions [and] not to be so dependent on China, is to re industrialize America, which was a terrible mistake when we sort of thought that we could be a great power and not be an industrial power.”
On American companies profiting from China’s use of slave labor:
“There are many American companies like Nike and others that have definitely benefited from the supply chain that’s located in that part of the world. The list could be even more extensive than that because there are people that are buying from subcontractors. Many of them know they’re sourcing material from that area. They have continued to allow it to happen. We saw the lobbying efforts of Apple, Nike, and other representative chambers arguing that this would raise the costs for consumers. But ultimately, it’s slave labor and horrific genocide.
“[China is] one of the largest markets, the second largest market in the world, and in some industries, the largest [market]. I understand the profit motive behind it, that’s fine. I understand that with their view of it, that’s their agenda. 
“Our agenda has to be of national interest to the United States. Not to mention, what’s right or wrong in the world. It’s important for policy leaders to push back and say, ‘We want American companies to be prosperous and do well, but not in ways that undermine American national security interests’, which in the case of China, they are.”
On the United States remaining vigilant against the threat of China:
“It’s difficult, it’s not easy, and it’s a new threat that we face… Let’s say there’s a Uyghur in the United States who’s involved in speaking out against those abuses that are going on in China. They are trying to lure those people to come back to China. The way they do it is, they threaten their family over there. They might even align themselves with some sort of a triad group or street gang of that nature in order to go and personally try to intimidate these people. They have sent people to this country to do that sort of thing as well as harass and intimidate. 
“Whether it’s the Uyghur issue or general political topics as well, if you’re speaking out against China and you’re a Chinese national or former Chinese national, and you have family back over there, they try to harass you through your family [in China]. [It’s growing] increasingly directly here.
“The first step is to reveal it and call it out… the second step is to expel these people. Once we’ve identified that some agent of influence from China is on U.S. soil going after people living in this country and trying to intimidate them, those people should be immediately expelled from the country, even if they’re here under diplomatic cover or, in many cases, they’re here under business cover.
“There’s now a growing awareness of this. This is a new thing that’s emerged over the last few years that [China] become more and more aggressive about. So it remains to be seen. 
“We’ve got to do more. More needs to be done at the local level. If you go into a local police department in this country and you tell them there’s a Chinese agent operating in your community, that’s something they’ve never dealt with before. In some places, there’s a little bit of hesitancy simply because they’ve never heard that and don’t realize what that threat means. This is something we’re going to have to develop the capacity to do. 
“I don’t think there’s a lack of willingness to address it. I just think it’s something that we don’t have a lot of experience addressing, but we have to because it’s happening and it’s real. Every year it gets worse.”
On how the United States can protect Chinese nationals on American soil from threats in China:
“Chinese nationals living here are being threatened and intimidated. One of the great threats that exist comes from [Chinese nationals in the United States being] hesitant to come forward and report what’s happening to them to the authorities because they’re specifically told not to do so or their family is going to be harmed. 
“We’ve got to develop greater trust. We have to understand who the perpetrators are working on behalf of the Chinese government, but the victims are disproportionately Chinese Americans who are living here and they’re Americans [who] deserve the protection of our country. It’s a tricky balance, but it’s one we need to be able to distinguish.”