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ICYMI: Rubio Joins GMA3
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Good Morning America 3 to discuss the importance of the House electing a Speaker, America’s role in the Israel-Hamas war, the need to deter Iran from attacking U.S. troops, and more. See below for highlights and watch the full interview on YouTube and Rumble.
On the importance of the House electing a Speaker:
“I’m not a House member. I’m not involved in those meetings. I have no control over it. And I try not to spend time worried about things that I can’t control. Obviously, we want the House to be open for business and functioning. We can’t pass anything. We can’t fund the government. We can’t provide aid for example to Israel or Taiwan or any of the other things people want to do without a House in place. It sounds like they might have something done today, and we’ll move forward from there. I think that’s good news. But they’re not asking senators for our opinion, and we’re not involved in that process.”
On diversity of thought in the Republican Party:
“When you grow your party to a majority in a country as opinionated as ours, with a lot of different points of view, it’s like creating coalitions in a parliamentary system. You’re bringing together different groups under the umbrella of one party, so you have some variety there. Sometimes that breaks out into the open. We see that in our party. We see that across the country. We have Republicans that are considered very moderate, who are governors and senators and so forth. And we have some that are considered very conservative.
“That’s what happens in a country as diverse as ours ideologically, especially if you want to be in the majority. I think some of that is in play [in the struggle to elect a Speaker of the House. Concerning] the other machinations behind the scenes, I don’t know all the personalities, so I can’t opine beyond that. But a couple of weeks from now, if they get to settle today, and we get back to work, it’ll be something people talk about, but hopefully it will no longer be relevant.”
On the United States’ role in the Israel-Hamas war:
“We have two roles to play. The first is to provide Israel resupply, and they’re going to need it, and obviously they’ll need a lot more if it becomes a two-front conflict. If they have a war going on with Hezbollah at the same time as Hamas, that’s a very different situation than a Gaza-only situation. The second [role] is support on the international stage, as we as we’ve been doing on a bipartisan basis, explaining the reality of the situation. It is unfortunate, but Israel has no choice but to go in and demilitarize Gaza and take apart Hamas’s ability to threaten them this way in the foreseeable future. I think that [U.S.] support is critical.
“I think one of the challenges that’s emerging now is these proxy groups in Syria and in Iraq, who are enabled by Iran, are now attacking U.S. troops. The administration is not being forthcoming and honest with the American people about the fact that Iran is not just encouraging these attacks, they’re enabling them. I warned about this 11 days ago. We have lost deterrence when it comes to Iran. They think that they can get these groups to attack us and not take responsibility or face consequences for it. That’s a very difficult thing to unpack.
“It’s a very troubling time. There’s a lot of tenuous pieces in place here. This could break out into a much broader conflict. We have no choice but to respond, in my view, to attacks against U.S. troops. I don’t think it’s going to be limited to just Syria and Iraq if this continues. I hope I’m wrong, but that’s not where it seems to be headed. So this is not an easy or pleasant situation, but it is unfortunate that we have to confront it, but we must confront it at this point.”
On President Biden tying Israel funding to Ukraine funding:
“Even though I’ve been a supporter of funding Ukraine, I know there are many members in the Senate and there seems to be a majority of Republicans in the House that have qualms about it. I don’t want to hold up Israel aid, which has almost unanimous support, for Ukraine. I think that that should be dealt with separately. Israel cannot afford at this point, given the state of this conflict, to have any sort of delay or any sort of question about whether the U.S. is going to resupply them.
“One of the strategies of Israel’s enemies is to overwhelm them so that their stockpiles are depleted. Israel has to start making very hard choices about whether they protect military sites or civilian sites. We can’t allow anything happening on our end here to encourage these enemies to read about this or hear about this and think, ‘Now’s the time to really ramp up our attacks.’ My fear is that because of divisions or differences of opinion on Ukraine, we’re going to hold up Israel funding, which has near unanimous support. I think from just a tactical perspective, it makes sense to separate the two.”
On Senator Rubio’s prediction that Iranian-backed forces would attack U.S. troops in the Middle East:
“I said it  days ago. I put it up on social media. I said it publicly. I thought it was really important for the president to make clear to Iran that they would be held responsible for the actions of their proxies and that the U.S. would consider that an attack by the Iranian government against the United States and have to respond accordingly. I don’t think that deterrence was set. And there’s a lot of reasons why even if he had said that, there still would have been questions about the credibility of that in the minds of the Iranians.
“Because we have this dual track here. On the one hand, you have people in the administration that are bending over backwards to try to resuscitate this Iran deal and make sanctions concessions to them and unfreeze money. And on the other hand, you have tough talk. There’s inconsistency there that Iran has concluded that they can conduct these attacks via these proxies, deny they have anything to do with it, and not face the price.
“Until that dynamic changes, not only you’re going to continue to see these attacks, these attacks are going to ramp up, and they’re not just going to be in Iraq and Syria. It’s an urgent situation. I think a lot of people are late to it. It’s getting worse and more dangerous every single day, and at this point, we have to reestablish deterrence with Iran. We have to establish the credible threat that the United States will hold Iran directly responsible and respond accordingly for these attacks.”