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ICYMI: Rubio Joins Mornings With Maria
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Mornings with Maria to discuss Biden’s upcoming climate summit, woke corporations, the border crisis, and more. See below for highlights and watch the full interview here
On Xi Jinping’s plans to speak at President Biden’s upcoming climate summit:
“I can’t opine as to why he’s one of the featured speakers, other than they’re the world’s leading polluter, in terms of emissions of carbon. Even as they appear at the summit, they’re funding billions of dollars of fossil fuel-powered plants all over the world, including within China. Their emissions continue to climb.
“And that’s why I always tell people — U.S. action alone is irrelevant when you have countries like China who continue to increase their emissions. And they’re not going to stop doing that. So, if you look at words versus actions, I think Xi Jinping is more than happy to see us adopt policies that would increase costs of growing our economy, but I don’t think you are going to see them do anything that is going to slow down their ability to grow. And you’re not going to see them do anything that will stop funding this sort of activity all over the world, where they now control these power plants, it gives them geopolitical leverage, too.”
“Yeah, it’s wishful thinking. It’s the fact every four to eight years we transition from one administration to the next. They don’t have those kinds of transitions. They’ve got a study plan that they stick to. And you mentioned the South China Sea — they promised not to militarize it; they said, “We’re never going to militarize it.” It’s fully militarized. There really is no deal they ever signed on to, any agreement they signed on to, that they’ve fully complied with. And it’s a moving scale, and what they count on is that in Western countries and democracies, leaders change every number of years. And so the new leaders will forget about the deals made with the old leaders or won’t make it a priority. I think what is what they take advantage of, and I think that they’ll do the same with the climate.’”
On woke corporations:
“First of all, let me be clear: I don’t want us to not be a free country. These companies have a right to believe and say whatever they want to say, but we have a right to point out hypocrisy. I think if you’re going to stand for human rights, if you’re going to stand for voting rights, if you’re going to stand for all these things, then you’ve got to be consistent about it.
“And I think what is happening here is very simple: it is about money. It’s about the billions of dollars that they make from the access to the Chinese market in some way, shape, or form. And so what happens is the price of having access to that market is their silence. If you speak out against something the Chinese Communist Party is doing, they’ll kick you out of the country, and you’ll become a target of all sorts of things. It’s not an American company, but H&M as an example is a company that dared to speak out against the cotton that’s coming from forced labor in Xinjiang, and they’ve been the target of boycotts. They’re going to get run out of the country.
“It’s also why we have American companies, Nike and others, who are here in Washington, lobbying against our Uyghur forced labor bill. They don’t do it openly, but they’re doing it. Everybody knows they’re doing it because they are profiting from their business arrangement, and part of that business arrangement, whether it’s the NBA or Major League Baseball or some airline, part of the business arrangement with China is you can’t say anything. And that is hypocrisy, and that needs to be pointed out.”
On the origin of COVID-19:
“Well, I don’t know what they’re going to talk about privately, but I can tell you that no one knows exactly how this originated. And that’s the problem: the fact that the Chinese Communist Party was not transparent from the very beginning, you could say, has led to the death and the suffering and the economic calamity all over the world — and to this day. We had an open hearing last week, and I asked the Director of National Intelligence — she admitted right there in front of everybody that we still do not know.
“You know, the sort of conventional theory out there is that this is a zoonotic infection that went from an animal to a human and then into the general population. But that in fact has not been established. I think an equally likely scenario is one in which there was an accident in a laboratory. That accident led to someone in there being infected, and that person took it out into the population, and then it spread all over the world. And the Chinese Communist Party has not been transparent about that and, if that’s the case, has been covering it up. And you saw how they interfered with the World Health Organization’s recent investigation there, as well.
“And so that’s a big problem, because had we known about it earlier, had we known more details about its genetic make-up and the like earlier, we would have had a vaccine, and we would have been able to respond a lot quicker. I think there’d be people alive today and a lot less economic suffering.”
On the Biden Administration’s border crisis:
“No, I haven’t. I haven’t, and I don’t think anyone has, frankly. They haven’t even acknowledged it was a crisis. They denied it was a crisis for many weeks, went around saying it was nothing more than a seasonal uptick in migration. This migration is a direct product of incentives — incentives that were put in place by policy decisions made in the early days of the Biden Administration and, frankly, as part of his campaign rhetoric.
“So you have people in the Northern Triangle countries, in Honduras, in Guatemala, in el Salvador, who now think and believe rightfully that if they get to the U.S., with children in particular, they’re going to be allowed to stay pending a hearing. And this is a terrible calamity, because what’s being missed here is that part of the network that’s trafficking human beings to and across the border, are linked to these drug cartels. So we have incentivized these poor people who are desperate and in essence turned them over into the hands of these horrible, horrible trafficking networks, these criminals. And, look, you have instances already of migrants dying during that journey, [who are being charged] thousands of dollars to begin with. It’s a terrible calamity, and it’s a hundred percent predictable because it was completely due to the decisions made by this Administration.”
On Iran, China, and Russia:
“Well, these are all very serious topics. They’re all very different. With Iran, we have an administration that is in negotiations. They desperately want to get back into the Iran Deal; Iranians know that. They’re going to ask for the moon. They’re going to ask for reparations. Iran is demanding and insisting that every sanction be eliminated, even the non-nuclear sanctions be eliminated. They consider all of them to be nuclear-related.
“In the case of China, we’ve got to make firm our commitment to Taiwan. The Chinese need to know that that is a defense agreement that we will commit to. We don’t want a war, but that’s a choice they have to make. The less risk they see in that, the more likely they are to be aggressive towards Taiwan at some point.
“And in the case of Ukraine, look, I anticipate that there is going to be some military incursion. I think the likeliest outcome is that Putin will characterize it as a peacekeeping mission to stabilize a place where there’s violence, to protect Russian speakers. And it’s all about NATO; it’s all about keeping Ukraine towards turning to the West. It’s the leverage he’s creating there. You know, this build-up you see is a direct result of it. They’ve already cut off access to a shipping lane. And in fact last week the U.S. decided not to send naval vessels for a NATO exercise in that region in order to not provoke the Russians. I would point out that if Trump made that decision, he would be called Putin’s friend or whatever — a very different response to that.
“The point being these are all very delicate issues that I don’t take lightly. We are not going to send American soldiers to Ukraine to fight a war, but there are things we could be doing to provide them what they need now from a defensive capability to raise the cost of that sort of incursion. But I think it’s quite likely that you’ll see Putin move in at some point, even in a limited incursion — he will call it a peacekeeping mission or something.”