Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Stinchfield on Newsmax TV to discuss President Joe Biden’s meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G7 summit this week. See below for highlights, and watch the full interview here.

On President Joe Biden’s meeting with Vladimir Putin:
 
“Well we weren’t in the meeting, so I don’t know what came up. But I can certainly tell you this: a couple things – there’s no doubt that Putin believes, based on his previous interaction with Biden and watching American politics, that Biden is someone that he wants to test, that he wants to muscle.
 
“This is a trained ideological operative, a psychological operative I should say; he’s a trained intelligence officer. So he knows Biden and he sizes him up, and I think Putin was hoping to get him one on one without staff, getting him to agree to some things. I think he was probably hoping to get him in a joint press conference where he could sort of say things that make Biden uncomfortable. Given what we’ve seen recently from the President, I think it’s probably a wise choice to not put him in that situation, either one.
 
On President Joe Biden supposedly giving Vladimir Putin a list of the United States’ 16 most critical industries:
 
“I guess if you’re a small business or a mid-sized business and you get wiped out by a Russian hacker, that’s okay as long as you’re not a water plant or a utility company. Look, that was an unforced error. I hope he really didn’t give him that list.
 
“But the bigger challenge here, I think for the country, is we have to call this what it is: these [hackers belonging to] criminal organizations operating inside Russia. Number one, if Putin wants them, he can find them. He can find anybody wants in Russia, [and] he can shut them down... But the second is, sometimes maybe he’s hired them to do this work on behalf of Russia because it provides him deniability, ‘Well it's not us, we’re not the ones doing it, we’ll look into it, we’ll see what we can do.’ And that's one of the things I fear about this sort of setting.
 
On Vladimir Putin’s intentions:
 
“My guess is that Biden was very tightly scripted, they had the right things out for him, they put things on a piece of paper. And I think a guy like Vladimir Putin is going to take it and spin it, and he doesn't care about what the world thinks. He's not trying to be popular in the world. Vladimir Putin wants to restore Russia to great power standing, [but] he can't do that economically, so he has to do that militarily and asymmetrically by being able to wield power.
 
“And he wants to do it for two reasons, one out of Russian pride but the other because that’s his whole selling point to the Russian people. After the Cold War, Russia was a disaster, it was in chaos. ‘I have restored Russia to greatness’ -- that’s the argument Putin relies on for political currency inside the country. He doesn’t care what they think about him in Paris or in London or in Washington or in L.A.
 
“I’m concerned simply because I think once Putin has sized [Biden] up, he’s gonna ask himself, ‘I’m gonna test this guy, how far can I go, what can I do?’ I think what he sort of wants to sort of size up is ‘what is this guy’s pain tolerance? What is he willing to put up with in order to preserve a deal or in order to avoid a conflict, or in order to not have a hassle on his hands that he has to deal with?’ And I think that’s one of the things he’s looking at and he’s going to play that.
 
“So we don’t know what he’ll calculate. I have no clue as to what Vladimir Putin left that meeting feeling like. But I am most certain he went in looking for an assessment, a personal assessment as to what Biden was willing to put up with and what he is not willing to put up with, how far can I push this guy. Because understand, he views this as a zero-sum game. One of the things that gives him strength, one of the things that gives him strength at home, one of the things that gives highlights and burnishes his credentials around the world, is his ability to embarrass and frustrate the United States. And when he sees an opportunity to do it, that's what he's gonna do.”