Thursday, June 20, 2024

Competing Visions on National Security, Immigration At Vegas GOP Debate

rubio cruz

Tuesday night’s GOP presidential debate in Las Vegas had many flash points between the candidates running for the 2016 nomination particularly on the subject of national security and terrorism and had Florida Senator Marco Rubio on the defensive from the likes of Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul over his work on immigration reform that would have provided a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in 2013’s Gang of 8 group in the U.S. Senate.

“One of the problems with Marco’s foreign policy is he has far too often supported Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama undermining governments in the Middle East that have helped radical Islamic terrorists” asserted a forceful Ted Cruz, the new poll leader in the first in the nation Iowa caucuses and second nationally behind businessman Donald Trump.

Trump, the republican national front runner, in response to criticism he has faced for his recent proposal to ban Muslims coming into the United States offered that he was not interested in targeting a specific religion but that “we are not talking about isolation; we’re talking about security,” he said. “We are not talking about religion, we are talking about security.”

The exchanges between Rubio and Cruz provided some of the most direct policy statements yet from either first term Cuban-American senator with Cruz at one point declaring “I have never supported legalization and I do not intend to support legalization.”

The debate, the first since the Paris terror attacks and the attacks in San Bernardino, California, exposed a wide rift in the foreign policy tracks of the candidates with Rubio, seen as a candidate of the establishment mainstream republicans, favoring a traditional republican ideological strategy of nation-building a using American military and foreign policy might to spread democracy.

Cruz, backed by evangelical Christian conservative voters, voiced skepticism of a regime change foreign policy signaling that although not ideal, he would still seek to do business with Middle Eastern autocrats and dictators, saying “Instead of being a Woodrow Wilson democracy promoter, we ought to be hunting down our enemies. We need to focus on killing the bad guys, not getting stuck in Middle Eastern civil wars that don’t keep America safe.”


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