Sen. Marco Rubio took a softball interview on Fox News and managed to humiliate himself by trying to both defend and move away from his support for the Iraq war.
Transcript via Fox News Sunday:
WALLACE: Senator, isn’t that a flip?
Six weeks ago, it made sense to invade Iraq in 2003. Now you say it was a mistake.
RUBIO: No, they’re two different questions. It was not a mistake. The president, based on — this is the way the real world works. The president, based on the information that was provided to him —
WALLACE: But, what she asked you was, was it a mistake to go to war with Iraq?
RUBIO: It was not a mistake given the fact that what the president knew at the time.
WALLACE: No, she didn’t say that. She just said, was it a mistake?
RUBIO: Well, that’s not the same question. The question I was asked is, what you know now? Well, based on what we know now, I think everyone agrees that we still —
WALLACE: Was it a mistake — was it a mistake to go to war with Iraq?
RUBIO: It’s two different — it wasn’t — I —
WALLACE: I’m asking you to —
RUBIO: Yes, I understand, but that’s not the same question.
WALLACE: But I’m asking — but that’s the question I’m asking you, was it a mistake to go to war?
RUBIO: It was not a mistake for the president to decide to go into Iraq, because at the time, he was told —
WALLACE: I’m not asking you that. I’m asking you —
RUBIO: In hindsight.
RUBIO: Well, the world is a better place because Saddam Hussein is not there.
WALLACE: So, was it a mistake or not?
RUBIO: But I wouldn’t characterize it — but I don’t understand the question you’re asking, because the president —
WALLACE: I’m asking you, knowing — as we sit here in 2015 —
RUBIO: No, but that’s not the way presidents — a president cannot make decision on what someone might know in the future.
WALLACE: I understand. But that’s what I’m asking you. Was it a mistake?
RUBIO: It was not a mistake for the president to go into Iraq based on the information he was provided as president.
Today, we know of their — if we — if the president had known that there were no weapons of mass destruction at the time, you still would have had to deal with Saddam Hussein. But the process would have been different. I doubt very seriously that the president would have gotten, for example, congressional approval to move forward with an invasion had they known there were no weapons of mass destruction.
The Fox News Sunday interview wasn’t designed to be a grilling of Rubio. Chris Wallace presented the criticisms to Sen. Rubio, who was supposed to knock them down and make the doubts go away.
Instead, Rubio fell into an Iraq trap of his own creation and kept digging the hole deeper with each answer. Voters were again treated to Marco Rubio’s unique ability to tie his shoelaces together and fall flat on the floor. It is hard to believe that anyone could view Rubio as a serious presidential contender after watching him crash and burn on simple questions.
Most Republicans can’t answer that the Iraq war was a mistake because they have continued to sell military action as the alternative to President Obama’s foreign policy, but this isn’t a difficult question. Hillary Clinton said years ago her vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq was a mistake.
Republicans are dropping like flies because they refuse to admit that the Iraq war was a giant mistake,
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association