Rubio Challenges the White House on Venezuela


Sen. Marco Rubio is beating up on President Barack Obama’s foreign policy…again.

In an interview with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos, Rubio (R-Fla.) said the administration has been “less than engaged” in what’s happening in Venezuela.

Now the Florida Republican is teaming with Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) to push for U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, targeting government officials responsible for the arrest or persecution of Venezuelans exercising free speech. The bill would also provide $15 million in new funds to promote democracy in the Latin American country.

Rubio told Ramos, “[Biden] said he was concerned about what was happening in Venezuela. I think the White House needs to be more than concerned they need to be outraged.”

The potential 2016 presidential candidate has not been shy with his criticism of Obama’s foreign policy. His recent Senate floor speech on Venezuela and foreign policy-themed address at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) had conservatives applauding his hawkish stance.

His interest in Ukraine and Venezuela has been dubbed a “political resurrection” after his support among tea party conservatives collapsed. The same group that helped propel Rubio to the Senate in 2010, distanced themselves from politicians who were looking to grant “amnesty” to undocumented immigrants.

This year, Rubio finished in sixth place at this year’s CPAC straw poll. Last year, he was a close second to Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.)

When asked by Fusion’s Jorge Ramos if his interest in foreign policy is meant to beef up his credentials ahead of the 2016 presidential election he said, “I’ve been engaged forcefully in foreign policy debates since I was first elected here.”

Ramos responded, “So that has nothing to do with the backlash [you received] after you supported immigration reform?”

“I guess the answer is no,” Rubio said. “When you look at it, again we’ve been deeply engaged in foreign policy.”

Veronica Bautista is a segment producer for AMERICA with Jorge Ramos.

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