U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), considered one of the rising stars of the Republican party, has decided to vote against the confirmation of former Senator Chuck Hagel to be the next decretary of defense.
“After carefully reviewing Senator Hagel’s record on a number of issues, I cannot support his confirmation as our nation’s next secretary of defense," Rubio said in a statement released Thursday during the Senate confirmation hearing for Hagel.
"I oppose his confirmation because of his views on U.S. policy toward Cuba, his past opposition to tough Iran sanctions, his questionable comments in the past about U.S. support for Israel, his support for direct, bilateral negotiations with North Korea and, most importantly, my belief that he will usher in a new era of austere defense budgets that will severely impede U.S. national security by hampering readiness and radically limiting the global force projection of our military."
Rubio, who speaks often of his Cuban heritage, said Hagel's policy views were just "too far apart" from his own. "Now more than ever," the statement said, "I firmly believe the U.S. needs a robust military capability that includes a renewed commitment to our shipbuilding program, a reliable nuclear deterrent to defend against rogue nations and a nimble counterterrorism force able to confront the asymmetric warfare of the 21st century.”