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Rubio: Other Republicans are playing catch-up on foreign policy

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) talks with business leaders during a meeting led by the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce in August 2013. (Brad McClenny/Gainesville Sun via Associated Press)
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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) suggested Sunday that some of his fellow Republicans are playing catch-up with him when it comes to addressing the threat that is the Islamic State, a.k.a. ISIS.

Appearing on CBS's "Face the Nation," Rubio was presented with hawkish comments made in recent days by two other potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates: Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). Although Rubio didn't address them specifically, he said Republicans are only now arriving at positions he has been espousing for a long time.

"Now, since my earliest days in the Senate, and certainly with regards to [the Islamic State], for weeks now, I’ve been arguing that if we don’t deal with them now, we are going to have to deal with them later anyways and it’s going to be harder to deal with them," Rubio said.

He added that the evolution of others' positions came "weeks later" than his own decision-making process.

"So the fact that there are now more voices actually echoing that – albeit weeks later – I think is a positive development and certainly an example of how reality has set in when it comes to foreign policy and our national security," he said.

Rubio also took some time to address the more isolationist or non-interventionist foreign policy that appeared to be catching on in the GOP for a while there, only to fall out of favor in recent weeks, as the Islamic State threat has emerged as a pressing issue.

"My biggest problem with this notion that we should disengage is it’s never worked anywhere it’s ever been tried," Rubio said. "In fact, it’s been deeply counterproductive. At the root of that argument, by the way, is the belief that all these problems have been created because of America’s engagement."

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