Rubio Promises ‘Permanent’ U.S. Military Presence in Mideast if He’s Elected President

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) isn’t running for president yet. But if he were, and if he got elected, he would keep a “permanent” U.S. military presence in the Middle East.

That is the question Fox News’ Neil Cavuto asked Rubio on his show Tuesday afternoon. The senator’s answer? “Absolutely.”

Rubio shared two reasons for his certainty on the issue. “Number one: the Al Qaeda mission,” he said. “The mission to target bin Laden would have been impossible without a U.S. troop mission in Afghanistan.”

Secondly, Rubio said that the U.S. pulling troops out of Iraq helped lead to the “fertile ground for the sort of insurgency that we now see.”

“If the U.S. had had a presence, we would have had more leverage over how [former Iraqi Prime Minister] Maliki conducted his affairs, you would have had a more stable region, but also a place where you could conduct operations against other threats in the region,” he said.

For any potential anti-war 2016 candidates who want to start making attack ads against Rubio, the clip of his comments are below, via Fox News:

[Photo via screengrab]

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