Rubio: President Obama "has no plans" for next term
One day before the final presidential debate, Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., offered a strong defense of Mitt Romney and panned the president as a leader lacking vision refusing to divulge his plans for the future.
"The president has no plans for the next four years," Rubio said on "Face the Nation" Sunday. "Tomorrow is his last chance to tell us what he's going to do in the next four years."
The Florida senator said the debates have been an important component of the presidential race because Romney was able to cut through the president's narrative.
"[T]he president had created this false image of Mitt Romney in the minds of some voters that was completely knocked down in that first debate," he said.
Rubio, an ardent Romney supporter, hails from the state of Florida, which is the location of the final debate. The presidential match-up in Boca Raton will focus on foreign policy.
Rubio blasted the president's foreign policy, especially his handling of the attacks in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the American ambassador. Rubio dismissed recent news reports that initial intelligence reports said that the attacks began as a spontaneous demonstration. That's "not the evidence" that he's seen, Rubio said.
He noted that the administration's initial account is "troubling" and that it was an attempt to maintain a "campaign narrative" that al Qaeda is in retreat.
Describing Romney's foreign policy philosophy, Rubio said he believes war is "the last of all options," but added that it is sometimes "unavoidable."
He said the United States should be a "catalyst for peace, prosperity and freedom." He added that the best way to ensure peace is through a strong military and that Romney believes the United States is the only country able to "lead" international coalitions.
Rubio said the president's "failure" is that he has not outlined broad goals regarding foreign policy. Specifically, Rubio pointed to the president's "moment of truth" early on in his presidency when he did not get involved and support opposition protestors who took to the streets in Iran in response to election results. "There was no organized revolution in Iran because it was demoralized," Rubio said, blaming President Obama.
As this week marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, host Bob Schieffer asked Rubio about the policies a Romney presidency would implement regarding the small, communist nation.
"It won't be the direction the president has taken in the last four years," Rubio said. He criticized the president for inhibiting the "cause for freedom in Cuba by providing "hard currency" for the Castro regime by allowing Americans to visit the island nation.
One component of Romney's five-point plan is to crack-down on China by labeling the country a currency manipulator. Rubio said he disagrees with Romney because it could start a trade war. "We may have to do what Governor Romney is saying," he noted.
- Leigh Ann Caldwell
Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.Follow on Twitter »
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