Face in the News: Rubio, Cutter and Madden

On this Sunday's Face the Nation, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sat down ahead of the third and final presidential debate with moderator Bob Schieffer at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., to discuss the importance of Monday's debate and how the candidates differ on foreign policy.

When asked about America's function from a global perspective, Rubio said that Romney would "use America's role in the world as a catalyst for peace, prosperity and freedom" but that "he understands America can't solve every problem in the world unilaterally." He added that a strong military is the best way to ensure peace. "The current president, on the other hand, has a very different vision of the world," Rubio said. "And part of the failure that this president has had is his failure to outline broad goals, real goals, a real view of what America's role in the world should be."

Rubio suggested that the Obama administration's handling of the U.S. consulate attack in Libya might have been influenced by underlying campaign strategies.

"What's most troubling about this is that one of the narratives the Obama campaign has put out is that Bin Laden is dead, they've bragged about this forever, and that Al Qaeda is in retreat and you start to wonder did they basically say 'do not allow any story to emerge that counters that narrative," Rubio said.

"Is that why for two weeks they told us that the Libyan incident in Benghazi was a popular uprising and not a terrorist attack because it ran counter to their campaign narrative? I hope that that's not true but it's what you start to wonder about."

In regards to Iran, Rubio referred to the Green Revolution as Obama's "moment of truth" early in his presidency but that his lack of support to the country has been detrimental. "He said he wasn't going to get involved in Iran's sovereignty. And the result has been disastrous," Rubio said. "There is now no well-organized opposition in Iran because it was completely demoralized in its early days of its rebellion by the president's lack of engagement."

As this week marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Rubio reflected on lessons learned from that incident and commented on current U.S. relations with Cuba.

He said, "I can tell you what's been dead for nearly 50 years in Cuba and that's democracy." He continued, "There are no political freedoms in Cuba, and I think that sadly over the last four years, the cause of freedom in Cuba has been hurt."

In regards to China, Rubio said that he understands Governor Romney's frustrations with the country as a "currency manipulator" but he hopes to avoid a trade war for fear of negatively impacting the American economy.

(Read more about Rubio's remarks on foreign policy in The Hill, Huffington Post, AP, National Journal, and UPI)

Top campaign aides from both the Obama and Romney campaigns clashed on Big Bird, binders, and Romnesia.

Kevin Madden of the Romney campaign referred to President Obama's "Romnesia" joke at a recent rally as "a glaring example of how small the campaign has been."

"You take Romnesia, which is really quite frankly silly for the President of the United States, the leader of the free world, to begin uttering," Madden said. "Along with this talk about binders, talk about Big Bird, I mean, all of that is really indicative of a candidate that doesn't have a vision for the future."

Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager to Obama, rebutted. She said, "We are not the one that brought up Big Bird. Big Bird is important because that's the only thing that Mitt Romney could point to as to how he's going to reduce the deficit. Deficits are a big issue in this campaign; I think you would agree with me." (Check out more on the back-and-forth between Cutter and Madden in The Wall Street Journal, The Hill, USA Today, Talking Points Memo, Daily Beast, and Mediaite)

Also, don't miss this week's roundtablewith Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal, David Sanger of The New York Times, TIME's Joe Klein, and CBS News' John Dickerson.

Watch the full episode of this Sunday's Face the Nation and tune into tonight's presidential debate with Bob Schieffer at 9 PM ET.
  • Lauren Hoenemeyer

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