Marco Rubio Puts Foreign Policy First

Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) is looking to position himself as the foremost foreign policy hawk in the field of Republican presidential candidates — and the most incisive critic of President Obama and Hillary Clinton on global affairs.

The senator made the case Wednesday at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York that he’s ready to step into the role of commander in chief, in his first major policy address as a presidential candidate.

The pillars of Rubio’s foreign policy doctrine are simple and largely in line with Republican orthodoxy. He called for more military spending, an international defense of the American economy and “moral clarity regarding America’s core values.”

But Rubio also appears to believe that foreign policy is the substantive ground on which he could separate himself from the other GOP candidates. 

“If he’s going to win, he’ll do it largely on the back of his foreign policy,” said Ford O’Connell, another party strategist. “It’s where he can differentiate himself from the field at an early stage. The rest of the field is hawkish, but he’s more of a hawk, and that’s music to the ears of Republican primary voters who are older and generally think the world has gone to hell under the Obama-Clinton regime.”

“He’s setting the pace while some of these others are still learning the ropes,” said O’Connell. “The governors might have more latitude on domestic issues, but he’s getting briefed daily … on foreign policy issues, so he’s got the latitude here.”

Read more from Jonathan Easley at The Hill

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