BAIER: "To the 2016 race and your race for the Republican primary nomination, you have been on the attack against several of your opponents, including senator Ted Cruz, about their vote against the metadata program, the NSA program. Today on 'Meet the Press,' Senator Rand Paul, also on the other side of that issue, said this about you."
PAUL: "Senator Rubio were doing his job and in Congress more, he might know the program continues. It’s been ongoing for the last six months, so the Paris tragedy, this tragedy happened while we were still doing bulk collection, all bulk collection. Also in France, they have a program a thousand-fold more invasive, collecting all of the data of all the French. Yet, they still weren’t able to see this coming."
BAIER: "How do you answer senator Paul?"
RUBIO: "Well, first, there was an error here in this country two to three years ago where because of the disclosures of a traitor like Edward Snowden and other things in the media, misrepresentations by elected officials, Americans came to believe they were being spy pd on by the government. If someone in our government is unlawfully accessing the private information of Americans, they should be fired and prosecuted. The bottom line is presidential directors and this usa patriot act that pass earlier this year, we have taken out an important component of this plan. Here’s the reality of the metadata collection. There are large and significant number of companies that either said, we are not going to collect records at all, we’re not going to have any records if you come asking for them, or we’re only going to keep them on average of 18 months. When the intelligence community or law enforcement comes knocking and subpoenas those records, in many cases there won’t be any records because some of these companies already said they’re not going to hold these records. And the result is that we will not be able in many cases to put together the full puzzle, the full picture of some of these individuals. In the case of these individuals that conducted this attack, we cannot see any phone records for the first three years in which — you can only see them up to three years. You’ll not be able to see the full five-year picture. Maybe it provides some information, maybe it doesn’t, but we need every tool at our disposal. We’re fighting an enemy here in radical Islam and homegrown extremists. This is not a time for ideological silliness. This is a time for serious action because the future security of our country is at stake.
BAIER: “Quickly, senator, in a GOP primary electorate that appears very sceptical of the government overall, do you think this is a winning issue for you?”
RUBIO: “I think it’s the right position to take for the future of our country. It’s the most important obligation of our federal government to provide for our national security. And I will continue to support anything that provides for our national security, and I believe we can provide for it without violating the civil liberties of Americans. We are going to need programs like this in order to be identify people before they can attack us, to identify cells and break them up before they can conduct attacks, even with the existence of these programs, these homegrown violent extremists have been able to carry out attacks. Imagine without them. I know this, if god forbid there’s an attack tomorrow morning on another major U.S. City, the first question everyone is going to have is why didn’t we know about them and how come we didn’t stop it. The answer better not be because a tool we once had that could have allowed us to identify them is no longer available to us. And there are members of my party that by siding with isolationists and people that hold on to these theories that are false have potentially put our nation in a position where we can’t gather in information any longer.”