Rubio Hits Cruz: Each Time He Has Chosen Isolationism over a Strong National Defense

‘The only budget he’s ever voted for in his time in the Senate is a budget to cut defense spending’

TODD: “Your campaign has been critical of one of your rivals, senator Ted Cruz for his vote on the USA Freedom Act and senator Mike Lee, somebody you have a tax plan with, you guys are allies on a lot of things, he has said that your rhetoric has been not based in fact. And that it's not true what you've been saying that somehow federal officials can't track -- use the USA Freedom Act, use the court to track the phone numbers.”
RUBIO: “Well, on this issue not only is he wrong but others that argue that are wrong. We had a program that allowed us to collect the phone records. Basically the phone bill, not the content of your conversations, your e-mails, anything like, that just your phone bill. Only 16 people in the U.S. Government could look at it and only if they got a court order from a FISA court to look at those phone records. And they retain them for a significant period of time. Under this new law, we are trusting the phone companies to hold those records and all of these phone companies have different period of times when they hold it. Some will hold it for 18 months, some six months. In is a valuable tool. If you have identified someone as a potential terrorist or someone who carries out a terrorist activity, the ability to look at who they've been calling and talking to is part of a larger puzzle that you can put together to see what network they've been working with, who they've been communicating with. We have lost that capacity in many cases.”
TODD: “Is this a commander-in-chief test for senator Cruz?”
RUBIO: “I believe it is for all the candidates. In the case of senator Cruz my argument is it wasn't just the intelligence vote. He talks tough on these issues, for example he's going to carpet bomb ISIS. But the only budget he's ever voted for in his time in the Senate is a budget that cut defense spending by more than Barack Obama proposes we cut it. He voted against the defense authorization act every year it came up. And that is the bill -- and I assume if he voted against it he would veto it as president -- that's the bill that funds our troops and the iron dome for Israel. So my point is each time he's had to choose between strong national defense and some of the isolationist tendencies in American politics he sides with the isolationists. This is an important issue to have a debate over. It's not personal.”

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