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Bill Day’s latest: Marco Rubio and his shaky grasp of foreign policy

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Bill Day’s latest casts a critical eye on Marco Rubio, the 2016 presidential wannabe who has a serious issue with his grasp of foreign policy, namely in regards to Iran.

The Republican senator from Florida, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was part of a recent hearing entitled “The President’s Request for Authorization to Use Force Against ISIS: Military and Diplomatic Efforts.” Secretary of State John Kerry was on hand to testify.

That topic of ISIS lasted nearly an hour until Rubio took the mike and promptly hijacked the discussion.

Rubio (ungracefully) veered the subject away from the Islamic State to the prevailing foreign policy concern on Capitol Hill, possibly the dominant foreign policy issue for 2016: America’s relationship with Iran.

“I believe that much of our strategy with regards to ISIS is being driven by a desire not to upset Iran so that they don’t walk away from the negotiating table on the deal that you’re working on,” Rubio asked. “Tell me why I’m wrong.”

It was an explicit attempt to blast the Obama administration on its perceived hesitancy to call for air strikes on ISIS, as a function of ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran. It also provided a showcase to bolster Rubio’s grasp of foreign policy – something he will inevitably lean on during a prospective presidential campaign.

Kerry’s answer was not quite what Rubio expected (or hoped).

“Because the facts completely contradict that,” Kerry retorted sharply. “But I’m not at liberty to discuss all of them here for a lot of different reasons.”

Rubio’s serious misread of the situation, and Kerry’s quick foreign policy lesson, are now available on YouTube. Nevertheless, the senator’s hard-line stance on Iran provides a preview of what to expect from Republicans on the campaign trail in 2016.

In Day’s view, whether Rubio can rise to the challenge still remains to be seen.BILL DAY RUBIO SPEECH

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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