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Email insights: Marco Rubio and his four-minute smackdown

in Top Headlines by

It was a terrible week for “self-proclaimed foreign policy expert” U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, says the Democratic National Committee in a new email to supporters.

Four minutes is all it took for Rubio, a possible White House candidate for 2016, to be “schooled” in Middle East foreign policy by Secretary of State John Kerry.

It all started when the Miami Republican became one of the 47 U.S. senators who signed a “reckless letter” undermining President Obama’s international negotiating ability with Iran.

At issue is a letter from U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton concerning ongoing negotiations between Iran, the U.S. and several partner nations seeking to curb Iran’s nuclear program. The letter warns leaders in Tehran that the U.S. Constitution allows Congress to void any deal with the administration. The next president could even throw out the entire agreement.

In an effort to reinforce his foreign affairs bona fides during a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Rubio doubled down on Iran, directly challenging Kerry and the administration. The result did not go as the senator hoped.

In under five minutes, Kerry set Rubio straight on the realities of nuclear negotiations with Iran, telling him he is “flat wrong” in a cringe-worthy exchange (now available on YouTube).

“You write to the leaders in the middle of a negotiation — particularly the leaders that they have criticized other people for even engaging with or writing to … write then and suggest they were going to give a constitutional lesson, which by the way was absolutely incorrect,” Kerry told the committee, “is quite stunning.”

Unsurprisingly, the DNC also offers highlights of some of the pushback against Rubio and his ill-advised stance on Iran.

Rubio had been recently positioning himself as a foreign policy professional, in an effort to bolster his chances if he chooses to launch a presidential campaign.


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 His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, 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 and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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