POLITICS

Rubio rips Trump on campaign slogan: 'America is already a great country'

Senator and 2016 candidate says he will re-oppose and increase sanctions as president

 

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has a problem with his fellow Republican presidential contender Donald Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again," because he thinks that the United States is already great.

"I know what he is trying to say, but my problem is that America is a great country," Rubio told Fox News Channel's Bill Hemmer Wednesday morning. "It's the best country in the world."

Rubio, whose own campaign has used "A New American Century" to brand the young lawmaker, has mostly shied away from directly attacking Trump during the early season, but has voiced his displeasure with the real estate mogul-turned-politician's slogan in a number of interviews with the press.

During his appearance on "America's Newsroom," Rubio continued by saying that the U.S. could lose its status if it continues down the path it has been going under the Obama administration.

"I think it's important to separate our country from our government," he said. "We have a government that doesn't work very well, but we still have the most creative people, the most innovative people on the planet."

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He added: "The problem is if we stay on the road we're on right now we're going to lose what has made us a special country."

One of the major issues that Rubio discussed while on Fox Wednesday was the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran. Early that morning Senate Democrats amassed enough votes to ensure the Iran nuclear deal survives in Congress, despite ferocious opposition from Republicans and the government of Israel.

Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland became the crucial 34th vote in favor of the agreement.

"No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime," Mikulski said in a statement. She called the accord "the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb. For these reasons, I will vote in favor of this deal."

The backing from Mikulski, who is retiring next year, gives supporters the margin they need to uphold an Obama veto of a congressional resolution of disapproval if Republicans pass such a measure later this month.

And it spells failure for opponents of the international agreement who sought to foil it by turning Congress against it. Leading that effort were Israel and its allies in the U.S., who failed to get traction after spending millions of dollars trying.

For his part, Rubio vowed to re-impose all sanctions on Iran on Day 1 if he becomes commander-in-chief. "Then I will go to Congress and ask them to even increase those sanctions, and I will back that up with a credible threat of military force," he said.

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