Sen. Rubio fears a 'nuclear Middle East' if US strikes deal with Iran

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," March 3, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Earlier tonight, I spoke with another possible 2016 contender, Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio.


Senator good to see you tonight and so your reaction to the prime minister's speech today?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA.: An incredibly important speech. It wasn't so much geared towards Congress as it was towards the American people. A reminder first of all the true nature of the Iranian regime, it's a radical regime grounded in radical Shia principles, that they expect and want to spread around the world. A reminder that there's a leading state sponsor of terrorism on the planet. That they also are developing long range rockets, probably have already bought a weapons design. And also a reminder that a deal is only as good as your ability to verify it. And throughout its recent history, Iran has hidden key components of its nuclear program. We should expect they're still doing that now.

KELLY: OK, but the critics have come out already and said, and I include President Obama in that as Mr. Netanyahu's critic saying, OK great, but where was the plan? They say they didn't hear a plan from Benjamin Netanyahu short of war.

RUBIO: Well, that's not true. I think the plan is that Iran is presented with a choice. You can either have an economy, or you can have a nuclear weapons program. But you can't have both. That's why sanctions are so important. By the way, it's important to remember that the sanctions that the administration now says brought Iran to the table to begin with are sanctions that they themselves opposed. Sanctions are important because without the sanctions, Iran has even more money to fund its nuclear program, its sponsorship of terrorism, and I actually believe --


KELLY: OK, but let me ask you about that, because the critics on that on sanctions say, well, sanctions aren't going to get the job done because Europe won't support them. Europe is so dependent on Iran and its oil, that they can't get on board with our sanctions because they are too dependent on Iran.

RUBIO: It takes strong American leadership to hold the international community together. That's why America's presence on this issue is so important, but when you have the president of the United States basically saying we have to do a deal, even a bad deal because Iran is already so far along, of course the international sanctions are going to crumble.

KELLY: You know some people looked at this and say the only way we're going to rein them in is to get them to agree to restrain themselves. So why not try, why not at least get them to put down in writing, maybe we'll let those international inspectors in, and this will at least buy the United States and Israel some time.

RUBIO: Yes, the problem is, number one, they're not allowing the inspectors in right now. Even as we speak, even in the middle of these negotiations they are impeding inspectors from moving forward. They've never been honest about the full plethora of programs that they have going on. We should expect to have a secret nature to that program now to begin with. They continue to sponsor terrorism all over the world.

KELLY: So what is it about them then? Is it the fact that they also oppose ISIS? I mean today Netanyahu was saying the enemy of your enemy in this case is not your friend, it's also your enemy. But what is it then do you think that is driving the administration to so strongly push for this deal? I mean it's very clear why they did not want Mr. Netanyahu to speak to make the powerful case he made today? What is it? Why?

RUBIO: The administration's already said what it is. They want the Iran deal to be for the second term what ObamaCare was to the first. And that is the cornerstone of his legacy. What this president wants to be able to say is he's the one that did a peace deal with Iran. If it falls apart in three or four years, that's the next president's fault. They are so obsessed on the deal at this point --


KELLY: Unless we get a nuclear in Middle East, right? Barack Obama's got to be cognizant of that possibility. He doesn't want that to happen.

RUBIO: Well, again, I think they're thinking about -- that will be someone else's problem in two or three years. In their mind, they've made up their mind, and that is, that they have to move forward on this, no matter what. They're now locked in to it and they've made that decision.  And unfortunately, I think it is going to lead to what you just said, which is a nuclear Middle East. I think you'll see Egypt and the Saudi's and others move forward on their own enrichment capability and their arguments is going to be, if the enemy of the United States can have enrichment, why wouldn't an ally like ours. And not to mention the Sunni-Shia perspective in this as well.

KELLY: All right, let me switch gears with you because there was a lot of news today, we just talked about it, about Hillary Clinton using only, exclusively a personal e-mail account when she was secretary of state.  Her team said, this is a nonissue; it's exactly the same thing Colin Powell did -- which there real questions about but that's what they're saying. There's no there, there. Your take on it?

RUBIO: Well, there may or may not be, obviously that's something that will have to be further examined. There are two there's that we have to look at. The first is using a private server outside the government system is extremely vulnerable to hackers and all sorts of foreign countries that can hack in and get secrets. You're secretary of state, potentially transacting national business on an unsecured server or private server and that leaves our secrets and not on just that but our strategies exposed for the Chinese and the Russians and other intelligence agencies. And the other is, the State Department has a rule because the diplomatic discourse and so forth, is part of the archives of the United States. So that rule was clearly violated.

KELLY: Let me ask you this, another topic, because there's news this week that Barack Obama, who's already been criticized for executive overreach on a number of subjects, you know from ObamaCare to immigration, is now considering tax hikes with his pen and his phone, bypassing lawmakers to just basically rewrite parts of the tax code, or at least enforcement mechanisms through the tax agencies and others, to raise taxes on corporations. And he thinks this may be a political winner, according to the White House which says he's seriously considering it. What say you?

RUBIO: Well, again, it goes back to the same pattern of constitutional violation, they have lost total respect for the separation of powers, total respect for our system of government and total respect for our Constitution. This is now a pattern and a dangerous one, that's creating precedence for future presidents as well. I think it's damaged -- no matter how you feel about taxes or immigration or anything else, when you have a president writing law through executive order in unconstitutional ways, it undermines the very foundation of the republic.  And it goes much deeper than just how you feel about these issues.

KELLY: Senator Marco Rubio, great to see you, sir.

RUBIO: Thank you. Thanks.

KELLY: All the best.


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