Senator Marco (R-FL) joined the Guy Benson Show to discuss a variety of topics including trouble in Venezuela, Republicans unsure of supporting Trump’s tariff policy & did Speaker Pelosi really say she wants the President in jail?
They covered it all in this lengthy interview.
Guy Benson: Back on The Guy Benson Show. Thank you for listening on this Thursday. Beautiful day here in New York City I am very pleased to welcome back to the program Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Senator great to talk to you again. Thanks for being here.
Sen. Rubio: Thank you. Hey thanks for having me back.
Guy Benson: My pleasure. I want to start you’ve got an op ed at FOX News.com today. You write Warren’s economic patriotism plan is simply not possible with a progressive agenda. This coming on the heels of what you put out you’re calling it an investment report. What’s your argument.
Sen. Rubio: Well my argument is you know I actually give her credit. She’s the first Democrat to kind of lay out the argument that American economic policy should put American workers and American businesses first. I think where she’s going to have big troubles is that what it’s going to take to actually do that is going to run smack into the demands of the progressive radical radical progressive that dominate the party and she’s trying to become the nominee. They demand cultural warfare. They demand the demonization of corporations writ large. They demand all sorts of things that they’re putting the sort of the things that matter to upper middle class people living in the coastal areas of the country and in the pockets of prosperity that they demand that those things be put in front of the sort of hard choices that need to be made to reorient our policy. And frankly if she decides that she wants to have a policy that achieves what she’s talking about she’s not going to have a home and Democratic Party. And then there’s the. That’s not what they want from their nominee.
Guy Benson: What are those hard choices that need to be made in terms of reorienting policy.
Sen. Rubio: Well I think at first it begins by recognizing that you can’t have a healthy economy with high paying jobs without companies and corporations that are doing well. And look I’ve beat up on big corporations because I don’t always believe that they have. In fact I don’t think they have American interests at heart and most of the time that I was I was reading an article yesterday about these big companies or leading boycotts and all sorts of social activism these are the same companies who are on the other hand asked us not to put sanctions on China or they want us to lift sanctions on Russia. They want us to get back into the JCP away so they can do business in Iran so that they think we’re very tolerant of dictators and authoritarians all over the world but are prepared to boycott states because they don’t like some law passed by the democratically elected legislature of that state. So you know I beat him up pretty good on the same token. You know we do need business in America. We also need a lot of small businesses and we need them both. And some of the key things we need success for in our country cannot be achieved if we have a climate that’s negative to these companies. The other choices that have to be made frankly would have us to take on some of the orthodoxy in the Republican Party and that includes this notion that everything now we’ve become a party almost dominated by the needs of the financial markets the financial markets the stock market Wall Street investor class they’re an important part of the economy but they are not the economy. And so what you end up happening is you have corporations today who basically feel like their number one objective is to return value the shareholders and as a result many are not are committing corporate suicide in the long term they’re not investing. And that has an economic implications for this country. More and more of this indefinite investment deteriorates the likelier it is that the great innovation the great companies the great industries of the 21st century are going to be located somewhere else but not in America and not for Americans.
Guy Benson: If listeners want to read more they can go to FOX News.com and take a look at what Senator Rubio wrote today in his column. I want to go overseas senator and talk about the latest coming out of Venezuela. It’s of course a topic that you’ve been covering extremely closely. Very personal to you. Are the Russians it seems have pulled out or at least have stopped some of their efforts to prop up the Maduro regime. What’s the very latest in Venezuela. Are there new glimmers of hope for people who support the opposition which the U.S. government I think has rightly identified and recognized as the legitimate interim government.
Sen. Rubio: I don’t think the Russians have any loyalty or affinity for Maduro as an individual. I think two things. Number one is they find this as an opportunity to play spoiler to basically undermine American foreign policy priority and number two to project power internationally to show people hey we’re Russia. We can even play in the Western Hemisphere. And Putin has sort of perfected the art of being able to have high yield low cost engagements in places like Syria to some extent but most certainly and Ukraine and here and Venezuela to sort of put out this message that helps him domestically to that hey Russia is a great power again on par with the United States. And so I think that’s what their interests are there as far as Maduro is concerned. Here’s the bottom line. OK. All this talk about how Maduro is poverty or doesn’t control Venezuela he didn’t govern Venezuela. He has control over its repressive apparatus. I can assure you of this this I can tell you with 100 percent certainty every single he individual and his regime around him knows that he is going to fall and that he needs to go. What is happening now is both open and secret jockeying to be the person that succeeds and that’s the problem. The problem is not getting rid of Maduro. The problem is whether he’s replaced by democracy or by someone else under the same system. Maybe a little bit less anti- American at least openly but not a democracy. That’s the bigger challenge here.
Guy Benson: Why do you think just going back to the Russian point because there were these reports that some of their assets were being pulled back. Why do you think they did that was that some sort of concession to Oscar. What changed.
Sen. Rubio: No. Yeah I think what’s changed is twofold. One they’re not getting paid. I mean the Maduro regime doesn’t pay its bills. They just defaulted again this week on another loan and lost 20 tons of gold which they had used as collateral. So that’s the first the second think the Russians don’t have any respect for them they find them to be incompetent to find to be corrupt and for the Russians to say he’s corrupt just tells you the level of corruption you’re talking about. And the third is some of these are private companies that were sent in to do work on a project taking you get this radar site to work again. So they went in and got it up an operative and now that work is done and now they’ve got to figure out how to leave and without appearing to be abandoning the guy. So you know that that’s part of this as well. But it looked at the Russian effort there. Did they fully recognize him Maduro as they would cut him loose tomorrow if they feel if they felt it was an opportunity to replace him with somebody who was not pro-American and could allow them to say that they thwarted an American priority and that’s what’s happening right now. And that’s what they’re and others are actively engaged in sort of figuring out who to replace Maduro with. They’ll find somebody out there you’re one of these governors from the government from party who is less moderate or somehow and. But it’ll be a figurehead or be a puppet. And the real power will remain in the hands of the corrupt people. This is not a government that Maduro regime is an organized crime ring. And the reason why they’re fighting to stay in power is not ideology it’s because they have made millions and millions of dollars from corruption graft and theft and they don’t want to lose that. And they most certainly don’t want to go to jail for it.
Guy Benson: Senator on another international matter you’ve been talking a lot writing a lot about China as an adversary across the globe. Senator Romney just gave his maiden floor speech. A lot of it focused on China as well. What do you see as the important the important dynamics of the U.S. China relationship that you think Americans need to know about. And as the president and his team are trying to hammer out some sort of a deal a better deal with the Chinese. What would a better deal in your mind look like what must it entail.
Sen. Rubio: Balance both geo political economic and otherwise the military. There has to be balance and some level of symmetry and that’s not where we’re headed right now. We have treated China as a poor developing country and a lot of to cheat and steal for a long time under the assumption that once they got rich they would become like us. We finally figured out it took too long. But that wasn’t the case. And now we’re trying to make up for lost ground. And right now we’re headed to a very imbalanced relationship where more and more of the high end of the economy is headed in their direction and away from us. And because they’ve stolen the technology or frankly because they’ve put our companies or western companies out of business through unfair practices. So the first begins with balance. The second is alliances. You know the one thing China is not good at is alliances. And so one of the things that balances out the world is strong alliances with our European allies strong alliances with India and Australia and Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. And with these alliances I mean as you know that this notion that America dominated the world is not true we’re the most powerful country in the world. But for much of the period after the Second World War you know we see a block what would allow the Cold War to go in our direction was that we got very strong alliances with the free world and that ultimately communism collapsed that more of those countries have fallen into the Soviet or history might have been very different. And so I think it’s a combination and of course you know the strong domestic capacity if we lose the great industries of the 21st century are not located in the West and particularly in the United States they’re located in China they will get to set the terms for what the 21st century looks like and it’s not going to be a democratic one. It’s not going to be one that respects the individual rights and freedoms and liberties that that’s what will happen to the most powerful country in the world. Totalitarian regime like the Chinese regime.
Guy Benson: Senator Rubio you mentioned alliances there one of our allies and certainly a top trading partner is Mexico. A number of your Republican colleagues have come out against the president’s gambit here on tariffs and tying that to immigration policy you have come out sat seemingly kind of reluctantly in favor of what the president’s doing. Are you concerned at all about endorsing a precedent of a United States president using punitive tariffs and effective tax increases on Americans to try to achieve sort of a separate foreign policy or domestic policy outcome.
Sen. Rubio: Yeah look I’d prefer that that wouldn’t have happened because I’m not a person by writ large I’m not I’m not a tariff fan and I think you try to avoid them I don’t I don’t like them as a matter of policy. I do think sometimes they’re necessary either in order to protect herself or in this case as a matter of leverage and if there is a better way to get Mexico to do things that are not unreasonable like no one can you monitor you know they have a much narrower border than we do. Can you monitor what’s inside the trucks and rail cars headed north. No. You can you can you build some physical structures to make it harder for people to cross over from the Guatemalan border. Will you act out when we give you actionable intelligence that says here’s what the trafficking network is going to do tomorrow. Can you stop them and arrest them. Will you actually go and do it. I don’t know how else to get them to do it. I mean we’ve tried every carrot that we have to get them to do that and it hasn’t happened. And so the president says this is the one I’ve got I’ve got to use this stick. It’s the only one I have that actually works. And if someone has a better one I’m for it. I just. No one’s come up with a better one that gets them to the table you know and at least they’re at the table now. But you know it’s frustrating to read just yesterday a thousand migrants and the AP the Associated Press had a reporter there saw a thousand migrants come across the border headed towards the United States escorted along the way and facilitated by Mexican state and local police officers. I mean it’s they are you know they’re encouraging this when they do that and we’re paying a tremendous price here domestically having to reassign federal agents away from other critical obligations to have to continue to reinforce the border to deal with this humanitarian crisis down there.
Guy Benson: Last question Senator Rubio it’s on American politics some of the domestic fighting that goes on here Nancy Pelosi speaker of the house now widely reported according to many sources last night during a closed door meeting of top Democrats they were arguing about impeachment and she reportedly told Jerry Nadler speaking of the president quote I don’t want to see him impeached. I want to see him in prison. I wonder what you make of that comment from the Speaker.
Sen. Rubio: Well again I didn’t hear her say it but I’m going to assume it’s acted on its own. She denied saying that. I think two things are happening. The first is you can see the pressure she’s under for impeachment I mean there are people in Congress who spend 90 percent of their time figuring out how can we get rid of the president and not figuring out how we can move the country forward not figuring out how can we win the election and 20 you know a 20. They spend their whole time with this notion of how can we get them removed from office. And it’s an unhealthy obsession. And and obviously she’s got a lot of pressure on her and she needs to sort of not in our direction. This is what I mean by a Democrat. This is what I meant when we start out this interview about radical progressives who demand they’re demanding these cultural fights. They’re demanding these sorts of things. They’re demanding a certain public policy to grow our economy or take on China. They are demanding this. This is what they spend 90 percent of their time on. That’s what I make of it. And so I imagine that’s her best effort to sort of appease them. But you know it’s it’s obvious it’s troubling because this you know she controls the House of Representatives and I think it’s pretty clear what direction they’re headed here and that is they’re not trying to offer counter policies that they’re they’re looking to destroy the prison United States they want. I understand they don’t agree with his policies. That’s why we have elections every four years.
Guy Benson: Senator Marco Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. So appreciate your time look forward to having you back. Really appreciate it.
Sen. Rubio: Thanks for having me.