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“America is indispensable to foreign policy. The world is a dangerous place when America is not leading. In fact, the fundamental issues that confront the world today require coalitions of nations to confront it. And the only nation on Earth that can form these coalitions and lead them is us. It’s not the United Nations. It’s not the Organization of the American States, or any of these other multilateral organizations. It’s the United States of America. What I hope you could help me with: in your testimony, you alluded to President Obama’s vision for the world. And in the two years I’ve been here, I’ve struggled to fully understand what that vision is.”

(Sen. Marco Rubio to Sen. John F. Kerry, during nomination hearings before the Senate Foreign Committee for Mr. Kerry’s appointment as secretary of state.)

Poll du jour

• 84 percent of Republicans say reducing the budget deficit should be a top priority of the Obama administration; 67 percent of Democrats agree.

• 58 percent of Republicans say “strengthening the military” should be a top priority; 31 percent of Democrats agree.

• 50 percent of Republicans say “dealing with moral breakdown” in the U.S. should be a top priority; 34 percent of Democrats agree.

• 46 percent of Republicans say reducing health care costs should be a top priority; 79 percent of Democrats agree.

• 32 percent of Republicans say protecting the environment should be a top priority; 69 percent of Democrats agree.

• 22 percent of Republicans say strengthening gun control laws should be a priority; 56 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,502 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 9 to 13 and released Thursday.

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