- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sen. Marco Rubio made a strong pitch for an engaged America around the world in a foreign policy-heavy speech Thursday at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), saying that the United States must be be a world leader — and not a dictator.

“Don’t take for granted what we have,” Mr. Rubio, Florida Republican, said. “What we have in America is the exception and not the rule in human history.”

“There is no country I would rather be,” he said, adding that such a fact doesn’t mean there aren’t problems to overcome.

He told young people in the crowd to picture a world 10 years from now that included an al Qaeda spreading across a dozen countries, a militant Iran and a Russia trying to re-create vestiges of the old Soviet Union.

Such a future is “a real probability” without American involvement, he said.

“We have to see the world the way it is, and we must [address] the issues before they become unmanageable,” Mr. Rubio said.

In his remarks, Mr. Rubio did touch on other conservative issues such as Obamacare and a federal government he said is straining small businesses and entrepreneurs, but said the country’s economy and foreign policy are intrinsically connected.

“America must be involved in leading the world,” he said. “Not in dictating. … Americans have never wanted the role of telling other people what to do.”

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