- The Washington Times - Friday, April 10, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said Friday that President Obama does not grasp that a strong defense — on both the national and individual level — is a mean of protecting from violence, not promoting it.

“Weakness, on the other hand is the friend of danger and enemy of peace,” Mr. Rubio said during his speech at the annual National Rifle Associated meeting. “President Obama has been a weak president.”

Mr. Rubio is expected to announce Monday at the Freedom Tower in Miami that he is running for the GOP nomination for president. The freshman lawmaker has called for a more muscular approach to foreign policy and said in his speech Friday that the nation must be a leader on the world stage.

“The hard truth is that when America steps back there is simply not a nation wiling or able to fill the void of global leadership and the result is chaos — chaos that manifests itself in regional turmoil, violent extremism, dangers to our people and our global economy,” Mr. Rubio said. “Anybody who sees the presidency must recognize that in this century there is no such thing as a remote problem.”

Mr. Rubio also touted his support of legislation to loosen gun restrictions in Washington and warned that gun-free zones create more targets for criminals.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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