- The Washington Times - Friday, February 13, 2015

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, predicted Friday that if former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton runs for president, her record as the nation’s chief diplomat will play a central role — to her detriment.

“We are very blessed as a party to have a lot of quality people who are thinking about running,” Mr. Rubio said on WHO Newsradio 1040 in Iowa. “I mean, compare that to the Democrats and their very weak bench.”

Mr. Rubio was in the early presidential state Friday for a book-signing event at a local Barnes and Noble for his new book, “American Dreams.”

“I mean, even their front-runner, Hillary Clinton, has significant challenges ahead,” he said. “I think she’s going to try to run on the claim that she was the secretary of state and did a great job, and there’s no way you can argue that America today is safer or more respected on the global stage than they were five years ago.

“And she wasn’t just a supporter of Barack Obama’s foreign policy — she was its architect and its implementer,” he continued. “So she’s got tremendous liabilities.”

Mr. Rubio also reiterated that the prospective 2016 candidacy of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush isn’t going to affect his own decision-making on a possible presidential run.

“If I decide to run, it won’t be against Jeb Bush — it’ll be because I believe that this is the right place for me to serve our country at this time in its history, in my life, and in my career, and [that] I have something unique to contribute to that debate,” he said.

“It doesn’t change my feelings about him or his service to our state and country in the past. … He was a good governor,” Mr. Rubio said, adding that some people argue Mr. Bush was the best governor the state ever had.

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