Rubio Says Obama ‘Strengthened Putin’s Hands’ in Syria: NPR

Failure of President Obama to oust Bashar al-Assad creates vacuum that “will continued to be filled by the next jihadist group,” the Republican presidential candidate says in interview with NPR.

  • “Russians and the Iranians view Assad as a client state, and they want either him to remain in power, or someone like him”
  • Russia’s strategy is to appear to “provide the leadership this region needs” in fighting ISIS, Rubio says
    • Obama “has fallen into” Russia’s move and “strengthened Putin’s hands”
  • On Iran nuclear deal: Iran will “change the facts on the ground” with incremental violations of deal “and the world will have to accept it”
  • On threatened govt shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding: “If it does shut down it will be because the Democrats and the president have shut it down, because they insist that one organization receive federal funding”
  • On feud with presidential rival Donald Trump: Not interested in being “part of his freak show”
    • Trump “is a very sensitive person; he doesn’t like to be criticized. He responds to criticism very poorly”

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