Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Politics
Rising Star

Marco Rubio Dazzles and Disappoints Republicans on Foreign Policy

The Florida senator's record on Syria gives some conservatives pause.
Senator Marco Rubio greets people before speaking during a community rally on Nov. 15, 2015, in Miami Beach, Florida.

Senator Marco Rubio greets people before speaking during a community rally on Nov. 15, 2015, in Miami Beach, Florida.

Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Elliott Abrams, an influential thinker in conservative foreign-policy circles dating back to the Reagan administration, has twice been surprised by Marco Rubio. Once more pleasantly than the other.

The first time was in 2010, when Rubio was seeking a U.S. Senate seat and wanted advice. Abrams, a Harvard-educated, London School of Economics-trained foreign policy expert, expected to school the former state lawmaker and city councilman on geopolitics. Instead, Abrams found himself taking in the young Republican’s “quite startling” breadth of knowledge on global issues.