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Sen. Marco Rubio: "I have never heard of anyone argue for American troops on the
ground in Syria"
by Nathan'ette Burdine: March 16, 2014

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he never heard of “anyone” arguing for boots on the ground in Syria and that President Obama should have armed the rebels.

Rubio said, “I heard Secretary Rice make that argument over the weekend that people want to put boots on the ground…Who has called for American troops in Syria?…I have never heard of anyone argue for American troops on the ground in Syria.”

However, some of Rubio’s Senate colleagues have supported the idea of placing American troops on the ground in Syria.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told “The Cable” that he supported having American troops on the ground in Syria.

And Senator Claire McCaskil (D-MO) told Bob Schieffer , host of CBS’ “Face the Nation,” that she was not ruling out placing troops on the ground in Syria.

The talks about placing troops on the ground resulted in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Bob Corker (R-TN) drafting a joint resolution, S.J.RES 21, which allows limited U.S. intervention in Syria without the need to place American troops on the ground.

Rubio, who’s a member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Blitzer that if President Obama had supported his idea of funding the rebels then the Syrian situation wouldn’t be as bad as it is today.

Rubio said, “What I have heard, especially early on in the conflict, which is what I advocated, is let’s equip the Syrian rebels the non-Islamists. Because if we don’t, you’re gonna leave a vacuum and it’s gonna be filled by Jihadist. That’s exactly what’s happened.”

Yet, when it came time on September 4, 2013, to vote on S.J.RES 21, which provided funding for the rebels but did not place American troops on the ground, Sen. Marco Rubio voted against the bill.

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