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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio calls Trump-Khan controversy 'unfortunate,' praises fallen soldier



Marco Rubio speaking to Florida reporters in Clearwater addressed questions about Donald Trump and the Khan family. He did not specifically condemn Trump, as other high profiile Republican have, but called the fallen soldier "a hero."

Rubio also called the situation "complex" because Khan was killed by "radical jihadists" and he expressed support for some restriction on who is let into the country.

“I think it’s unfortunate. Look, Sergeant Khan is a hero, for every measure," Rubio said, according to a transcript provided by his office.

"He is, I’ve often talked about, Americans who also are Muslims, who have served this country in uniform, 14 of whom have died between 2001 and recently. I remember one of the debates, saying, that if you go to Arlington, you will see crescent moons on some of the tombstones of brave Americans, who happened to be Muslims, who died in the service of our country.

"I think his parents are heroes and they have a First Amendment right to speak out on their politics, as all Americans do. Their son died for the Constitution and I honor that.

"And the third point I would make is, separate from the latest on that issue, let’s remember that Sergeant Khan lost his life in the hands of radical jihadists. They took their view of their faith and used it to justify killing innocents and attacking them. So that’s why it’s a complex issue.

"The last point I would make is, we have Americans who are Muslims who are patriotic and love this country, as evidenced by the Khan family. We also know that there are parts of this world, where there are terrorists that are trying to get into the United States, and it’s not that we don’t want to allow people in, it’s that in many cases we can’t because we don’t have a way to vet them. If you are coming into the United States from Syria, as an example, they’re falsifying passports in Syria, the people who ran the passport office are now making fake passports. Everything in the passport is real except the name. And as a result, you worry because it’s very difficult to vet people from certain parts of the world where there are not vetted governments.

"We live in a world now where we have to know exactly who’s coming in, why they’re coming, who they are, and what they’re up to. And that becomes harder when they’re coming from countries that don’t even have a functional government.

"And so, I think you can be for that, as I am, and also honor the sacrifice and service of all Americans who have served us in uniform."

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 12:02am]


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