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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio: Mattis understands the 'prime threats'



Sen. Marco Rubio today announced his support for James Mattis as defense secretary.

“Just as he has done throughout his decorated 44-year military career, General James Mattis will serve our nation honorably and effectively as our next secretary of defense. General Mattis will bring an unparalleled level of real-world experience, a pragmatic and clear-eyed view of the world and America’s unique role in it, and a principled commitment to America’s values,' Rubio said in a statement.

"The United States and our allies live in a dangerous world, with enemies and adversaries that fundamentally hate our values and way of life and are intent on destroying us. As General Mattis clearly and unequivocally articulated in his confirmation hearing this week, the United States is ‘under the biggest attack since World War II,’ and ‘that's from Russia, from terrorist groups and with what China is doing in the South China Sea.’ He understands these prime threats, and the many others he will encounter as defense secretary, including the need to rebuild our nation’s military after years of devastating defense cuts. General Mattis has answered the call to serve our nation well, and I believe he will improve the state of readiness in our military to defend this great democracy. For these reasons, I support his nomination.”

The statement does not address one area of apparent disagreement. While Rubio has called for scrapping Iran nuclear deal, Mattis testified that, while "imperfect," it should be honored because “when America gives her word, we have to live up to it and work with our allies.”

[Last modified: Friday, January 13, 2017 2:58pm]


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