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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Why Marco Rubio keeps talking about the Iran nuclear deal



TALLAHASSEE — Marco Rubio has traveled to 20 countries including some of the world's most dangerous hot spots and landed a chairmanship of a key international affairs subcommittee during nearly six years in the U.S. Senate.

But as his re-election campaign tightens in the stretch run, the Miami Republican is emphasizing one topic in his foreign policy repertoire: his opposition to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

In a span of a week, Rubio featured the issue during a speech at the Boca Raton Synagogue, during an exclusive 30-minute taped interview on a Jewish cable television program, and in a piece he wrote for During Monday's hour-long debate with his Democratic opponent Patrick Murphy, it was the only foreign policy issue that Rubio pressed.

It's one reason Rubio says he won't vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. He blasted Murphy for supporting the deal because he said it delivers "billions and billions of dollars to a radical nation led by an Ayatollah who has threatened to use nuclear weapons against the state of Israel." In an interview on Jewish Life Television, he said it "makes the world more dangerous and it's going to lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East."

Rubio is hoping to elevate the diplomatic agreement to the level of litmus test for traditionally left-leaning Jewish voters who otherwise would favor Murphy, a Palm Beach County Democrat. Jewish voters represent less than 6 percent of Florida's nearly 13 million voters. But given Obama won Florida by less than 75,000 votes in 2012, peeling off even 1 percent of that support could tip a close race.

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[Last modified: Friday, October 21, 2016 12:48pm]


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