MIAMI — GOP Sen. Marco Rubio is trying to separate himself from a growing isolationist wing of the Republican Party by pushing to make "decisive" diplomacy and foreign aid, rather than military power, the pillars of American foreign policy.
The Florida lawmaker and potential 2016 presidential hopeful said in a speech Wednesday at the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington that vigorous engagement around the globe was critical to U.S. national security.
"There is no denying that a globally engaged America comes at a steep price," he said, acknowledging a war-weary public. "But the history of our still young nation shows and is full of warnings that a lack of American engagement comes with an even higher price of its own."
Diplomacy and foreign aid, he said, should "vastly outnumber" the country's use of military force abroad.
"While military might may be our most eye-catching method of involvement abroad, it is far from being our most often utilized," Rubio said. "In most cases, the decisive use of diplomacy, foreign assistance and economic power are the most effective ways to achieve our interests and stop problems before they spiral into crises."