Florida Sen. Marco Rubio offered a bleak vision of dire future foreign crises in a midday address to the Conservative Political Action Conference.
After declaring the current foreign policy moment “truly as challenging” as that which faced Reagan, the presidential contender urged that “young people” in the crowd “extrapolate what the world would look like in 10 years if this continues forward.” He continued, “If you inherit a world where the Chinese get to decide who gets to ship products to the South China Sea and all the countries in that region are tributaries,” and “North Korea can blow up California” with nukes, and “Iran can reach the East Coast of the United States, and can wipe Israel off the face of the earth,” and “Russia continues to hold its neighbors hostage” through both its military and its oil.
In an apparent, if implicit, rebuke to fellow Republicans like CPAC favorite Rand Paul, Rubio told the crowd that “There is only one nation on earth capable of rallying and bringing together the free people on this planet to stand up to the spread of totalitarianism. The United Nations cannot do this. In fact they cannot do anything.”
Rubio emphasized that his vision “doesn’t mean that we’re going to be involved in 15 wars,” or that “we can solve every conflict.” But he warned that, “Without American engagement, the world that I just painted to you is not just a possibility -- it is a real probability.”