In a move that could arguably be at odds with his prior statements on Syria, Florida Senator Marco Rubio voted against the resolution which would allow the President to use force against the Syrian regime. Rubio cast the vote as part of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The resolution was passed by a vote of 10 to 7 and could now proceed to the Senate floor.
Report from the Washington Examiner:
Marco Rubio surprised some observers Wednesday when he voted in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee against a resolution authorizing President Obama to use U.S. military force in Syria. The surprise came not because Rubio had been beating the drum for war earlier — he hadn’t — but because he has in the past used foreign policy statements to express deep concerns not only about the Syrian situation but also about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Those concerns seemed to mirror the positions of Senate colleagues John McCain and Lindsey Graham, two of the most strident hawks on the Syria issue, so there were perhaps some assumptions that Rubio would vote in favor of military intervention.
There was also talk about a political motivation. Some critics suggested that Rubio voted “No” to curry favor with a Republican base that he had alienated during the fight for comprehensive immigration reform. “Rubio manages to make himself look juvenile, afraid of base after immigration,” tweeted the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin on Wednesday. “Not presidential in the least.”
But in explaining his vote, Rubio said his position is nothing new. “While I have long argued forcefully for engagement in empowering the Syrian people, I have never supported the use of U.S. military force in the conflict,” Rubio said. “And I still don’t. I remain unconvinced that the use of force proposed here will work.”
If you’ll recall, Rubio stated back in April that he supported the complete removal of the Syrian regime.