In South Carolina, Rubio Hits Hillary on Israel Record
Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio targeted Hillary Clinton over her Israel record, as he campaigned in South Carolina on Thursday.
“You get Hillary Clinton staffers sending her an email – which I can’t believe why it hasn’t gotten more coverage – and you know what the email said?,” stated Rubio during a town hall meeting in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. “One of her staffers said, ‘You know what we need to do? We need to create a covert program to get Palestinian people protest so we can put pressure on Israel to negotiate a [peace] deal with the Palestinian Authority.'”
As first reported by the Washington Free Beacon, in a December 18, 2011, email, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Pickering suggested that Clinton consider a plan to restart then-stalled peace negotiations by kickstarting Palestinian demonstrations against Israel. Pickering described the effort as a potential “game-changer in the region,” recommending that the United States undertake a clandestine campaign to generate unrest.
Clinton requested that his email be printed.
Rubio said that if he got such an email from a staffer, he would fire that staffer in a second. “I would say, ‘What are you talking about?’ Israel is the only pro-American free enterprise democracy in the entire Middle East.”
“We are going to stand with Israel when I am president of the United States,” he promised.
The Florida Senator’s line of attack against the Democratic presidential front-runner, came after he commented on a video released by Iran’s State TV of U.S. sailors weeping in captivity by drawing a contrast between the administration’s treatment of Israel and Iran. “John Kerry had the [nerve] to say to us, ‘Oh, they are our friends. Look how fast they returned our sailors over.’ You know what? If those sailors had wondered into Israeli territory, you never even would’ve heard about this because they would have fixed the boat and send them on their way,” said Rubio. “Or they would have called us and say, ‘Come get them.’ But here we have a president trying to convince us that Iran is good, that Iran is getting better — ‘You see this is good, we now have a relationship, we are now working with them.’ And then you have a president who tells [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, ‘I don’t want you coming to Washington. I won’t even meet with you.’ Israel comes under attack, and we won’t even resupply them.”
“This is outrageous. This is what I am trying to say to people. This is not an accident,” Rubio added, referring to the line for which he got attacked during Saturday night’s debate (by former presidential candidate Chris Christie), saying Obama knows what he is doing in wanting to change America by, among other things, sacrificing the relationship with Israel.
Rubio also warned voters, during his opening remarks, that if any of the Democratic presidential hopefuls wins the White House, “They will keep betraying Israel and cut deals with Israel’s enemies.”