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Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton Exchange Shots as Both Look Ahead to 2016

July 22, 2014 - 6:00pm
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton engaged in a war of words this week as both of them look ahead to running for the presidency in 2016. Clinton is the undisputed favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination while Rubio is one of a host of candidates in the mix for the Republican nomination.

Rubio appeared on Morning Edition this week on National Public Radio (NPR) where he came out swinging at Clinton.

"I just think she's a 20th century candidate," Rubio said about Clinton. "I think she does not offer an agenda for moving America forward in the 21st century, at least not up till now."

Rubio insisted Clinton is "extremely vulnerable on her record which will come back and haunt her in 2016.

The truth of the matter is, she was the secretary of state during an administration that has had virtually no major successes on foreign policy, Rubio said. In fact, their failures on foreign policy are stark, and we'll remind them of them every single day, and she'll have to answer for that. And the other is I think she's just a 20th century candidate."

Turning toward his own ambitions, Rubio said he expected to make a decision about running early next year. Rubio also left open the possibility that he would run for a second term in the Senate.

"There's a lot of work to be done if you're going to run for president or if you're going to run for re-election in a state as big as Florida," Rubio said.

Clinton was asked about Rubios comments on Tuesday when she appeared on Southern California Public Radio (SCPR). Responding to Rubios comments, Clinton insisted she orchestrated some successes during her time at the State Department and that, if she runs in 2016, she will look toward the future instead of the success of her husbands presidency. In her answer to SCPR, Clinton plugged her new book.

I wrote a whole book called 'Hard Choices' that details a lot of the important successes of the first term of President Obama (and maybe I should send a copy of it to my Republican friends), Clinton told SCPR. Secondly, elections are about differences, as we know, but every election is about the future and certainly anyone who wishes to run for president has to make it clear how the experience that you've had in the past and what you believe and how you have acted on those beliefs will translate into positive results for the American people.

Clinton also said she intended to focus on domestic issues in the months to come.

"I will be standing up and speaking out in favor of the changes that I think we need to make to improve life for middle-class Americans, to give every kid a chance to go to college without being bankrupted and disabled by student debt, to try and resolve our immigration challenges in a way that is in keeping with our values, and so much else, Clinton said. I know that elections are about the future and I look forward in engaging in that kind of debate."

Asked about her future plans, Clinton said she would hold off on making a decision on the presidential election until after November.

"We have an election this November, which is a pretty consequential one, because it'll determine the control of the Senate, and obviously I strongly am committed to doing what I can to keep the Senate in Democratic hands, Clinton said. And so I think we all should be focused on that election and not look ahead to 2016. But by the end of the year, or early next year, people will start making decisions, and of course, I will be among them.

"You certainly have to make the decision, when and how you go pubic with it, that's up to each individual, but from my perspective, I think it's incredibly important that we stay focused on these midterm elections -- that historically have a lower turnout than presidential elections -- because so much is at stake, Clinton added. After we've done everything we can for the 2014 elections, the Democratic Party, the country, we can turn our attention to the upcoming presidential race."

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