- (Photo: The Christian Post/Sonny Hong)
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida told ABC's "This Week" that he has enough experience, and is ready, to be president in 2016. He also took aim at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a likely Democratic candidate for president.
"I do," responded Rubio, who was in the early-voting state of New Hampshire Friday, when asked by host Jonathan Karl if he's ready to be president.
"But I think that's true for multiple other people that would want to run … I mean, I'll be 43 this month, but the other thing that perhaps people don't realize, I've served now in public office for the better part of 14 years," the freshman senator said during the interview aired Sunday.
A president has to have a clear vision of where the country needs to go and clear ideas about how to get it there, Rubio added. "I think we're very blessed in our party to have a number of people that fit that criteria."
Other potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates include N.J. Gov. Christ Christie, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and freshman Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
Asked if he is qualified to run, Rubio said it depends whose vision the party wants to follow.
Rubio added that if he runs for president, he would not simultaneously seek re-election as a senator for Florida. "You don't run for president with some eject button in the cockpit that allows you to go on an exit ramp if it doesn't work out."
Talking about Clinton, who is likely to be a Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, Rubio said she deserves an "F" for her tenure.
"I'm sure she's going to go out bragging about her time in the State Department. She's also going to have to be held accountable for its failures, whether it's the failed reset with Russia or the failure in Benghazi that actually cost lives," he said. "If you look at the diplomacy that was pursued in her time in the State Department, it has failed everywhere in the world. If she is going to run on her record as secretary of state, she's also going to have to answer for its massive failures."
Rubio also said human activity is not causing climate changes as scientists are portraying it. "I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy," he said.
According to a recent National Climate Assessment by the White House, Florida is one of the most vulnerable to rising sea levels and changes in temperatures and storm patterns. President Barack Obama wants to introduce new regulations to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide to prevent global warming.
But the climate change is an age-old issue, Rubio suggested. "The fact is that these events that we're talking about are impacting us, because we built very expensive structures in Florida and other parts of the country near areas that are prone to hurricanes," he said. "We've had hurricanes in Florida forever, and the question is, what do we do about the fact that we have built expensive structures, real estate and population centers, near those vulnerable areas? I have no problem with taking mitigation activity."