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Tipsheet

Rubio Met With Applause From Debate Audience As He Schools Demings on Standing Up to China

AP Photo/Gaston De Cardenas

On Tuesday night, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) stood strong as he debated a shrill and desperate Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) who is looking to unseat him as he runs for re-election. Rubio earned applause as he responded to a question about if he would accept the 2022 election results that he's not Stacey Abrams, as well as towards the very end of the debate, when he and Demings were talking about China.

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While Demings gave a rather ho-hum response when asked how we should respond to China, Rubio certainly had credentials to tout. "First of all I would say that--this is a fact--every major anti-China proposal that's been voted on in the last five years have been my bill, so much so, that China has actually sanctioned and banned me." He elicited laughter from the audience as he quipped "I was very upset about that because I had to cancel my vacation in Wuhan."

Rubio's Twitter bio mentions that he has been banned from both China and Russia. 

Speaking more seriously, Rubio warned "the 21st century will be defined--defined--by the relationship between the United States and China," and that China wants to "replace us."

Rubio declared "we have to begin to invest in our military, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region to defeat the weapons systems they're innovating." Taking a shot at how woke the military has become under the Biden administration, Rubio added "we don't need the Pentagon spending all its time producing videos on the proper use of pronouns, we need them focused on how to blow up aircraft carriers by China." 

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As the moderator called time and allowed Demings to respond, there was applause from some in the audience, which the moderator tried to shut down. Demings effectively merely repeated "we have to hold China accountable" and went on to dismiss Rubio's warnings by saying "look, the senator can play, um, national security expert all he wants," adding "I know he needs that for his next presidential run."

At that point, the moderator had to stop Demings from going further, as he gave Rubio a chance to respond. "Yeah, I mean I don't know what she means by playing national security expert, I'm the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and I was the previous chairman of it so it's actually my job," the senator said to even more enthusiastic applause, as someone was audibly cheering in the audience. The moderator did not move to quiet the crowd this time, as Rubio moved on to say "I think holding China accountable, that's a taking point, I get it, I'm support the concept, it's a great banner, I'm sure it's a good bumper sticker, but it's not a plan."

The senator then laid out how he has "a detailed plan," which includes to "fix this country first" and make more in this country before Demings got in one more comment and the debate moved to closing arguments.

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Guy had a perfectly succinct response to those highlighting this particularly problematic part of Demings' answer.





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