Chris Wallace grilled Senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio today about the Iraq war. Let’s just say Rubio’s waffling didn’t look very presidential.
On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace tried to get Rubio to say what he thinks of the Iraq war, given what we know now. But Rubio only seemed to want to discuss the war from the perspective of what he thought was known at the time of the invasion.
Wallace played clips of Rubio’s past statements about the Iraq invasion. Afterward, Wallace asked, “Isn’t that a flip? Six weeks ago, it made sense to invade Iraq in 2003, now you say it was a mistake?”
”Two different questions,” Rubio insisted. “It was not a mistake. …The president, based on the information that was provided…”
”He was saying based on what we know now,” Wallace pressed.
”Based on what we know now, I wouldn’t have thought Manny Pacquiao was going to beat Mayweather in that fight,” Rubio shot back.
”You were asked the same question, and you said it made sense,” Wallace continued.
”No, it was not the same question,” Rubio insisted. “The question was whether it was a mistake, and my answer was, it’s not a mistake. I still say it was not a mistake because the president was presented with intelligence that said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. It was governed by a man who had committed atrocities in the past with weapons of mass destruction."
But Wallace kept up the pressure. “What she asked you, was it a mistake to go to war with Iraq?” he asked.
Rubio continued waffling. “It was not a mistake given the fact what the President knew at the time,” he replied.
”No she didn’t say that. She just said, ‘Was it a mistake?’” Wallace challenged.
”That’s not the same question,” Rubio said. “The question I was asked is ‘what you know now.’ Based on what we know now, I think everyone agrees.”
“Was it a mistake to go to war with Iraq?” Wallace asked again
Instead of directly answering, Rubio said, “That’s not the same question.”
”That’s the question I’m asking you,” Wallace said.
“It was not a mistake for the President to decide to go into Iraq.” Rubio said.
”I’m not asking you that,” Wallace pointed out.
Rubio kept waffling. “The world is a better place because Saddam Hussein is not there. I don’t understand the question you’re asking.”
So Wallace repeated. “I’m asking you, knowing everything as we sit here in 2015.”
”A President cannot make a decision on what someone might know in the future,” Rubio dodged.
Wallace was not deterred. “That’s what I’m asking you. Was it a mistake?”
“It was not a mistake for the President to go into Iraq based on the information he was provided as president,” Rubio replied.
Why won’t Rubio say what he thinks of the war, knowing what we know now?