Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is the latest Cuban-American Florida lawmaker to criticize Gov. Rick Scott for mishandling a law that would put economic pressure on Cuba and Syria.
Scott signed a bill earlier this week banning local governments from hiring firms that do work in the oppressive dictatorships. Cuban-American lawmakers praised him, then became angry when they learned he that he quietly declared the law unenforceable at the state level.
Rubio doesn't believe that a federal law is needed to authorize the crackdown, as Scott claims.
"I believe that it’s constitutional, but I don’t sit on the Supreme Court," he told the Miami Herald. "So it’s not going to be my decision to make."
As Florida House Speaker, Rubio said that the state passed a bill for divestment from Iran, another country considered to be a terrorist regime.
“The criticism has been: ‘states don’t set foreign policy.’ Well, they don’t,” Rubio said. “And I don’t think they’re doing that in this case. They are only reflecting existing foreign policy that says the Syria and Cuba are states sponsors of terrorism.”
Other Cuban-American lawmakers had more explosive reactions to Scott's messaging about the bill. U.S. Rep. David Rivera (R-Fl.) even threatened to sue the governor.
"As a Florida taxpayer who does not want my tax dollars going to companies that do business with terrorist regimes, I am more than willing to sue the governor and the state of Florida to force implementation of this law," he said. "I'm sure the governor has been misled by his staff and hope he will reconsider his position so that it does not result in a lawsuit."
Rubio has maintained nuanced and moderate views on foreign policy as speculation swirls over whether Mitt Romney will choose him as his running mate. Last month he gave a foreign policy address and veered away from criticizing the Obama administration, instead stressing diplomacy and bipartisanship.
Below, other Republicans who have been subject to VP speculation:
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