Rubio speaks out on North Korea, US-Cuba tensions

MIAMI (WSVN) - From the conflict with North Korea to policy here at home, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio gave 7News his take on several hot-button issues, Friday.

As the world watches and waits to see what North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will do next, Rubio, R-Fla., said the East Asian dictator likely knows the consequences if he chooses to act on his threats.

“There’s no war against America that he can win. He has to know that,” said Rubio.

Rubio said North Korea’s isolation is not a factor on what Kim does and does not know. “Ultimately, Kim Jong Un, despite the fact that he’s isolated and doesn’t get a lot of bad news from the people around him, he has to know that any attack against the United States would mean the last day of his life and the last day of his regime,” he said.

As President Donald Trump continues to fire daily tweets aimed at Kim, Rubio said he does not take issue with the commander in chief’s social media presence. “Ultimately, I think the president’s way of expressing himself, I have no problem with,” he said. “The president is not going to start a problem over a tweet. That’s not the kind of problem we’re facing here.”

The senator is also watching Cuba closely after two American diplomats got sick from what is being described as an “acoustic attack,” late last year.

Two Cuban diplomats were sent home to the Caribbean country from Washington, D.C. after the information surfaced. “The Cubans either did it, or know who did it and allowed them to do it, so I hold them responsible,” said Rubio.

Back in the nation’s capital, Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are locked in a heated back-and-forth. The president is pressuring McConnell to get more work done. The Senate leader responded by saying legislating takes time.

Rubio said he understands McConnell’s perspective. “I understand what the majority leader was trying to say, and that is, we have a system of government that doesn’t move quickly by design,” he said.

Congress approval numbers reached a new low recently. Rubio said he’s working to turn those numbers around.

“I don’t approve of Congress’ work either, and part of the reason for that is ’cause Democrats think Republicans are doing a bad idea, and Republicans think the Democrats are doing a bad idea,” he said. “What I do is, I focus on where I can make a difference, my one vote.”

One area where Rubio is working to fix what he says is broken is tax reform. The Child Tax Credit is high on his list. “I’m meeting people that make $800 a week and spend $400 a week on child care, half their salaries,” he said. “Our credit doesn’t solve all these problems, but it helps these families who are raising children. It’s so expensive.”

Looking ahead to the run for president in 2020, Rubio said political pundits might be looking ahead, but he’s focused on the present. “I’m not running for anything in 2020. I have a six-year term.”

Rubio said he has been working with Ivanka Trump on the Child Tax Credit. The Senate vote on tax reform will likely come before the end of the year.

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