Marco Rubio isn’t just the final, fading hope of the GOP establishment. He’s also the last torch-bearer of neoconservative foreign policy left in the 2016 race. So it’s no surprise that Rubio’s just-announced foreign policy team features some of the big-name neocons who have shaped his hawkish views for years.
Among the 18 members of Rubio’s new “National Security Advisory Council,” which his campaign announced on Monday, are Elliott Abrams, a former special assistant to President George W. Bush who’s best known for lying to Congress about the Reagan administration’s role in the Iran-Contra scandal; Eliot Cohen, a historian, Iraq war supporter, and lawyer at the State Department during the Bush administration; Michael Chertoff, the secretary of homeland security during Bush’s second term; and Michael Mukasey, a Bush administration attorney general.
Abrams and Cohen were members of the Project for a New American Century, an early-2000s group of neconservatives who pushed for big increases in defense spending, more American military intervention abroad, regime change in Iraq, and other policies that became Bush administration staples. Rubio’s foreign policy vision is basically ripped from the group’s platform: He wants to pour money into expanding the military, ramp up missile defense, get aggressive with both Iran and China, and expand the US role in Syria. He also adds modern touches, including beefing up the country’s ability to conduct cyberattacks and rolling back reforms to the Patriot Act in order to reinstate the mass surveillance program that Congress ended last year.
Rubio has reached out to leading neocons ever since his campaign began last year, and even asked visitors to his website to “Join Marco’s Fight For A New American Century!”
Here’s the full list of Rubio’s foreign policy team:
This is terrifying pic.twitter.com/w3AhA5JLLX
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) March 7, 2016