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Marco Rubio: U.S. may have to strike Iran

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WASHINGTON — Potential Republican vice presidential candidate Marco Rubio on Wednesday said a unilateral “military solution,” from the United States may be needed to stop Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb.

Rubio, a freshman Senator for Florida, said in a speech in Washington that it was imperative that the United States not “stand on the sidelines” of a simmering Middle East, but instead provide leadership to resolve global crises.

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“Our preferred option since the US became a global leader has been to work with others to achieve our goals,” Rubio said in an address at the Brookings Institution think tank.

But “America has acted unilaterally in the past — and I believe it should continue to do so in the future — when necessity requires,” he added, alluding to Iran.

Rubio, a member of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently campaigned with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and has been touted as a possible running mate.

Rubio, 40, said multinational cooperation must be a priority in dealing with Iran, the regime in Syria and a rising China.

But he focused on Iran, noting that “the goal of preventing a dominant Iran is so important that every regional policy we adopt should be crafted with that overriding goal in mind.”

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US officials should operate on a “dual track,” with the United Nations and other international groups, to rein in Iran, he said.

“We should also be preparing our allies, and the world, for the reality that unfortunately, if all else fails, preventing a nuclear Iran may, tragically, require a military solution.”

Rubio, also lambasted Russian president-elect Vladimir Putin’s preaching of “paranoia and anti-Western sentiments” and the “curtain of secrecy that veils the Chinese state.”

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“On the most difficult transnational challenges of our time, who will lead if we do not? The answer, at least today, is that no other nation or organization is willing or able to do so,” he said.


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Carl Bernstein: There are 7-9 ‘wobbly’ Republicans who want witnesses but Mitch McConnell is trying to block them

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In a CNN panel discussion Wednesday, notorious Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein revealed that there are seven to nine Republican senators who are wavering after the compelling argument that the House has provided for the impeachment. The problem, however, is that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is refusing to allow any break from the party line.

"I think this is a hugely damaging narrative that was laid out today, and that Mitch McConnell understands, and has understood for a while that this hugely damaging narrative was going to affect his members," said Bernstein. "And that his strategy -- I've talked to some Republicans about this -- #MidnightMitch is to wear out his own members so that they don't vote for more witnesses because there are six, seven, eight, nine wobbly Republicans."

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Republican Kevin McCarthy gets taken down by former top GOP colleague

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Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was attacked by a former Republican colleague who alleged McCarthy and his fellow members of Congress have allowed the House GOP to become the official shill for the White House.

In a profile for the New York Times, former Oversight Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) shamed the GOP House for the way that a once-respectable institution has fallen.

“Congress no longer operates as an independent branch of government, but as an appendage of the executive branch,” said Davis. “He is made for that role.”

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Former senator reveals to Maddow how one brave Democrat can reveal key document in impeachment trial

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Near the end of Wednesday's impeachment trial, Chief Justice John Roberts announced that an agreement had been made to allow senators to read supplemental testimony from Vice President Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams.

The document will remain classified, despite claims that there is no classified material in the document, only evidence that is damning to the president.

"In terms of this document potentially being improperly classified, which is something that has been raised in writing by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and raised on the floor of the Senate tonight by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)," MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow noted. "Obviously, it was the vice president's office that said it was classified, they are getting publicly criticized for that. If it has been improperly classified and it should be something that the public can see, who adjudicates that?"

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