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Marco Rubio calls for stronger military, more action to defeat ISIS

Dec 10, 2015

Credit Rebecca Kruth

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio says the US needs to do more to confront terrorist threats at home and abroad. 

The Florida Senator was in Michigan Wednesday for a campaign stop in Waterford Township. He spoke to a crowd of about 150 at a rally in an Oakland County International Airport hangar.

Rubio kicked off his speech with some jokes about Michigan sports teams before hitting on a broad range of familiar campaign points.

He called for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a reformation of the student loan system, and more exploration of America's natural gas reserves. 

Most of Rubio's speech focused on the threat of terrorism. 

He criticized President Barack Obama for not addressing the risk radical jihadists pose to the US, and what he called the president's refusal to confront radical Islam.

"Either we defeat [ISIS] or they will continue to grow. Eventually, we will have to confront them, but we will have to confront them when they've grown larger, richer and more powerful," Rubio said. "I'd rather deal with them now."

Rubio called for more air strikes and said the country should also put higher demands on middle east countries like Jordan and Saudi Arabia to help fight ISIS.

He also said the US needs to focus on "rebuilding" its military and criticized "irresponsible" cuts to defense spending. 

"The world is growing more dangerous, and we have a president that's making us weaker," Rubio said.

The rally marked Rubio's second trip to Michigan since announcing his candidacy for president.