It was "the right move" for President Donald Trump to launch airstrikes in Syria in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack, said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on CNN April 7.
But almost four years ago, Rubio opposed President Barack Obama’s plan to order airstrikes in Syria, also after dictator Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his people.
Rubio explained why 2017 is different than 2013 on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
"Here's the first thing that's changed from 2013 to now: The Russians are now there," Rubio said in an April 9 interview. "Assad was losing back in 2013. If we had armed non-jihadist elements on the ground, they could have overthrown him. That's what I thought was the better approach at the time.
"The second is that the administration, what they were proposing, had no clear objective. They wanted to blow up some things to send a message. I don't think you use the U.S. military simply to send a message. This strike was limited, but it had a clear strategic objective, which was the destruction or degrading of a key airbase installation that is used in these chemical attacks."
Rubio is one of several Republicans — including Trump — who have flipped from opposing post-chemical weapons airstrikes in 2013 to supporting them in 2017.