WASHINGTON, DC–Praising President Donald Trump for his much-anticipated remarks denouncing the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists by name, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) told NBC News he expected the problem to be resolved in “weeks”.*
Rubio acknowledged that Trump “took his time” to issue a proper condemnation, and was actually one of several Republicans to criticize the White House’s initial response to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, VA. In his first remarks on the incident, Trump denounced violence “on many sides” and failed to condemn any specific groups or ideologies.
Trump’s early comments were widely seen as out of character for an outspoken president with a famously porous filter between his thoughts and his Twitter feed.
Despite his criticism of the president, Rubio claimed he never doubted that President Trump would come through. “President Trump had the courage to call out Radical Islamic Terrorism (TM) long before other politicians, including Barack Obama. So I knew Trump would do what was necessary here and identify the evil in Charlottesville by its name,” Rubio said.
The young Florida senator was referring to a longstanding controversy between Democrats and Republicans during the Obama Administration that flared up after each new high-profile terrorist attack with some connection to Islam.
Throughout his tenure, President Obama was comfortable doling out collective punishment against Middle Eastern Muslims by carrying out lethal airstrikes and supporting repressive dictatorships in the region, but he drew the line at criticizing Islam in the wake of a terrorist attack. Obama was concerned about stoking growing Islamophobia in the US and did not want to give further rhetorical ammunition to jihadist groups that claimed the US War on Terror was really a war on Islam. (See note)
On the other side of the issue, Republicans like Rubio, Trump, and others demanded that Obama call the evil by name and condemn Radical Islam. Indeed Republicans argued that the enemy could not be defeated unless it was first identified.
Of course, history has proven that the Republican assessment to be correct.
Starting with his inaugural address, Trump began condemning Radical Islamic Terrorism. Shortly thereafter, Al Qaeda, ISIS, and their sympathizers began laying down their arms and promptly stopped conducting brutal terrorist attacks against random civilians, redounding to the benefit of all.
Senator Rubio pointed to this success story to justify an optimistic prediction on the present crisis: “Now that President Trump called out the enemy, I expect the white supremacy problem will probably be wrapped up in a matter of weeks.”
Editor’s note, 8/15/2017: An earlier version of this article claimed that President Obama did not want to give ammunition to jihadist groups. This was misleading. In fact, President Obama did give literal ammunition to some jihadist groups through intermediaries. However, he tried to avoid giving them rhetorical ammunition by singling out Islam. The text has been updated for clarity, and we apologize for the error.
*This is a satirical post. Direct quotes attributed to Marco Rubio, among other aspects, are fictional in nature.