‘New Cold War’ with China? Marco Rubio agrees with Rick Scott
Marco Rubio and Rick Scott.

scott rubio
Rubio uses softer language, but the message is the same.

Sen. Marco Rubio, on Fox and Friends Tuesday, did not go so far as to use Sen. Rick Scott‘s phrasing of a “new Cold War” with China.

But he came close enough, signing onto Scott’s rhetoric, albeit with more passive language.

“I think they are, and it is not just Australia. Obviously they have been forward leading on this and we need to do everything we can to be supportive of them. India has now had a number of border skirmishes with China in the last couple of weeks. Other countries in the region in New Zealand and other places have faced — Japan, that is an ongoing issue as well — I do think it is important to invest in that four country alliance, with Japan, with India, and with Australia included in that mix,” Rubio, the interim chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday.

“But look, this has been par for the course under President Xi Jinping, he’s been very, very aggressive. This Administration is finally standing up to him. But they have gotten away with this now for the better part of the decade leading up to this moment and of course culminating in what we are seeing here now in Hong Kong.”

Florida’s senior Senator had ample opportunity to piggyback the fiery rhetoric of his Republican colleague. While he agreed in substance, he seemed unwilling to dish out the headline-grabbing red meat on the subject Scott offered on Fox Business last week.

“This is a new Cold War,” Scott told host Charles Payne. “Communist China is an adversary.”

“We’re clearly going to ultimately sanction China.  We’re not going to let them sell things on our exchanges …. they’re clearly an adversary,” Scott said. “It’s Communist China run by the Communist Party of China.”

As if keyword stuffing the copy for search engine optimization purposes, the Senator soldiered on.

“American companies have come to the realization that Communist China is not our friend,” Scott said. “Think of how all these companies have been devastated by what Communist China did.”

“We’ve got to fight against an adversary and it’s called the Communist Party of China,” Scott added.

Scott’s lack of nuance presented a marked contrast to Rubio’s measured words, obscuring considerable policy overlap between the two.

Scott’s fiery rhetoric over the New Cold War is backed up with policy recommendations, including pushes for corporate disinvestment in China and consumer boycotts of Chinese products. But it’s the hot quotes that go viral.

Rubio, in the Senate for going on eight years, is every bit as much of a China hawk as Scott. He even contended that the state of Florida needs to divest from retirement savings in Chinese assets, a practice ongoing since the Scott administration.

For whatever reason, though, Rubio is letting Scott set the rhetorical agenda in what appears to be a nascent generational conflict.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • DisplacedCTYankee

    May 26, 2020 at 10:31 am

    “Communist China is not our friend,” Scott said.

    If Trump has his way, there’s not a country on earth that will be our friend.

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