Marco Rubio Says ISIS is Too Scary For the First Amendment at GOP Debate

Florida senator calls threat from radical jihadists "unprecedented."


At tonight's Republican presidential debate,

Too scared for free speech.
Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly reminded Florida Senator Marco Rubio that he had previously told her he supports closing down mosques and diners (presumably ones frequented by Muslims) if they are suspected of being meeting places for radical jihadists.

Kelly reminded Rubio, "The Supreme Court has made clear that hateful speech is generally protected by the First Amendment. In other words, radical Muslims have the right to be radical Muslims unless they turn to terror." She then asked, "Doesn't your position run afoul of the First Amendment?"

Rubio responded:

That's the problem. Radical Muslims and radical Islam is not just hate talk, it's hate action. They blow people up. Look at what they did in San Bernardino, look at the attack they inspired in Philadelphia…where a guy shot a police officer three times, told the police 'I did it because I was inspired by ISIS.'

The threat we face from ISIS is unprecedented. There has never been a jihadist group like this. They have affiliates in over a dozen countries now. They are the best-funded radical jihadist group in the history of the world. And they have shown a sophisticated understanding of the laws of other countries on how to insert fighters into places…

When I am president of the United States, if there is some place in this country where radical jihadists are planning to attack the United States, we will go after them wherever they are and if we capture them alive they are going to Guantanamo.

The GOP contenders are all fond of mocking the sentiments of the mainstream media, left-wing eggheads, and the idea that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are constantly looking to Europe as their model for America. But by hyperventilating over a jihadist group that has not yet been able to orchestrate an attack on the US that even remotely matches the devastation caused by ISIS' forbear on 9/11/01, Rubio unwittingly apes the very "elitist" entities so despised by the Republican base. 

You know who else thinks ISIS is an "unprecedented" threat far too scary and sophisticated to allow for constitutionally-protected free expression? Notorious First Amendment nemesis and University of Chicago professor Eric Posner, as well as the veritable boogeyman for American conservatives, The New York Times, which recently expressed similar "second thoughts" about the First Amendment.

Rubio supports extralegal spying on American Muslims? The New York Values of the NYPD just had to settle a lawsuit over that.

And what nation of Old Europe drives Republicans crazier than France? Well, their recent draconian crackdown on civil liberties, including the shuttering of mosques and warrantless searches of Muslim-owned business, should warm Rubio's security hawk heart and send chills down the spines of anyone who believes in due process and the protection of unpopular speech.

NEXT: Rand Paul Claims He's Rightful Heir to 'Liberty Vote' in GOP Debate

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  1. Yep. He's flushing the first amendment down the toilet on account of a bunch of guys who ride around in used pickup trucks and who have killed fewer Americans than die by falling in bathtubs in a month. How he doesn't get laughed out of the room is a mystery.

    1. Maybe he should be more concerned about closer to home. It's not even summer.


      1. Nope. For some reason people are way more scared of guys trying to look like low rent cobra footsoldiers several thousand miles away than they are of people actually killing Americans. Maybe it's the face masks.

        1. Easier to build and sell a boogeyman if he's far away and looks and talks different than us.

  2. Yeah, I just turned it on for 10 minutes, mainly to see what look Megyn was rocking (yum). Rubio was the main reason I turned it off. I don't know how tall be is, but he acts like someone with a Napolean complex. I just see a little kid trying to be big. Carson clearly has no business even being up there. It's one thing to be wrong, but to have no clue what your even talking about. He would be better off just saying he doesn't give a shit about foreign policy. We have enough problems of our own and leaving it at that.

    1. I have to say, the honesty would be kind of refreshing.

  3. The threat we face from ISIS is unprecedented.

    I can believe the pants shitting / actual threat ratio is unprecedented, but that's about it.

    1. Nazi Germany, potential nuclear armegeddon: child's play compared to the threat we face from ISIS today! Did you hear that they want to establish a caliphate? A *caliphate*, I tell you! And they can make videos where they kill ones of people!! Haven't you heard?!

      Now go hide under your bed while Our Betters go poke more hornet's nests and spend all the money we don't have.

    2. Evidently he never heard of the Comanche and Apache, or the Wabanaki Confederacy and Mi'kmaq Militia of a generation before.

  4. You know who else thinks ISIS is an "unprecedented" threat far too scary and sophisticated to allow for constitutionally-protected free expression?

    Was ISIS around in Germany in 1938? I don't think Fisher's playing right.

  5. We have to give up all our liberties or else the terrorists win.

    1. To be fair, then they would not be able to hate us for our freedoms.

  6. Like Rubio, my bowels are currently rumbling. Excuse me!

    1. Phew. Unlike Rubio, I made it to the lavatory in time, and my pants remain unshatted.

      1. But did you check to see if ISIS was in the bathroom? Did you?! They could be anywhere, so make sure to give the government more money.

  7. The only way we can prevent ISIS from attacking our freedom is to get rid of it ourselves!

    The only way to prevent the cops from taking me to jail is to go hide in a cage somewhere!

    My parents can't ground me if I just spend all my time in my room and never interact with my friends!

    There's no way I could get rejected if I just never ask anyone out!

    You can't fire me! I quit!

    If I never have any money in the first place there's no way I could get robbed!

    Seriously, why do people think it's so hard to solve problems?

  8. Seriously though, as much as I like a guy like Rand who seems calm and collected when discussing foreign policy and usually doesn't get caught up in all the "rah, rah, guns and testosterone!" type rhetoric, it would actually be sort of refreshing to hear a politician say something like "this is America. We aren't like those pansy-ass Europeans who will cave into Muslims and refuse to defend themselves, this is the land of the free and the home of the brave, and we got more guns than anyone else. So c'mon and fuck with us ISIS, but you can be sure as shit that for every bullet you fire you'll have ten flying back at your ass."

    I mean, it has a little bit too much blind patriotism andposturing for my libertarian sensibilities, but it would probably play well with Republicans and might lead to some sort of sane outcomes (you know, because ISIS isn't invading us anyway, so we can pretend we bullied them into backing down because 'Murica)

    1. Like instead of something like "oh no, someone might come hurt me, I better get really nervous and get in to stupid fights randomly to show everyone how much of a man I am," to something like "I'm the biggest and baddest motherfucker in the bar and I know it. So I won't bother wasting my time going over to you because I know that if any of you fuck with me you'll end up with a pool cue up your ass," type of thing.

      I am pretty drunk, so there's at least a 70% I wake up and realize most of this is semi coherent none sense, but it feels like I have a point.

      1. "Speak softly, and carry a big stick."

  9. We killed 6000 'ISIS members' in the last 3 months. Maybe we just need to kill more. And oh yeah, be sure to restrict the freedom to question the wisdom of this strategy.

  10. "Unprecedented danger"?

    In the 1930's there were pro-Nazi marches on 86th Street in Manhattan with tens of thousands of participants. More Americans could claim German ancestry than any other ethnicity. The US economy was essentially fascistic in nature with cries for more controls. The president railed against "the malefactors of great wealth". Fascism was popular among the literati, Cole Porter wrote a song with a line in it "You're top, you're Mussolini" and Rubio says that we have never faced such a dangerous enemy? This goes well beyond demagoguery, this borders on psychosis.

    The only thing that seems to be unprecedented is the unprecedented use of the word "unprecedented".

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