GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio said Friday that he understands why President Barack Obama was cautious with his words on the San Bernardino shootings, but still, the senator contended that the killings were not workplace-related, and said further gun control efforts will not stop mass shootings from happening.
"This was not workplace-related other than the fact the person returned to their workplace and killed people there," the Florida senator told Fox News' "Fox & Friends."
"They possessed dozens of pipe bombs. My sense is that these people were clearly planning a broader attack. He went back and said let's start it now because I'm upset."
But whether the Inland Regional Center was the initial target for the attacks, the fact remains that Syed Rizwan Farook, an American citizen, and his wife, Pakistani national Tashfeen Malik, had been "radicalized and were planning something broader . . . You don't build pipe bombs and set up booby traps unless you're planning something," said Rubio.
But when the news first broke the first thing Democrats started talking about was gun control, said Rubio.
"I didn't hear anybody talking about bomb control," he said. "They put bombs and left bombs behind on the scene of attack intending to kill even more people than they did with guns."
And it's "symptomatic" of the larger issue that Obama is reluctant to say what the problem is, said the senator.
"We do not have this under control," Rubio said. "It is not contained. Every time one of these incidents occurs, it proves that. You can see in the original reaction they were hoping this was just another one of these incidents and instead it's turned into increasingly likely a terrorist attack."
And homegrown extremists are the "biggest danger we face," he told the program. "It's the likeliest way ISIS or al-Qaeda will attack our country and hardest to disrupt because these are not individuals that would have wound up on any database. These two people, these monsters that conducted this terrorist attack, are not people who would have known anything about until they did this."
As for gun control, "criminals will always have access to weapons," Rubio continued. "That's why it's important that law-abiding citizens have access to the ability to protect themselves. California, for example, has strict gun laws. France has very strict gun laws."
Rubio said the United States also needs to rebuild its intelligence capabilities, which were diminished by recent legislation.
"Beyond it, you must destroy ISIS," he said. "You have to be clear that we're at war with ISIS. We're going to destroy their ability to spew propaganda and put out their online publication and to inspire people to attack us. We're at war with jihadists."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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