Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on Friday threw his support behind President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of defense.
"Just as he has done throughout his decorated 44-year military career, General James Mattis will serve our nation honorably and effectively as our next secretary of defense," Rubio said in a prepared statement. "General Mattis will bring an unparalleled level of real-world experience, a pragmatic and clear-eyed view of the world and America's unique role in it, and a principled commitment to America's values."
At his confirmation hearing, Mattis received an overwhelming vote in his favor in waving the law prohibiting military officials from leading the Pentagon within seven years of their service, a strong sign of support from the Senate.
"Let me say very bluntly: If there were ever a case for a waiver of that principle, it is you at this moment in our history," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., according to CNN. "Your appreciation for the costs of war in blood, treasure and lives, and the impact on veterans afterward, will enable you to be a check on rash and potentially ill-considered use of military force by a president-elect who perhaps lacks that same appreciation."
Rubio echoed Blumenthal's sentiment.
"The United States and our allies live in a dangerous world, with enemies and adversaries that fundamentally hate our values and way of life and are intent on destroying us. As General Mattis clearly and unequivocally articulated in his confirmation hearing this week, the United States is 'under the biggest attack since World War II,' and 'that's from Russia, from terrorist groups and with what China is doing in the South China Sea.' He understands these prime threats, and the many others he will encounter as defense secretary, including the need to rebuild our nation's military after years of devastating defense cuts.
"General Mattis has answered the call to serve our nation well, and I believe he will improve the state of readiness in our military to defend this great democracy. For these reasons, I support his nomination."
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