Rubio: Captured Terrorists Will Get ‘One-Way Ticket to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba’


Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said during the GOP debate Thursday night that he would send any captured Islamic State terrorists to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay as president, implying he would keep the detention center open while President Obama is seeking to close it before he leaves office.

Responding to a question posed by moderator Neil Cavuto on how severe a threat ISIS poses to the United States, Rubio said the country is at war with the jihadist group and the larger "radical jihadist" movement.

The Senator from Florida promised to win the war, adding he will use all resources at America's disposal to defeat ISIS.

"The most powerful intelligence agency in the world is going to tell us where they are; the most powerful military in the world is going to destroy them; and if we capture any of them alive, they are getting a one-way ticket to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and we are going to find out everything they know."

Rubio's statement on Guantanamo Bay comes the same day Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that he is readying a plan for President Obama to move some detainees from Guantanamo to the United States, likely to a secure prison in Colorado.

President Obama has made it a priority since his 2008 campaign to close the detention facility and has released several suspected terrorists overseas in recent months to be watched by foreign countries.

Rubio also lambasted President Obama's overall strategy to defeat ISIS during his response, arguing the president does not take the threat seriously and views the United States as an "arrogant global power" rather than a "great global power."

He also went after Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, saying she is disqualified from being commander-in-chief because of her alleged mishandling of classified information with her private server for emails and her role in the 2012 Benghazi attack.

Aaron Kliegman

Aaron Kliegman   Email | Full Bio | RSS
Aaron Kliegman is the news editor of the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Aaron worked as a research associate at the Center for Security Policy, a national security think tank, and as the deputy field director on Micah Edmond's campaign for U.S. Congress. In December 2016, he received his master's degree from Johns Hopkins University’s Global Security Studies Program in Washington, D.C., with a concentration in strategic studies. He graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2014 and lives in Leesburg, Virginia. His Twitter handle is @Aaron_Kliegman. He can be reached at

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