When Donald Trump could not answer Hugh Hewitt’s question on the nuclear triad during the fifth GOP debate Tuesday night, Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) was kind enough to take the time to explain what the nuclear triad was to him and any other Americans who may not have known.
Trump was asked to offer his opinion on which leg of the nuclear triad, decried by many as outdated, he believed was most crucial to update. The Republican frontrunner did not appear to understand the topic.
Recent Stories in National Security
In his original answer, Trump said it was important to have a strong leader with sound judgment during perilous times. He then trailed off to talking about opposing the Iraq War and how important limiting nuclear proliferation is. The response did not touch on Hewitt’s question, so he asked again.
"I think for me nuclear – the power, the devastation is very important to me," Trump said in his second attempt.
Hewitt then offered the question to Rubio. The young senator elected to explain what the nuclear triad is to "people at home," although it appeared to be a veiled swipe at Trump for not knowing what it was.
Rubio delivered a summary of the nuclear weapons delivery system of the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal. He listed off the three legs: strategic bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
While he claimed all three were critical to create a deterrent for the enemies of America, Rubio said submarines have become more critical. He advocated for the upgrading of the Ohio submarine fleet, called for upgrading the B52, and wanted a modernization program for ballistic missiles.