Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) seemingly changed his position on the Iraq war on Wednesday.
In a question-and-answer session with journalist Charlie Rose following a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, Rubio said he would not have supported invading the country in 2003 knowing what we know today.
However, in earlier interviews, Rubio said the invasion of Iraq was not a mistake and argued it left America better off.
“Not only would I not have been in favour of it, President [George W.] Bush wouldn’t have been in favour of it and he said so,” Rubio said on Wednesday when he was asked whether he would have supported the invasion of Iraq if he knew the country did not have weapons of mass destruction.
With his comments on Wednesday, Rubio joined a chorus of 2016 contenders who have said the Iraq war was a mistake. The topic became a major issue in the presidential race this week after former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) gave a series of shifting answers on whether he would have backed the war, which was led by his brother, former President George W. Bush
Though Rubio, who was elected in 2010, said he would not have supported the decision to go to war, he argued President Bush and leaders in Congress who backed the invasion were relying on “faulty” intelligence.
“President Bush has said that he regrets the intelligence was faulty,” Rubio said, later adding, “Ultimately though, I do not believe that if the intelligence had said Iraq does not have a weapon of mass destruction capability, I don’t believe President Bush would have authorised to move forward.”
This was a far cry from comments Rubio made in March on Fox News’ “The Five,” when he was asked by guest co-host Julie Roginsky if it was “a mistake to go to war” in Iraq.
“No,” Rubio began before he was cut off by the chatter of other show hosts.
He later declared, “The world is a better place because Saddam Hussein does not in Iraq.”
In a 2010 CNN interview, Rubio also responded in the affirmative when he was asked if America is “safer and better off” because of the Iraq war.
“First of all, the world is better off because Saddam Hussein is no longer in charge in Iraq. And I think we have to remind ourselves of that,” Rubio said. “The world is a better and safer place because Saddam Hussein no longer is in charge of that country.”
After the event at the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday, Business Insider attempted to ask Rubio about his apparent shift on the Iraq war. After saying hello, Rubio did not respond to multiple questions about how his comments on Wednesday squared with his past statements that the decision to invade Iraq was not a mistake and that the country was better off as a result. As Business Insider questioned Rubio an aide eventually stepped in.
“I don’t know who you are, but we’re not doing interviews,” the aide said.
NOW WATCH: 11 amazing facts about Vladimir Putin
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.