Rubio: Campus protests highlight ‘complete breakdown of law and order’

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Thursday morning that pro-Palestine protests on college campuses across the United States highlight a “complete breakdown of law and order.”

“You have hundreds of thousands of American students who can’t go back on campus, who feel threatened, who, in the middle of finals, are being disrupted,” Rubio said during an appearance on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom.”

“[They] paid a lot of money to go to these schools, [but are being disrupted by] a few thousand antisemitic zombies who have been brainwashed by two decades of indoctrination in the belief that the world is divided between victimizers and victims, and that the victimizers in this particular case, the ones that are oppressing people, are Jews in Israel,” he said.

Rubio’s comments come after pro-Palestine protests have popped up on university campuses across the country, with students protesting Israel’s war in Gaza. Protests at schools like Columbia University and the University of California, Los Angeles, have been in the spotlight with rising tensions and law enforcement breaking up encampments.

“These people are out there disrupting all of this,” Rubio said. “It’s a complete breakdown of law and order, and the president is not doing anything about it. The left is caught in this vise now.”

The Florida senator’s remarks came just hours before President Biden spoke from the White House, where he criticized facets of the protests and condemned vandalism and trespassing, but emphasized support for peaceful demonstrations.

“In moments like this, there are always those who rush in to score political points. But this isn’t a moment for politics. It’s a moment for clarity. So let me be clear … violent protest is not protected. Peaceful protest is,” Biden said Thursday.

Rubio said the students should bear the responsibility, arguing that a small portion of the body is rattling school proceedings for everybody else on campuses.

“But the students have to be [held] responsible for this,” Rubio said. “It’s important to point out that even if you said … it’s a small percentage of the student body [protesting], they’re disrupting [college] for everybody else.”

Rubio, who has been mentioned as a contender for former President Trump’s vice presidential pick, praised New York and California law enforcement for their response to the protests.

“I think they did a great job, the NYPD. I think that — great job by police in California as well, and we thank them for stepping in the line of duty on that regard,” Rubio said.

Trump praised the response from New York law enforcement officials who cleared demonstrators at Columbia. The former president praised their action after they entered Hamilton Hall and arrested dozens of people on Tuesday.

“But they did an incredible job,” Trump said Wednesday. “They went into one of the big buildings, a beautiful landmark building. Boy, it got the hell beat out of it last night. You know you’re supposed to take care of those buildings. It took a beating. But the police came in and in exactly two hours everything was over. It was a beautiful thing to watch. New York’s finest.”

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