WASHINGTON -- Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday he is ready to be president, becoming the second potential Republican candidate recently to drop big hints about 2016 as he vies for early attention in a crowded field of maybes.
Rubio of Florida said on ABC's "This Week" he is waiting until the end of the year to consider the decision, but he has a "vision" for the nation's future and a strategy for achieving it, among other qualifications he said he shared with other potential candidates.
"I do," he said when asked whether he thought he was ready for the presidency. "I mean, but I think that's true for multiple other people that would want to run."
Rubio's assertion came a week after Gov. Rick Perry of Texas offered his clearest indication yet he is considering another run, talking about his "botched" cam
paign in 2012 on NBC's "Meet the Press" and emphasizing Americans believe in "second chances."
With Rubio and Perry trailing other potential candidates such as Jeb Bush, a former governor of Florida, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in recent polls, the remarks could be interpreted as an early attempt to stand out in a field with no front-runner.
A Tea Party darling who drew fire for working with Democrats on immigration reform, Rubio appeared intent on shoring up support among conservative voters. As House Republicans assemble a panel to further investigate the 2012 attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, he took a shot at another potential 2016 candidate: Hillary Rodham Clinton.
"If she is going to run on her record as secretary of state, she's also going to have to answer for its massive failures," Rubio said.
After the Obama administration's release of a recent study saying the effects of climate change were already being felt, Rubio said he disagreed with scientists humans are having an effect on the "always evolving" climate.
"I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it," he said. "And I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy."