Marco Rubio said on Thursday that if ISIS is defeated by a Western military force as opposed to a predominately Sunni Arab force, "something new will pop up and replace them."
Rubio has generally said that Sunni Arabs will have to take the lead in the fight against ISIS, with assistance from a smaller number of U.S. special forces.
On Thursday, Rubio told New Hampshire radio host Jack Heath, "I've said repeatedly that the only way to defeat ISIS is for them to be rejected ideologically and defeated militarily by a ground force made up primarily of Sunni Arabs. Otherwise, if you defeat them with a Western force—you can defeat them militarily, but something new will pop up and replace them."
Rubio made the comment while answering a question about Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, which he said "has no chance of ever happening," and called "counter-productive," adding that the U.S. was "going to have to work with non-radical Muslims to defeat radical Islam."
Rubio said that he wanted Muslims in the United States to come forward if they notice those in their community, including family members, exhibiting signs of radicalization."
"We want the patriotic Muslims in the United States to come forward when they see someone, whether it's at the mosque or in their community or even in their families quite frankly who are exhibiting signs of radicalization," he said. "So I think it's important for us to be careful about who we allow into the country. I don't think a religious test is the right way to do it and in fact I think it would prove to be counter-productive."
Christopher Massie is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Christopher Massie at Christopher.Massie@buzzfeed.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.