Marco Rubio Quotes 'Taken' To Explain His Terrorism Position, Because Why Not?

As you may or may not have heard, Florida Senator Marco Rubio is a man of potentially national significance. He's one of six Republicans who've actually thrown their hats in the ring for 2016 so far, alongside the likes of Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz. Obviously, running to become President of the United States is a daunting process, and it calls for regular chances to prove your preparation, seriousness and political mettle. So how's this for seizing the spotlight: Marco Rubio quoted Taken to explain his terrorism position during the South Carolina Freedom Summit Saturday.

It's clear that it wasn't some sort of unplanned one-off, but rather a tough-talk moment that his campaign was proud of — they followed it up on Twitter with a meme of the film's star, Liam Neeson, about an hour later. So, which line from the high-octane 2008 thriller did Rubio quote to answer "what should our strategy be on global jihadists and terrorism?" If you go with your gut, you'll probably guess it — it's the tail-end of the most popularly memorable line in the whole film, the brief, stoically badass monologue that virtually spawned a film franchise.

I refer them to the movie Taken. Have you seen the movie Taken? Liam Neeson? He has a line, and this is what our strategy should be: "We will look for you, we will find you, and we will kill you."

Now, you might be thinking something like "hey, isn't that kind of a silly thing to say about a serious geopolitical issue?" And you'd be right — just like when politicians and pundits would cite the TV show 24 as some kind of hypothetical barometer in discussing torture, like Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia reportedly did at a conference in 2007. This kind of fictional inspiration isn't inherently partisan, but it always strikes a strange chord whenever elected politicians start talking policy via the plots of TV or film writers.

It's also entirely unclear whether Rubio wants to invoke the Taken franchise writ large, or just the generally positively regarded first installment. If anything, the next two movies — box office successes and critical flops — cut somewhat against his analogy. For all the gravitas loaded into his speech, it's not as though the cold-blooded approach saved Neeson's character much trouble, or enhanced his family's security (in this analogy, I guess Rubio would be our national dad). After all, while I don't want to reveal any spoilers, his situation doesn't exactly improve after the conclusion of the first film.

In any event, Rubio clearly relished the opportunity to hand-feed a snappy line to the conservative die-hards at the South Carolina Freedom Summit. Hopefully as the campaign moves on we'll get more specifics and less memes, although with Rand Paul also in the race, who knows.