"Here's why," Rubio continued. "We no longer, on an ongoing basis, detain terrorists, and so we're not getting interrogation. They're killed by a drone, or they're targeted in some other way, but there's tremendous value in capturing people that are enemy combatants and, from them, being able to gather actionable intelligence that can not only prevent attacks against the homeland and abroad, but allow us to disrupt their cells that they've created in different parts of the world."
Rubio, who publicly announced his 2016 run for president in the exclusive ABC interview, had previously supported keeping the prison open. Home to military detainees from the U.S. "Global War on Terror" from the George W. Bush presidency, Obama has sought to transfer detainees out of the prison but has struggled to close it despite his pledge to do so.
Rubio also vowed to reverse course on Obama's recent diplomatic endeavors with Iran, with which the United States is working to finalize a nuclear pact, and Cuba, with which Obama has opened diplomatic relations.
"I think from a national-security perspective, this deal with Iran is an extremely dangerous one," Rubio said when asked what he would do on his first day as president. "I think the next president of the United States is going to have to deal with that on day number one."
Of the diplomatic opening with Cuba, Rubio said, "I would reverse every single one of the decisions that [Obama] made."