HILLARY CLINTON: I don't think we're at war with Islam. I don't think we're at war with all Muslims. I think we're at war with jihadists. We are at war with violent extremism. We are at war with people who use their religion for purposes of power and oppression and, yes, we are at war with those people, but I don't want us to be painting with two broad a brush.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You saw Secretary Clinton there did not want to use the words radical Islam. Your response.MARCO RUBIO: I think that's, I don't understand it. That would be like saying we weren't at war with Nazis because we were afraid to offend some Germans who may have been members of the Nazi party, but weren't violent themselves. We are at war with radical Islam, with an interpretation of Islam by a significant number of people around the world who they believe now justifies them in killing those who don't agree with their ideology. This is a clash of civilizations. And as I said at the debate earlier this week, there is no middle ground on this. Either they win or we win, and we need to begin to take this seriously.
This exchange got some attention. But as far as I could see it was treated as yet another replay of the same old argument about whether or not you're willing to say "radical Islam." But it deserved more attention. Because it was pretty dramatically different from the standard line you hear from mainstream Republicans.
Public diplomacy is not usually long on nuance. So whatever comes after, start with the fact that Rubio directly compares Islam to Nazism, which is a pretty mind-boggling thing for a serious contender for the presidency to say. ...