A vote "to reaffirm the prohibition on torture" split the Senate Republican presidential aspirants Tuesday, revealing an intraparty divide in the war on terror's long debate on how to appropriately interrogate detainees.
On Tuesday, the Senate voted on an amendment by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain and California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein to expand upon a 2005 bill targeting the Pentagon to include all government intelligence agencies. The amendment, which would codify President Obama's 2009 executive order allowing only interrogation techniques authorized and listed in the Army Field Manual, passed 78 to 21, over the opposition of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and most Republican members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
But the amendment divided the four Senate Republicans intent on winning the White House in 2016. Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida were against it, while Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas voted for it.
"I do not support telegraphing to the enemy what interrogation techniques we will or won't use, and denying future commanders in chief and intelligence officials important tools for protecting the American people and the U.S. homeland," said Rubio, who did not vote Tuesday. "I would have voted 'no' on this amendment."