Two potential Republican presidential candidates weighed in on the hack of Sony Pictures by the North Korean government.
"The recent Sony hack is not a cyber attack on Hollywood," said Bobby Jindal, the two-term governor of Louisiana, in a statement. "[I]t is an attack on America. It is an attack on freedom and represents a serious danger to U.S. national security. Are we really going to let terrorists and thugs, likely the North Korean dictator in this instance, determine what movies we watch?"
Meanwhile, Florida senator Marco Rubio criticized Barack Obama's foreign policy and called on the president to "act swiftly" in response to North Korea. "The fact that North Korea was willing to conduct a flagrant cyber-attack against a major corporation and even threaten violence against Americans attending movie theaters across the country is another example of the devastating consequences that result when America projects weakness," said Rubio. "I call on the President to respond swiftly to undo the damage to freedom of speech and expression caused by Sony’s decision to not release ‘The Interview.’ I also look forward to hearing from administration officials what the United States’ response to this blatant violation of America’s sovereignty and security will be."
The FBI has concluded that the hack of Sony, which prompted a terroristic threat in response to a comedy movie that mocked North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, has been traced back to the government in Pyongyang. In his Friday afternoon press conference, President Obama condemned the hack. He also called Sony's decision not to release The Interview on its planned opening day, Christmas, a "mistake."
Other possible GOP candidates have remained quiet on the issue. Email inquiries to the offices of senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky, as well as to a spokesman for former Florida governor Jeb Bush, have not been returned. Both Rubio and Jindal said federal officials should do more in response to the cyber attack.
"The President and Congress must take a stand to protect our liberty here," Jindal said. Rubio urged the Obama administration to relist North Korea as a state sponsor of terror, criticizing the George W. Bush administration for taking the totaliarian nation off the list.
"North Korea continues to threaten its neighbors, develop its nuclear weapons program, and imprison thousands of its civilians in modern day gulags. It is also important to remember that just last year, Panama intercepted a North Korean ship that was involved in transferring weapons between North Korea and Cuba and that Cuba has been a staunch defender of Pyongyang at the United Nations," said Rubio, who has also been sharply critical of the decision earlier this week by the Obama administration to pursue normalization with Cuba.