Portman: 'Can't Think of a Single Place in the World Where We're Better Off Today'

By Susan Jones | February 20, 2014 | 8:11 AM EST

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - "I can't think of a single place in the world where we're better off today than we were four years ago," Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Thursday.

"And part of it is this lack of resolve -- the sense that the United States is not going to be there for our allies. And if we're not there for our allies, our enemies notice that. So look, this is very concerning."

Portman said the United States has not been consistent in its dealings with Syria, for example, as President Obama backed away from his "red line" on chemical weapons.

He said America is "on the sidelines" when it comes to negotiating new trade agreements; and he said the U.S military should make its presence known in the world's hot spots: "If we're not involved, things tend to get very chaotic very quickly, and we see that in the Middle East right now."

Portman said the U.S. needs to stand with people "who are supporting democracy and freedom -- and that's a red line that we've drawn historically."

As an advocate of marriage "equality," Portman says he thinks it's a matter for the states to decide, not the federal courts.

As for his rumored presidential ambitions, he said he is not thinking about 2016 yet, because he is focused on getting a Republican majority in the Senate.

"I think it will change the dynamic in a way that gets the president to the table, deals with some of these issues." Obamacare needs to be repealed and replaced with something that works, he said: "And your only chance of doing that is to change things up in Washington, get some new leadership, get some new ideas."