Marco Rubio

  • Aired:  06/25/12
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Florida Senator Marco Rubio, author of "An American Son," explains why legislators on both sides of the Senate shy away from prioritizing immigration issues. (9:59)

>> Jon: THAT'S GOOD WINE.

I JUST TALKED TO SENATOR MARCO RUBIO.

THERE WILL PROBABLY BE LIKE WE TALK FOR A VERY LONG TIME MOSTLY ABOUT FAMILY.

THERE WILL BE A HARD EDIT.

THEN THE REST OF IT WILL BE UP ON THE WEB.

SO, YOU KNOW, COOK A TURKEY AND STICK AROUND FOR IT.

WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT, A UNITED STATES SENATOR FOR THE GREAT STATE OF FLORIDA.

HIS NEW MEMOIR IS CALLED "AN AMERICAN SON." PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM

SENATOR MARCO RUBIO.

>> THANK YOU.

Jon: THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE THANK YOU.

Jon: MARCO RUBIO, AN AMERICAN SON.

I HAVE LEARNED MANY THINGS FROM THIS BOOK.

ONE, YOU MARRIED UP.

LET'S FACE FACTS

>> THAT'S CORRECT.

THAT'S RIGHT

>> Jon: TWO, YOU WERE A FREE SAFETY.

IN FOOTBALL YOU WERE A FREE SAFETY IN COLLEGE

>> WELL, YEAH, I WASN'T VERY GOOD.

>> Jon: YOU WERE THE STARTING FREE SAFETY.

>> YEAH, I MEAN, I WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER IF I HAD SIZE, SPEED AND TALENT

>> Jon: BUT YOU HAD HEART.

I HAD A HEART.

Jon: IT WAS NOT A DIVISION 1 SCHOOL BUT IT WAS...

>> WASN'T EVEN A DIVISION 3 SCHOOL.

IT WAS A SMALL SCHOOL

>> Jon: IT WENT BANKRUPT BUT IT WAS STILL A SCHOOL.

>> NOT BECAUSE OF ME THOUGH.

Jon: A LOT ABOUT, LISTEN, IT IS CLEAR YOUR EXPERIENCE IN FLORIDA AS AN IMMIGRANT.

THIS MUST BE A VERY INTERESTING TIME FOR YOU AS A SENATOR.

YOU ARE PART OF THIS SORT OF CONSERVATIVE YOUNG GUARD BUT YOU ALSO HAVE VERY STRONG FEELINGS

TOWARDS IMMIGRATION.

THIS IS ALL COMING TOGETHER AT ONE POINT.

HOW ARE YOU NAVIGATING THAT GAP?

>> I TALK ABOUT THAT IN THE BOOK.

FOR SOMEONE THAT COMES FROM WHERE I COME FROM, A FAMILY OF IMMIGRANTS, NEIGHBORHOOD OF IMMIGRANTS.

MY WIFE'S FAMILY ARE IMMIGRANTS.

THE ISSUE IS OVERSIMPLIFIED BY BOTH SIDES.

ON THE ONE HAND, WE HAVE TO RECOGNIZE THAT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE HERE ARE HERE BECAUSE

THEY'RE LOOKING FOR A BETTER LIFE FOR THEIR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.

THEY'RE DOING WHAT WE WOULD DO.

WE WERE SO DESPERATEMENT ON THE OTHER HAND WE CAN'T BE THE ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD THAT

DOESN'T HAVE AN IMMIGRATION SYSTEM THAT'S ENFORCED.

IT'S ALSO A GOOD OPPORTUNITY TO REMIND PEOPLE THAT AMERICA HAS

BEEN WELL SERVED BY IMMIGRATION.

WE HAVE A MILLION PEOPLE A YEAR LEGALLY IMMIGRATE HERE.

WE HAVE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WAITING TO COME HERE LEGALLY THAT ARE ARE DOING IT THE RIGHT WAY.

BUT IT'S A DIFFICULT BALANCING ACT BETWEEN THOSE TWO THINGS THAT I OUTLINED.

I TRIED TO CAPTURE THAT IN THE BOOK AND TO ADMIT I DON'T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS.

IT'S COMPLICATED

>> Jon: DO YOU HAVE DIFFICULTY WITH YOUR OWN CAUCUS ON THIS ISSUE BECAUSE THAT IS NOT THE

RHETORIC I HEAR COMING OUT OF EVEN YOUR NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT OR ROMNEY-EE

>> I THINK FIRST OF ALL WHAT I EXPERIENCE WHEN I FIRST CAME INTO THE SENATE IS NO ONE WANTED

TO TALK ABOUT IMMIGRATION BECAUSE THE PEOPLE WHO HAD TALKED ABOUT IT AND DEALT WITH

IT A FEW YEARS AGO FELT BURNED BY IT.

IT HAD BEEN A VERY BAD EXPERIENCE.

IT HAD BEEN HIGHLY POLITICIZED

>> Jon: THE REAGAN PROGRAM?

TALKING ABOUT THE DEBATE IN 2005-2006, 2007.

ALL THAT EPISODE.

I THINK MANY PEOPLE IN MY CONFERENCES WANTED TO TALK ABOUT OTHER ISSUES.

THE TRUTH IS THERE ARE SOME ON THE DEMOCRATIC THAT FEEL THE SAME WAY.

IN ADDITION TO ALL THAT WE HAVE A LOT OF BIG ISSUES GOING ON.

ONE OF THE THINGS I HAVE TO TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT IS WHY SHOULD IT BE IMMIGRATION IN FRONT OF

TAXES, REGULATIONS, THE DEBT, ET CETERA?

THOSE ARE BIG ISSUES TOO.

>> Jon: IT BRINGS UP AN INTERESTING POINT BECAUSE I NOTICE THAT THE NUANCED

PERSPECTIVE YOU HAVE ON IMMIGRATION OFTENTIMES IS BASED ON... YOU HAVE DEEP AND HEART

FELT FEELINGS ABOUT IT.

YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH IT.

DICK CHENEY.

HE HAS A DIFFERENT VIEW ON GAY MARRIAGE THAN MANY OF THE CONSERVATIVES THAT HE WOULD

COMPROMISE WITH.

HIS DAUGHTER IS GAY.

JOHN McCAIN HAS A DIFFERENT THOUGHT ABOUT INTERROGATION BECAUSE HE WAS INTERROGATED.

IT MAKES ME WONDER THAT, YOU KNOW, THERE IS SO MUCH WITHIN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY THAT IS

ABOUT THESE ENTITLEMENTS AND THESE THINGS THAT HAPPEN.

IS IT THAT IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH SOMETHING AND YOU UNDERSTAND THE COMPLEXITY OF

IT BECAUSE YOU'VE EXPERIENCED IT, IT NO LONGER BECOMES AN ENTITLEMENT.

IT'S THIS VALID ISSUE THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED IN A NUANCED WAY?

THAT DOESN'T SEEM TO BE THE WAY THE REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE GENERALLY APPROACHES THESE, WHAT

YOU WOULD CALL, SPECIAL INTEREST ISSUES

>> I WOULDN'T LIMIT THAT TO JUST REPUBLICANS.

IT'S TRUE IN POLITICS.

ONE OF THE THINGS I TALK ABOUT IN THE BOOK IS IF YOU GREW UP IN A HISPANIC NEIGHBORHOOD

SURROUNDED BY IMMIGRANTS YOU'RE NOT IN FAVOR OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION BUT AT THE SAME TIME

YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS IN THAT POSITION

>> Jon: NO ONE IS IN FAVOR OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.

I MEANT MORE THAT THE RHETORIC FROM THE CONSERVATIVES I GUESS TO ME DOESN'T MATCH THE REALITY

OF THE POLITICAL SITUATION ON THE GROUND

>> AS I SAID THERE HAS BEEN LANGUAGE USED IN THE PAST.

I WOULDN'T SAY THAT'S JUST CONSERVATIVES.

THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT IMMIGRATION THAT ARE LEGITIMATE

>> Jon: I DON'T MEAN JUST IMMIGRATION.

WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THE POLITICAL STALEMATE AND THE CORROSE I HAVENESS OF THE

DEBATE, IT FEELS LIKE THE CONSERVATIVES HAVE OR THE REPUBLICANS HAVE GOTTEN IN THEIR

HEAD, AS YOU SAID, THIS IS THE MOST DIVISIVE PRESIDENT IN HISTORY.

I THINK IT WAS SOMETHING YOU HAD SAID

>> I THINK IN MODERN TIMES.

MY CONCERN IS THAT THE PRESIDENT AND THE WHITE HOUSE HAVE GIVEN UP ON THE CHANCE HE HAD IN 2008

TO BE DIFFERENT.

I DON'T AGREE WITH THE PRESIDENT'S POLICIES.

I DIDN'T AGREE WITH THEM IN 2008 BUT I HIGHLIGHT IN THE BOOK IN '08 WHEN HE WAS ELECTED I

UNDERSTOOD THE HISTORIC NATURE OF THIS ELECTION.

MORE IMPORTANTLY THE OPPORTUNITY HE HAD TO ELEVATE MANY OF THESE ISSUES.

I LOOK AT THE PRESIDENT TODAY AND HE'S NOT THE SAME PERSON.

HE'S BECOME LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE IN WASHINGTON.

HE HAD A CHANCE TO BE DIFFERENT EVEN THOUGH I DISAGREED WITH HIM ON THESE ISSUES

>> Jon: WHEN YOU SAY THAT, I GUESS WHAT'S HARD FOR ME, WHERE DID YOU SAY HE WAS THE MOST

DIVISIVE PRESIDENT.

>> IT WASN'T A SHOW BUT A SPEECH.

IT WAS A SPEECH I GAVE IN SOUTH CAROLINA.

I'VE SAID THAT BEFORE.

I THINK WHAT I'M TRYING TO SAY IS AT THE THE END OF THE DAY ON ISSUE AFTER ISSUE I SEE THE

WHITE HOUSE TRYING TO PIT PEOPLE AGAINST EACH OTHER NOT ONLY THE WHITE HOUSE BUT I SEE THE WHITE

HOUSE DOING THAT DELIBERATELY PITTING PEOPLE AGAINST EACH OTHER.

MEN VERSUS WOMEN EVEN ONE GROUP OF HISPANICS AGAINST ANOTHER GROUP OF HISPANICS.

I'VE SEEN INSINNATION LIKE HISPANICS ARE NOT LIKE OTHERS.

I DON'T THINK THAT SERVES THE COUNTRY WELL.

THAT'S AN ABANDONMENT OF THE UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY HE HAD

>> Jon: DO YOU FEEL THAT THE REPUBLICANS ARE NOT AS DIVISIVE

>> POLITICS TODAY IS DIVISIVE.

PEOPLE PICK ON THAT.

I'VE CALLED OUT MY OWN PARTY.

I GAVE A SPEECH JUST A WEEK AGO WHERE I BLAMED BOTH SIDES FOR OVERSIMPLIFYING THE ISSUE.

WHEN I PROPOSED AN IDEA ABOUT HOW TO, FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU DON'T AGREE WITH THEIR SPECIFIC

IDEAS ON IMMIGRATION THEY SAY YOU'RE ANTI-IMMIGRANT,

ANTI-HISPANIC

>> Jon: I HAVE NOT SEEN THAT AT A LEVEL... GETTING BACK TO WE'LL

TALK ABOUT JUST IN THE SENATE.

THE REPUBLICAN FILIBUSTER.

THE REPUBLICAN FILIBUSTER HAS BEEN USED I THINK MORE THAN TWICE AS MUCH AS EVER IN THE

HISTORY OF THE SENATE.

THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE SENATE.

IN THE YEARS WHEN THE DEMOCRATS WERE THE MINORITY THEY USED I THINK THE HIGHEST WAS 79.

TWO YEARS AGO THE REPUBLICAN USED IT 140 TIMES.

137.

112.

THEY HAVE SAID OUR PRIORITY IS TO MAKE HIM A ONE-TERM PRESIDENT.

OUR IDEA OF COMPROMISE IS HE DOES EXACTLY WHAT WE DO.

EVEN THE IDEAS THAT HAD THEIR GENESIS IN REPUBLICAN THINK TANKS, THINGS LIKE CAP-AND-TRADE

OR THINGS LIKE AN INSURANCE MANDATE, THE REPUBLICANS -- BECAUSE IT'S OBAMA -- REFUSE TO

EVEN LISTEN TO HIM.

YOUR NOMINEE SAID, "I WOULDN'T TAKE A DEAL GIVING ME $10 IN

SPENDING CUTS FOR $1 OF REVENUE INCREASE." SO I GUESS WHEN I HEAR YOU SAY,

WELL, YOU KNOW, BOTH SIDES HAVE THEIR ISSUES AND THEY'RE REALLY

DIVISIVE, THE REALITY THAT I'M WATCHING SEEMS VERY DIFFERENT THAN THAT

>> A COUPLE THINGS ON THE FILIBUSTER.

THAT'S KIND OF SOMETHING PEOPLE REALLY SENATEY-IN.

IS THAT A WORD

>> Jon: IF IT ISN'T, IT IS NOW VERY SENATORIAL BUT THERE'S

MORE TO IT THAN JUST THAT.

THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS THAT THE CURRENT LEADERSHIP OF THE SENATE DOESN'T ALLOW ANY VOTES

ON ANYTHING.

YOU CAN'T FILE AN AMENDMENT.

I AS A MEMBER OF THE MINORITY PARTY IF I'D LIKE TO FILE AN

AMENDMENT TO THE BILL THEY WON'T LET ME GET A VOTE ON IT.

WHEN THEY LINED UP 7 VOTES TO AVOID MY ABILITY TO COME ON YOUR SHOW.

>> Jon: THEY DID THAT JUST TO BLOCK YOU FROM COMING HERE.

CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO ME WHY MY REALITY IS WRONG.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH WHAT I'M SAYING

>> FIRST OF ALL BECAUSE AS THE MINORITY PARTY IN THE SENATE YOU

SHOULD HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE ON THESE AMENDMENTS.

THEY'RE TRYING TO PROTECT THEIR INCUMBENTS FROM HAVING TO TAKE THESE TOUGH VOTES.

THEY'RE NOT ALLOWING ANY VOTES ON AMENDMENTS

>> Jon: THESE ARE JUDICIAL NOMINEES.

THIS IS THE WOMEN'S PAY EQUITY ACT OUR HIGHWAY BILL.

THESE ARE NOT JUST AMENDMENTS.

WE CAN'T PRETEND THAT THE AMENDMENTS ARE NOT POLITICIZED.

THE AMENDMENTS RELATE TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION OR A POISON PILL OR A KEYSTONE PIPELINE WHEN IT

DOESN'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE HIGHWAY

>> THAT'S THE ONLY VEHICLE THAT'S MOVING.

THAT'S ALWAYS HAPPENED IN THE SENATE.

YOU DON'T WANT IT VOTE AGAINST IT.

IF YOU DON'T WANT TO VOTE DON'T RUN FOR THE SENATE.

THE POINT IS THEY DON'T ALLOW LEGITIMATE VOTES IN THE SENATE.

WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH REPUBLICANS.

IF YOU SAY WE'RE GOING TO MOVE A BILL FORWARD BUT WE'RE NOT GOING

TO ALLOW TO HAVE ANY AMENDMENTS AND THE ONES WE ALLOW WE GET TO PICK.

THE COUNTERREACTION IS WE'RE NOT GOING TO MOVE ON THE BILL.

IT'S THE ONLY TOOL THE MINORITY HAS IN THIS SYSTEM TO PROTECT ITSELF AND TO TRY TO FORCE VOTES

ON THE AMENDMENTS

>> Jon: LET'S TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE.

I DON'T WANT TO GET TECHNICAL BECAUSE HERE'S WHAT WILL HAPPEN.

I'M GOING TO LOSE WHATEVER YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT AND I WON'T KNOW.

>> YOU'LL HAVE ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE BLUE PAPERS.

>> Jon: AN AMERICAN SON IS ON THE BOOK SHELVES NOW.

WE'RE GOING TO COME BACK AND TALK MORE WITH SENATOR MARCO RUBIO ABOUT LESS TECHNICAL

ISSUES THAT I THINK ARE

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