Published on February 13th, 2012 | by Scott Hennen


TRANSCRIPT: Marco Rubio on the Scott Hennen Show (2/13)

HENNEN: We’re going to begin with another one of our favorite conservatives. Someone that is inspiring a whole new generation of conservatives… and going to talk about a couple of things in the news. His speech at CPAC… probably the most well received of any of them at CPAC. It was wonderful to see and we are pleased to welcome to the program Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Sen., how are you doing?

RUBIO: Good. Good morning.

HENNEN: First of all, just a quick take away on CPAC and the conservatives coming together and ultimately rallying around one mission. That is, defeating Barack Obama. Did you feel that mission was energized at CPAC… coalescing a little bit?

RUBIO: Sure I did. I mean, you know, the first thing that I think is very interesting is how the permanency of some of this stuff in the movement that people thought were just going to go away after a year or so… and it is more than just defeating Barack Obama. I mean, defeating Barack Obama is just the first step. There is an entrenched political culture in Washington that Republicans are guilty of being a part of as well that needs to be confronted. So I think that is the general sense and… the great thing that I love about the conservative movement in America is that it’s not purely partisan… [inaudible] I think it finds its home in the Republican Party and that’s the natural place for it to be but it’s not going to tolerate Republicans that somehow say they’re conservatives but then behave like something else and tolerate in the sense of votes… or in terms of not holding them accountable for being who they say they were. I think that that is, in my opinion, one of the things about the conservative movement that I am proudest of is that… it’s folks that are fair in that regard… and if you are going to run as a conservative, they expect you to be one. If you don’t want to be a conservative, don’t run as one. Say what you truly believe in and allow voters to hold you accountable to that, but I think that is one of the unique things about the conservative movement in American politics that I am proudest of.

HENNEN: The word we are hearing most often in political discussions these days because of the president’s decision, outrageous decision, offensive decision to many… is contraception, birth control, everything else and now compromise. Has what the president put forward a compromise or is it a fraud.

RUBIO: Well, first of all, I am going to look to the organizations that are impacted by it to let us know how it would work, because some are arguing it is nothing but an accounting gimmick. You are making the insurance companies pay for it. The insurance company just turned around and increases the premium. So in the end the same people are paying for, just in a different way. So that is what we are going to look for to see if that, in fact, is a gimmick or… but I think the fundamental issue here is not about contraception or birth control or anything like that. It is about a First Amendment right, and about whether Obamacare and the president’s ideas about health care get to trump the Constitution. When I hear the word compromise I have to ask, “How do you compromise on a constitutional principle?” You either have it or you don’t. You [inaudible] about the Constitution or you are not. You can’t have half a Constitutional protection or half a Constitutional right. The federal government of the United States should not have the right to use its power to force religious organizations to pay for things that they teach against, and that is what the President is trying to do here, is through this mandate.

HENNEN: Do you accept it as a fair compromise? I understand you’re waiting to see what others think, but to me it seems like almost an offensive fraud to suggest this is somehow better.

RUBIO: Well, yeah, we have already heard from the bishops to say that it is not acceptable and I think their argument is that it is nothing but an accounting gimmick. That at the end of the day it ends up being the exact same thing, and they don’t want to have to offer insurance plans that offer birth control because they teach against it. Look, a lot of people may disagree with it. A lot of people may not comply with it that are in the Catholic faith, but that is not the point. The point is whether by the power of the federal government they should be compelled to do it. Let’s be clear, they are not being prohibitive from doing it. They could do it. They could change their minds and do it. No one is banning contraception here, nor are they mandating that the church not be able to offer it. All we are arguing is… should the government have the power to force them to pay for this. If the government has the power to force you to pay for something that your religion teaches against, you have lost that constitutional right to religious expression.

HENNEN: Do you buy poll numbers that suggest Catholic’s support for the president’s plan… which, by the way, some suggest they were looking at last year in advance of this decision… and guided them on this decision? Do you believe that the polling suggests the true sentiment on this issue?

RUBIO: I don’t know, but the answer to it is it is really relevant, because we are talking about a constitutional principle. I don’t think every constitutional principle is going to poll over 50%. That doesn’t mean we get rid of them. The Constitution is not poll-tested document. It’s a document that is supposed to [inaudible] basic functions, basic rights that are given to us by our Creator and that government should be protecting, not violating. I don’t care if it is 80% against the constitutional right. If you don’t like a right that is in the Constitution, amend the Constitution. It is one of the things that has separated us from the rest of the world. Other countries have constitutions too, but they ignore it and we haven’t, and because we haven’t we have this enduring republic. Meanwhile, these countries that ignore it, they end up losing their governments, their way of life and their stability.

HENNEN: Great conservative voice, Sen. Marco Rubio, with us today on the Common Sense Club and the Scott Hennen Show. I want to move on to the budget and some other things in a minute here, but I do want to ask you this. Sometimes we seem to see the turf politically, as conservatives, to the… what my friend, Andrew Breitbart, will be on later, calls the Democratic media complex and the establishment… you know, sort of the Washington echo chamber. Why is abortion and health care even in the same sentence together ever? This is crazy to me.

RUBIO: Well, it has a lot to do with the left of center agenda. There is a radical element in the Democratic Party that runs their politics. You have to cater to that left of center radical element in order to win the primaries in the Democratic primary. They are the ones that raise money. They are the ones that knock on doors and get involved and get engaged. So the President and others in his party, maybe they agree with him, but they certainly have to cater to them. That’s what we see often times. So that’s why, for example, organizations like Planned Parenthood can’t be touched. Not only should they be funded in the minds of these activists, they must be funded. Otherwise, they’re going to protest against you and things of that nature. You know, there is this radical left element in the Democratic Party that controls their politics and that is why there are politicians… even politicians that have a strong faith-based background end up [inaudible] to the extremist in the Democratic Party.

HENNEN: I think you are right. And I think that helps us, quite honestly, recruit a whole new mass of folks in the next election. Let’s hope so. Let’s talk about the budget. The President has one coming out. What do you expect from it and what do you make of his Chief of Staff blaming Senate Republicans for the lack of a budget?

RUBIO: Well it is silly. I mean, these guys are pretty unbelievable at this point with the things they come up with. The truth is that the Senate hasn’t offered it, but they have the votes in the Senate. They control the Senate. Sen. Reed and the Democrats in the Senate control the flow of business in the Senate. They can bring up any issue at any time for a vote. At any time they want. We have brought the Senate. Last year we brought Pres. Obama’s plan up for a vote. We forced a vote on Pres. Obama’s plan. Not even the Democrats would vote for his budget last year. Maybe we will do that again this year to see how the votes fall. The truth is, the president’s budget is not… what I expect from it, more spending, more debt, more deficits. It is not a serious budgetary document. By no way does he intend for it to be passed or [inaudible]. It is nothing but a campaign document. Look, I don’t like saying those things. I don’t wake up in the morning and say what partisan thing can I do today. Quite frankly, I wish we didn’t have to fight about these issues on a partisan level. I wish everyone understood the dire [inaudible] this country is in terms of spending and debt. I ran on this platform, that I would stand up to these things and offer a clear alternative and that is what I intend to be a part of here after the budget is announced.

HENNEN: Only 45 seconds left. The president, on messaging, gets a little bit of wind on the economy and the jobs coming back and all of the sudden oh, the seas are going to part and everything is going to be fine. If you had to handicap, right now, his election chances, would you say it is 50/50? What is it?

RUBIO: This is a 50/50 country. You know, about 45-46% of the people are locked into one party or another. You have to make sure your supporters are engaged and come out and vote and you have to persuade the other 8-10%. I hope that’s what the argument will be about here. We have a good argument to make against the president getting another four years.

HENNEN: We sure do. Hey Sen., great catching up with you. I appreciate your good conservative voice. I would love to have you back. Thanks.

RUBIO: Thanks.

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