HH: I’m joined now by Marco Rubio. One of the most interesting Senate races in the United States will be in Florida, where there will be an open seat. There is a very, very interesting primary between Marco Rubio and Governor Charlie Crist. I’m pleased to welcome for the first time to the program Marco Rubio. Marco, good to have you on the Hugh Hewitt Show.
MR: I’m glad to be on, Hugh. Thank you.
HH: I’ve got to say first. I’ve been over at your website, www.marcorubio.com, and you’ve got the Twitpic of your boys, Anthony and Dominic up at the Christmas party. These two kids look like serious trouble, Marco.
MR: Yeah, they’re a handful, and they’re only two and four. So you know what the future holds. That’s why I had to run for office now. I had to be in place before, you know, to keep an eye on them. But they’re a great blessing, along with my two girls that are nine and seven. But all of my kids remind me of what’s important.
HH: Well, it’s just a gorgeous picture. I also want to say, you are very into the new media here. Is that going to be…I’m going to talk to Chuck DeVore after this, another new media candidate, I’m so glad finally a Republican appears to get this.
MR: Yeah, you know, new media is part of what I did before I was running for office. It’s just taking kind of what I was doing in real life, and applying it to the way I treat a political campaign. It’s just a way of communicating with people, and it allows me to communicate with a lot of people in real time at little or no cost. So it’s just, it’s kind of the way the world is going.
HH: Okay, Marco Rubio, give people, since it’s your first time on the Hugh Hewitt Show, give us some bio on who you are, and why you want to be a United States Senator.
MR: Yeah, well, my parents are from Cuba. They came here in the late 1950s for obvious reasons. I was born in Miami in 1971, working class family. My dad was primarily a bartender, my mom worked in factories, she was a cashier, she was a stock clerk at K-Mart. We lived in Las Vegas for a number of years growing up, from ’79-’85, where my dad was a bartender and my mom was a casino maid over at the Imperial Palace Hotel. And then we moved back to Miami in 1985. I graduated from public school, went to the University of Florida, and graduated there in ’93, University of Miami School of Law, graduated in ’96, got married in ’98, the same year I got elected to a small city commission called West Miami. It’s a town my parents moved us to when we came from Las Vegas. I still live there, by the way. I got elected to the Florida House in 2000, served there eight and a half years. My last two years, I was the speaker of the Florida House. And I’m proud of some of the things we tried to do in our time there. But most important was we published a book called 100 Innovative Ideas For Florida’s Future, and of those 100 ideas, all 100 passed the Florida House, and 57 of them became law. It was a way that we went out and told people what we were going to do, we put it in writing, and then allowed them to hold us accountable. I finished, I termed out last year, and I wasn’t intending to run for anything. And then this opportunity presented itself, and I spent a few months thinking about it. And to me, it’s not very complicated. I think the United States is, we are the freest and most prosperous people in human history because of limited government. I think this administration and this Congress want to take us away from that. And I think we need to send people to Washington that are going to stand up to them and offer a clear alternative. I believe that if we choose the road that they want to take us on, America will become just like everybody else. I don’t want us to lose our exceptionalism, and I most definitely want my kids to inherit a country greater than the one that I was left with, because that’s what every American generation has done for the next.
HH: Well, Marco Rubio, except for the fact you went to the University of Florida, and you root for the Dolphins, which means you don’t know much about football, I’m from Ohio, other than that, what defines your political theory? We’ll forgive you the football knowledge, but what defines your political theory?
MR: My political theory really starts with the idea that the American republic, there’s nothing like America in the history of all mankind. 5,000 years of recorded human history, you cannot compare this country to anything that’s ever existed. Including now, even with your problems, who would we trade places with? Who would we rather be? That’s a product of a lot of things – our republic and our political freedoms are certainly very important. But I think right now, I’m focusing on our economic freedoms, on this extraordinary prosperity. You know, we’re on of the only, and maybe the only economy in the world where rich people get put out of business by poor people who have a better idea, one of the few places in human history where you can open up a business in the spare bedroom of your home. All of that’s a product of limited government. Why would we walk away from that? Yeah, we have problems in America, but you can fix everything that’s wrong in America without abandoning everything that’s right with America. And that’s what this administration seems to want it to do. So look, I guess the best way I could summarize it is my kids. You talked about my kids. My kids are members of the most important generation in American history, because if we do the right thing, like control the growth of government, and implement the kind of policies on taxes and regulation that lead to explosive economic growth, my children’s generation will be the richest, most prosperous, freest Americans in our entire history, and that’s saying a lot. But if we choose wrong, they will be the first Americans to inherit a diminished country from their parents. So a pretty stark contrast.
HH: 30 seconds, Marco Rubio, I look forward to having many conversations with you. How is your fundraising going?
MR: It’s really improved, but I need everyone’s help. And I’d love people that are listening to this program to go on www.marcorubio.com, check out what I stand for, and no matter where you live in this country, if you want another voice in the U.S. Senate that’s going to stand up to this agenda that Obama is offering, and offer a clear alternative, then I hope you’ll look forward to contributing to our campaign, because we need your help.
HH: Marco Rubio, I look forward to talking to you many, many more times. Thanks for joining us tonight.
End of interview.