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Fox News "On The Record" - Transcript

Interview

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VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, nice to see you, sir.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA.: Thank you for having me.

VAN SUSTEREN: I want to talk about the election, but I want to start first with probably the most important issue. How's your daughter?

RUBIO: She's doing good. Thank you for asking. She went back to school today. So she is doing great. It was a scare, but we are blessed.

VAN SUSTEREN: We saw that video you alongside the road on the phone. It's every parent's nightmare to get that phone call. It stops all of us as we chase down the story and look at it as a horse race and we remember the important things.

RUBIO: Yes, absolutely. It was -- not a good moment.

VAN SUSTEREN: Indeed.
Now to politics. How's Florida going to do for your candidate?

RUBIO: We are going to win. I'm very confident. Florida is going to be close. These elections are always close in Florida. But we're going to win, and we're excited about that. We're working hard. Governor Romney was there yesterday. I think he's coming back before the election. We are excited about the progress.
Like I said -- I would put it to you this way. And if our people turn out to vote and wait it out because there will be waits, because our ballot's really long. If our people do that, we will win Florida and the presidency.

VAN SUSTEREN: In 2008, President Obama won the Latino vote in Florida by a large margin, 15 points. And the Latino vote in Florida is 14 percent of the electorate. That is a huge number to try to -- for a Republican to now try to re-grab back from the Democrats. What is your thought on the Latino vote?

RUBIO: We are going to do very well, better than anywhere else in the country. I think we will do much better than 2008. I think we have a chance to win it. I am not promising that, but I think we have a chance, because I don't think any community in Florida has been hurt more than the Hispanic community, in terms of unemployment and the loss of the ability to create new jobs and businesses. And you are starting to see that percolate. You are starting to see that reflect in the support we are getting. I am very excited about how well we are going to do among Hispanics in Florida.

VAN SUSTEREN: What states do you campaign in for Governor Romney for president?

RUBIO: I'm in Pennsylvania right now. We came to Pennsylvania. I had a great rally, about 300 people, 250 people, a lot of energy. It was fantastic. I was earlier in the day in New Hampshire. I will be in Ohio tomorrow. I have been to Nevada multiple times and Colorado. I forget all the other places. I went to Iowa last week. We have gotten around. We are happy to do it. There is a lot of excitement out there. Of course, we've been all over Florida in the last week with Governor Romney. Everywhere we go, you can see the excitement. It's real, it's palpable. We can sense it, and we are really excited about it.

VAN SUSTEREN: This is a big country. I am curious, as you went to the states, was it usually the same issue -- and can you tell, because usually the rallies are speaking to the group. They are not having a profound amount of intersection because you are busy going somewhere else. But is it the same issue, do you think?

RUBIO: Absolutely. What you do, if you work the rope line or you get to talk to people on the ground, they will tell you, there are concerns about the economy and jobs, that's very real. There is a real profound sense that the election is a choice between two very different types of people, between one where the government will increasingly become more dominant, or a new future, where we re-embrace the free enterprise system and allow the prosperity and the middle class that we have expected from America. People get that that's what this election is about.

A lot of people who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and thought he was going to be a unifier that brought our country together and are very disappointed that our country is as divided as it's ever been. And they see Governor Romney as someone who has a track record of bringing people together.

Something I said today in Pennsylvania, which I think is true. I am a Republican. I love the Republican Party. But I love America more. I think our folks will tell you, as well today, that they want a leader who will bring America together and help save America and bring America and its economy back to where it is expected to be.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you saying you think it would be a bad thing if President Obama were re-elected? Would that be bad for America?

RUBIO: I think it sets us back that his ideas are wrong for the future. They are not the right ideas to get us moving forward. If President Obama is re-elected -- and it's not going to happen, but if he were reelected, we are not going to have the economic growth that we need or come to expect. I doubt they'll be real plan to deal with the debt in a positive way. I don't think we will get a plan to save Medicare. And I don't think we will have a pro-American energy policy. So it is not just the things -- bad things that might happen, it's the good things that won't happen. It's the positive things that will have to wait. I don't think we can wait another four years for some of these things.

VAN SUSTEREN: Some Republicans are sort of getting critical that there is not attention from the candidates or the party on the road about Benghazi and the attack on the consulate. Is that something that should be spoken about by your party, as we appreciate Election Day, or not? And if not, why not?

RUBIO: We have. I think there was a great piece by senators McCain, Graham, Ayotte, and Johnson that talked about a list unanswered questions. There are going to be hearings when we get back. I spoke on that last week and wondered what took so long. There is no doubt Irrespective of this election we have to get to the bottom of what happened, because there was either a massive intelligence failure or something even worse, which is a deliberate attempt to, you know, not fully state what happened for political reasons.

I won't prejudge what happened, but either one is a bad result, and we need to know that. And I think that has to come up. We have had a busy week with the campaign and the unfortunate storm that has hurt so many people in the northeast. But this is an issue we are not going on let up even after the election, it is going to be going on, because we have to get to the bottom of that one way or the other.

VAN SUSTEREN: Of course, Governor Christie is grateful for any assistance from the federal government and President Obama to help his citizens of New Jersey. That's his job. Some have said that he has been effusive and gone overboard in support of President Obama. He was the keynote speaker and critical of President Obama on the campaign trail. Any thoughts about that?
RUBIO: I am from Florida. We have had so many storms. I remember during the 16-month period between 2004 and 2005 we had eight named storms, hurricanes come through our state. We have been on the other end of that. They will consume the state government in terms of responding. I think that's what Governor Christie has been focused on this week. I am not sure if it's a good time to do a political analysis of what it all means. All I can tell you, as a Floridian on the receiving end of in of these storms, our heart goes out to these folks, because long after the cameras have moved on, they are going to be trying to rebuild their lives and the communication. It's a long, costly, painful process that disrupts lives, and some folks can never rebuild their lives there because of the storm. So we wish the best for them, and hopefully, you know, we do all we can to be helpful to them.

VAN SUSTEREN: How many points? You say that governor Romney will win Florida? How many points do you think he will win Florida by?

RUBIO: Well, you know, all we need is one point. Everything above that is great. Look, Florida's a competitive state. Everyone knows that. About 48 percent of the people will vote for Barack Obama no matter what. But we think we can get beyond that and more than that. I think we will do very, very well. I am very confident about Florida. I can't guarantee it because we have to do it. But this is what I can guarantee you -- if the folks watching tonight who support Governor Romney vote and get the people they know who support him to vote, even if the lines are long, if they do their part we will win Florida and we will win the White House.

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, nice to see you. It certainly is a cliff hanger as we wind down to Tuesday. Thank you, sir.

RUBIO: Thank you.

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