While Glenn was on his doctor-recommended hiatus last month, he had an off-the-record chat with Senator Marco Rubio. And he ended up really liking him, thinking he was a decent, honest guy who did not flinch from the hard questions. Rubio joined Glenn on radio Monday for an on-the-record interview so you can decide what you think for yourself.
Among other things, the outspoken pro-life candidate candidly expressed his feelings on why the practice of abortion is equivalent to murder and should be abolished.
“I believe a human being is entitled to life, irrespective of the circumstances in which that human being was conceived in and so forth,” Rubio said.
Acknowledging that other people don’t hold that view and in order to save lives in this country, Rubio said he has supported bills in the past that have exceptions in them, while he personally feels very strongly that every human is entitled to the protection of his or her life.
“If we as a society start deciding which lives we will protect and which lives we will not, we put ourselves on a very slippery, dangerous slope,” Rubio said.
Glenn also delved into Rubio’s positions on immigration, ISIS and NSA spying. Listen to the full segment or read the transcript below.
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it may contain errors.
GLENN: Welcome to the program, Senator Marco Rubio. How are you, sir?
MARCO: I’m well. Thanks for having me on.
GLENN: So how did you feel last week when the embassy opened up and we raised the flag in Cuba?
MARCO: Well, I felt — you know, a part of you feels like I wish that was happening in a free Cuba, where it was really a celebration. Instead, it felt like a recognition of an oppressive government. That they’re now going to be admitted to the club of normal countries or normal governments. And it’s unfortunate. I almost felt like we were surrendering to the idea that the Cuban people will forever be doomed and condemned in living under a repressive regime. You know, we have a government that will go. They will give some lip services to freedom and democracy. Basically we won’t press them to do anything. And the result is, badly, I fear, that we’re one step closer to this sort of regime that is now in Cuba, becoming a permanent fixture and remaining the only people in the western hemisphere who don’t elect their leaders.
GLENN: Well, Fidel Castro said that we owed them reparations.
MARCO: Yeah. Well, and that’s exactly one of the problems I have with it. The United States is going to be all these things that is good for the Cuban government. More travel. More remittances. More telecommunication. More commerce. The Cuban government has said thank you. We’re not changing anything, by the way. And, in fact, you owe us money. I mean, that’s basically been their attitude.
And people think Cuba is some benign Cold War relic. It’s much deeper than that. In Cuba, they’re harboring dozens of fugitives from American justice. For example, this woman who killed a police officer in New Jersey was jailed, escaped from jail. Took off to Cuba. They have been harboring her now for almost 30 years. There are multiple people who have come from Cuba to the U.S. They steal money and Medicare fraud. When they’re about to get caught, they leave back to Cuba. There’s dozens of them hiding over there. Two of their generals have been indicted for the murder of unarmed American civilian pilots and international air space in 1996, during the Brothers to the Rescues was down, they then — (phone breaking up) both the Chinese and the Russians on the island of Cuba, and they used that as an outpost to spy on central commands, southern commands, special operations commands, all three of which are located in Florida. And, of course, NASA. So this is not — (breaking up) — last year was caught smuggling weapons to North Korea. Now they’ll just have more dollars.
GLENN: So here we have a — I’ve never seen our country on the wrong side as much as we are now. The president is pushing for Iran. And saying that we — we have to do this. John Kerry came out and said, if — if the Senate doesn’t ratify this agreement, that we will lose the status of the reserve currency for the world.
MARCO: Yeah, that’s silly. That’s a silly thing for him to say. I mean, it’s just absurd. Everyone laughed at him when he said it, including people around the world in the financial market. Our reserve status has nothing to do with our relationship with Iran or anyone else for that matter. And it’s just really an absurd statement.
But going back to the point that you made, that’s exactly right. I mean, the argument that the president is making is, either we expect this deal or we’ll be the pariah, not Iran. Again, it’s ridiculous. I know America has saved the world at least two times in the last 100 years. I don’t remember when the world saved America. And so I think we need to enter these things with that sort of reality in mind. And the second point I would make is he is now also saying — he’s now isolating Israel. (breaking up) — that opposes this deal. And in essence, trying to isolate Israel (breaking up) status on them if they don’t go along with this thing. So it really is bizarre. I really never thought I would live to see the day where we had a president and an administration so hostile towards Israel and in general some of our allies. It’s really unbelievable.
GLENN: You were on CNN and you said some of the most remarkable things I think I’ve heard any politician say on — on Planned Parenthood and on abortion.
You took him on and I think sliced him to ribbons. But you made the — you made the point that even in cases of rape and incest, abortion is murder and it should be abolished.
MARCO: Look, a human being, in my view, this is how I deeply feel. It’s not a political issue, this whole abortion debate. I believe a human being is entitled to life, irrespective of the circumstances in which that human being was conceived in and so forth. And in order to be ideological consistent, I hold that position that you’ve just outlined. Now, I recognize that other people don’t hold that view. And in order to save lives in this country, I have supported bills in the past that have exceptions in them. And I know a lot of people who are pro-life that support exceptions because they feel it goes too far.
You know, I support saving the life of the mother. But I think, in my view, I personally feel this very, very strongly, that every human life is entitled to the protection of our life. And if we as a society start deciding which lives we will protect and which lives we will not, we put ourselves on a very slippery, dangerous slope.
I actually think, in 100 years or so, or less, future generations will look back at this time in history and say it’s really unbelievable that so many unborn human beings, their lives were ended, simply because they didn’t have a birth certificate, couldn’t hire a lawyer, didn’t vote, or we couldn’t see them yet. And I just feel very strongly about that. And again, for me, it’s not a political issue. It’s an issue that speaks to the core of our values.
GLENN: I have to tell you, Marco, speaking to Senator Marco Rubio, I am gravely concerned about how history will remember this time period and us. It’s why we’re going and meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, to stand up against Planned Parenthood. Or I should say for life in all of its forms. And that includes ISIS. What’s happening in ISIS, it’s a culture of absolute death. And the New York Times ran a story on Friday that said — it showed how these ISIS fighters are coming off of the battlefield. And one of them was documented in praying before he bound and gagged a 12-year-old girl, raped her, and then knelt at the bedside and thanked Allah for the opportunity to do that.
It’s sick what’s going on. And what are we doing about it?
MARCO: Well, first of all, it is a grotesque perversion of any faith for that matter. What’s happened with ISIS. And we’ve read in the last week how they’ve now come up with these theological interpretations that justify what they’re doing both to women and in general. And it’s an outrage. And as far as what we’re doing about it, clearly not enough. I continue to believe that it’s up to the Sunnis themselves to defeat ISIS. ISIS is a radical Sunni movement. And there are Sunni nations that are willing to do it. But they require America to be willing to help them. Because they don’t have the capacity. They want more airstrikes from us. They want intelligence information. Logistical support. But they have to go in on the ground and defeat them themselves. And they understand that they are battling for the future of that region. It is their women. It is their men. It is their children. It is their cities that are being taken over by these radical Muslims. And it has to be defeated. It will not stop. This movement will not stop and say, okay, we’re satisfied with the land we have now. They will continue to grow and spread until they are defeated. So we have a very simple choice here, either they win or we win. There is no accommodation for them, nor should there be with something as evil as this.
GLENN: Senator, the one thing — there’s two things that we have to bring up that are sticking points. With me and several people in the audience. And one of them is, I believe you’re a patriot. I believe that you believe in America. I believe that you want to do the right thing. And I would hope that you would believe the same thing about me. But we have to have a rule of law and the Constitution. And you don’t have a problem with the NSA spying. And I think it’s one of the most dangerous things we have ever done. If you want to get — if you want to find out what somebody is doing, then get a warrant. And we’ve even streamlined the warrant. But to have this mass NSA collection and spying on average Americans is — is frankly frightening. Not — not for how we’re using it now, but how it can be used in the future.
MARCO: Well, I think those concerns are always legitimate. There have been times in the past where American intelligence programs have been abused for political purposes and otherwise. And it’s illegal. And if someone is caught doing that, they should be caught and thrown in jail. I understand your concern about the capacity that it exists. I would argue the capacity also exists outside of government, with some of the technology that’s now being used is readily available.
GLENN: But they don’t — but the argument there is, they don’t have the right or the capability to round people up. And in more than one occasion, this government has rounded people up that they’ve disagreed with.
MARCO: Oh, you mean in the past.
MARCO: Yeah. Obviously as a society, we would always be vigilant about those sorts of things. And I understand the civil liberties concern, I do. I balance it with the very significant concern that we have about the fact that ISIS and other radical movements are actively recruiting Americans who have never traveled abroad, living among us.
A week ago, an honor student that just graduated high school, married someone who I guess had been radicalized, and they were headed to Syria to join ISIS. And you see here, rightfully, that there are individuals in America who, even as you and I are talking right now, they are now planning to kill Americans. Service men and women. Attack bases. Whatever it takes. We know this is happening. I’m a member of the US Senate Intelligence Committee. I review this information on a regular basis. And it’s what led me to say, we got to know more about these people than they know about us. And I will admit, it is a difficult balance, having programs robust enough to prevent an attack, but also capable of protecting the civil liberties. So I’m not saying we take it lightly or ignore it or in any way allow these things to run amuck, but I do know that there will eventually be an attack on this homeland of great significance at some point. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when. And we have to try to prevent or delay that from happening as much as possible. And that’s why I believe having these tools at our disposal are so important.
GLENN: Could I ask, this is — this is one of the emails that came in to me. And it’s in Arabic and also in English. And it’s from an American citizen, or at least somebody who is living here.
The day will come when we capture you cross-worshiping, impure redneck polytheists of the United Snakes. Not only will we kill you. But we will take your women as slaves and all of your properties, and blood will be lawful for us. Have patience because the hour will not be established until we have removed your falsehood pagan religion from the world and killed many of you.
This comes from Arabic, along with several quotes of the Koran.
Wouldn’t we be better off honestly saying the truth about what this is and then saying the truth about some of the mosques here in America?
MARCO: No doubt. 100 percent. And I think that is — look, if there was a radical movement that was using Baptist churches or Catholic churches to organize, we would have no qualms about spying on them or monitoring them and watching them. I don’t think we can allow political correctness to endanger the lives of Americans. And on that, there is no doubt and no quarrel with me. I agree 100 percent that that’s the fact. And I think that law enforcement would say the same thing. So there’s no doubt that we need to be clear about it. Does that mean — of course, it doesn’t mean that every Muslim or even the majority of Muslims in America are radicalized. You know, I’ve met very patriotic Muslims in this country who love the United States. But we cannot ignore the fact that there is a significant element in it. (breaking up)
MARCO: And we can’t ignore them. (breaking up) So we’re not not going to spy on a mosque because of, you know, political correctness.
GLENN: Right. We’re having a horrible connection with you.
MARCO: Can you hear me better now?
GLENN: Yeah, we can. Let me ask you. Do you regret being a part of the Gang of Eight?
MARCO: I wouldn’t use the word regret. I would say that we learned lessons about reality of where we stand as a country on that issue. We’re not going to make any progress as long as Barack Obama is president. We’re not going to solve immigration. And we’re not going to be able to do it in one massive piece of legislation. And the reason being is, people just don’t trust the government will ever do even what the law says. You can pass a law that promises a fence, people will say, they’ll never build it. So it’s clear —
GLENN: Well, we have passed that law.
PAT: Yeah, 2006.
MARCO: Not only have they passed the law, but then they don’t fund it. So you have to fund it. And the second part of it is on an entry/exit tracking system (breaking up), that’s been delayed as well. So my point is — the lesson I took from all that is, you’re going to have to do it. You can’t pass a law that says it will do it. You’re going to have to do it. And once people see that you’ve done it and illegal immigration is under control, then I think they’ll be willing to talk about what we do next. But you won’t any progress until you do it. And that’s just a fact. Whether people like it or not, that is the way it is. And anyone who doesn’t accept simply is simply deluding themselves or they’re lying.
GLENN: Okay. Senator, it’s good to have you on the broadcast. And I hope to be able to spend some more time with you. We’re — we are excited to see that you are doing as well as you are in the polls. There is about four of the guys that we like. And currently at the top of the polls, Cruz and you are towards the very top of the polls. And we’re glad to see that. There is one that we’re not so glad that is at the top of the polls right now. But I don’t think —
MARCO: These things all work out in time.
PAT: Yeah, it just takes a little time.
MARCO: Yeah. Well, thanks for having me on. I enjoyed it very much.
GLENN: You bet. Thanks, Senator. Buh-bye.