Glenn introduced Senator Marco Rubio on radio this morning to discuss several key issues concerning his presidential race. While making it clear he has some real disagreements with Rubio, he told his listeners Rubio is "somebody that you should seriously consider and seriously look at."
With the next GOP debate slated to focus on the economy, much of their conversation revolved around economic subjects, such as free enterprise, tax reform and the "sharing economy." Other topics included gun control, abortion, fellow candidates and Rubio's prediction about Russia's involvement in the Middle East.
Listen to the dialogue below.
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
GLENN: I want to introduce you to somebody I think you should get to know. And that is Senator Marco Rubio. He is a guy who I actually have real disagreements on a couple of things. And we'll get into that maybe a little bit here today. But I'd like to sit down with him and have a real conversation. Marco and I met, I don't even remember where it was or where it was. Sometime in the summer. Someplace. Marco, do you remember where that was?
MARCO: Las Vegas, I think.
GLENN: And so we met --
MARCO: Yep. Freedom Fest.
GLENN: Yeah, Freedom Fest, that's right. We spent about an hour together. And I didn't know what to think of Marco Rubio when I walked in. I really liked him and respected him and respected his intellect and his honesty when I left. And he's somebody that you should seriously consider and seriously look at. You may end up disagreeing. But he's somebody that you should take a serious look at.
Marco, welcome to the program. How are you, senator?
MARCO: Thanks for having me on.
GLENN: You bet. So you were talking about the sharing economy, which I think some people, especially, you know, as you get a little older, sharing -- communist! The sharing economy is something that is actually real and is the difference between my age and the millennials. You want to explain this a bit?
MARCO: Yeah, so I'll give you a perfect example, right? There's a new system out there, a company called Handy. And what Handy does is, let's say that your air conditioning unit breaks down at 11 o'clock at night and you need somebody to come in and fix it because it's just too hot. Handy has somewhere halfway across town there's an air-conditioning repair person who is available to work at 11 o'clock at night. It is an app that you go on your phone and connects you to a needy customer, somebody who needs help. It connects you with a person who is ready to do that service for you. So it's basically a platform where you're sharing, you know, a handyman, or in this case, an air-conditioning repairman to come work for you. You pay them on the app, so it's cashless. And then you rate their work so that future customers can look at it and see who is good and who is not. It's basically free enterprise --
MARCO: -- broadened in the 20th century. And why it really works is now suddenly, as an air-conditioning repair person, you can go into business for yourself. You don't need to do advertising. You don't need to have a huge physical plant. You can be in business for yourself because this connects you to customers at a very low cost.
GLENN: And nobody is taking a cut of that. This is the thing that I don't think people understand. I just gave a speech here in Dallas with Allen West. And the question came up from the audience about the economy. And I said, "Most people don't understand. We're on the verge of not the Industrial Revolution, but the Renaissance." People are going to be freed up to do things and to be their own person in ways I don't think the average person can really understand. Is this where you get your hope for the economy and us not being swept away in the dustbin of history?
MARCO: I do. And what gives me concern is that, you know, outdated leaders and particularly believers of big government are the ones that will stand in the way of it. Because their argument is going to be, "Well, that air-conditioning repairman has to be treated as an employee of the company that connected you guys." That means you have to offer them benefits, and you have to pay them a certain wage. And you have to do this, that, or the other. And the thing that really happens, actually, is an established industry. Some big company that does air-conditioning repair. This is a bad example, but I'm just using it. It exists in other realms.
An established industry will hire a bunch of lobbyists to go to City Hall, the State Capitol, or Washington and say, "We need to pass a law to keep people from providing competition to us."
MARCO: And they'll have politicians that go along with them because they hired the right lobbyists and they raised a lot of money.
GLENN: When you and I were in Vegas, that weekend or whenever that was, I remember walking down the street with my wife, and they were -- they were reaching across her to hand me hooker cards where I could call for a hooker in case, you know, I got tired of my wife. And my wife just snapped. And she's like, "We're getting off this strip. Just, stop it. I can't take this anymore." And I said, "Hang on. I got to call for Uber." And somebody said to me, next to me, "You can't get Uber here." Las Vegas is not cool with Uber, but they are cool with hookers.
MARCO: Yeah. And, again, that's because the established taxicab industry has gone to the commission or the local government and said, "Don't allow these people to operate here." And that happens in industry after industry. It's why -- people don't understand. To be for free enterprise does not mean to be for big business. Big business and established industries are actually often an impediment to free enterprise because they want to keep their hold and they don't want to allow any competitor to enter the space.
GLENN: So you are the -- the next debate is really about the economy. What is your focus on the economy? What sets you apart?
MARCO: Well, again, I think most of us are talking about some of the same issues. I think the argument that I've used that others haven't is, there's no reason why America can't be better in the 21st century economically than it was in the 20th. We should be leading in all these things. But we have to be competitive in order to make that happen. That's why we need tax reform. That's why we need regulatory reform. That's why we need to balance our budget. And repeal and replace Obamacare and fully utilize our energy resources. If we can do those things, the private sector, the American innovator, the small business person out there starting their business, they'll take care of the rest. They'll create the great companies, the great ideas, and the great-paying jobs. We just need a government that gives them a chance to succeed in an increasingly competitive global economy.
GLENN: So you're a Catholic. The pope was just in the country. Do you think he missed the opportunity to shut down Planned Parenthood when he spoke in front of Congress by really not standing on that issue?
MARCO: Look, obviously if I had written the speech, it would have focused more on protecting life and a little bit less on some of the other issues. But, ultimately, he did mention the value of life at every stage, and I thought that was important. Maybe he chose not to get involved into our internal political debates in this country. And in fairness, he didn't do that the other way either. He talked about, you know, supporting and protecting the environment. He didn't say, "And, therefore, pass Cap and Trade." Or "Thank you, President Obama, for signing all these executive orders on coal and so forth." So I understand. He's a spiritual leader. He didn't want to get into the details of a political debate. But he did mention life.
But, yes, I mean, that's got to be -- for me, the issue of life is not a political issue. It is a human rights issue, and it's one that I think deserves the priority.
GLENN: So Hillary Clinton said just the other day, "How many more innocent -- how many more of our innocent children have to be slaughtered before we say enough is enough?" And she was talking, of course, about the slaughter of the children in Oregon, not in Planned Parenthood.
MARCO: Yeah. And, again, terrible tragedy of what happened in Oregon. But you're right. Every single year, unborn children in this country are killed legally through laws that allow that to happen. And, look, I recognize this is a tough issue. And I actually do believe that a woman has a right to choose with her body. The problem is that when there's a pregnancy, there's another life involved, and that life has a right to live. And so as policymakers, we have to choose between two competing rights. And I've chosen, as a matter of principle, to err and to choose the side of life in that debate. And she, on the other hand, she supports abortion on demand at any stage. For example, she voted against the ban on partial birth abortion, a particularly gruesome way of aborting a child. She voted against the ban. One of the few people did and actually justified it. Said it was a fundamental right. She has extreme positions on the issue of life. And I hope we'll have an opportunity to talk about those in this campaign.
GLENN: Let me talk about Oregon a bit because they are, again, doing everything they can to -- the president at least is getting close to being honest. He said last week that it's time to look at countries that have done something like Australia and England. And what Australia and England did was confiscation of all guns.
How do we stop this insanity? We're headed for a really bad place if this is really what the left is pushing for.
MARCO: Yeah. By pointing out that the things they're advocating would have done nothing to prevent these things. For example, they advocate for an assault weapons ban. Well, the last two instances that have been high-profile didn't use assault weapons. They talk about background checks. The last two instances we saw are people that would have passed background checks or did pass background checks. So the point -- the problem with gun laws is they're not very effective. Because criminals are the ones that commit crimes with guns. And criminals don't care what the law is. They don't follow the law because they are criminals. By definition, they ignore the law. So if you pass strict gun laws, law-abiding people adheres to those laws. And then they will be unable to protect their families.
GLENN: The father of the killer said, "Well, how could he have -- how could he have had these guns, you know, if they just weren't on the streets, if those guns were just not available, my son wouldn't have killed all those people."
MARCO: Yeah, look, again, I know the arguments that people are making. And the bottom line is, if someone intends to acquire a weapon, they're going to acquire a weapon. Whether it's legally or illegally, they're going to do it. And the only people that will be impacted by these gun laws are people that follow the law. And so what you'll have is a country where law-abiding people are unprotected, are unable to protect themselves, the property of their family. And people who are intent on committing a criminal act, accessing explosives, a gun, or whatever else they want to use to kill people.
GLENN: Marco, I want to ask you, I saw a clip at the Value Voters Summit of Donald Trump where he called you a clown. And he was -- he was booed for that. What do you think -- what do you think it says about America that we're -- that we're embracing this kind of nonsense?
MARCO: You know, I think there's a tremendous amount of frustration, rightfully so with the political class. It's a disconnect between Washington and the struggles of daily life that people are facing. And I think he's hit upon that to some extent. And we can't ignore it.
But, ultimately, this campaign has to be about the big issues confronting our country. Look, we're now at a point where we are either -- over the next four years, we'll have to decide, we're either going to leave our children as the most prosperous and freest Americans ever, or we'll be the first generation of Americans that leave our children worse off than ourselves. That's the only two ways forward. And if we don't make the right choice in this election, if we have another four years like the last eight, we are going to be the first Americans in our history to leave our children worse off than ourselves. This has to be a serious election about serious issues and real solutions. And I think increasingly, the campaign is becoming about that. I really do. And I'm glad that it is. Because our nation and our people deserve that. At least from my campaign's perspective, that's what we'll be about.
GLENN: We'd like to sit down with you and talk about some things we disagree with, the immigration and also disagree with the NSA. And you and I both had I think a very logical and heartfelt talk about those issues privately. And I'd like to have those publicly at some point down the road.
MARCO: Sure. Absolutely.
GLENN: But I would -- I guess I would just end with this.
You brought up -- you know, you're talking about Donald Trump. You said, "You know, people are very frustrated." And they are.
MARCO: They are.
GLENN: They're attracted to Donald Trump and they're attracted to Ben Carson because they're completely out of the system. And I say this, you know, with -- you know, I support Rand Paul, I support you, I support Ted Cruz. But you guys are all in the system. And I think that's playing against you. Why should anyone trust any of you guys who are already in the system?
MARCO: Well, first of all, the names you've just mentioned, we've been there about four years. In the case of Ted, a couple years less than that.
I ran for office against incredible odds five years ago against the sitting governor of Florida with the entire political establishment supporting him. And the reason why I ran is to change this stuff. And I realized -- one of my great frustrations about the US Senate is the lack of urgency about any of these issues. No one talks about the debt anymore, for example.
We still have a debt that's almost $19 trillion. And no one -- this wasn't even a topic at the three-hour CNN debate. And there's no sense of urgency about these things. And I just concluded -- you know, we really want to change the direction of the country, we don't just need a House and Senate, we need a president, and that's why I chose to run for president.
So the truth is that one of the reasons I'm running is because I share that frustration. It's the reason why I ran for the Senate four and a half years ago. And I've had a front row seat unfortunately to see some of this lack of action on some of these issues. And it's that frustration that leads me to seek the highest office in the land now because I know it's going to take a president to undo the damage done by this president.
GLENN: I will say, you should just take a quick victory lap here before I let you know on the prediction you made on the last debate where you said exactly what Putin would do. This president and our State Department has no idea what they're dealing with. And you called it. And it was an astounding prediction.
MARCO: And I think you'll continue to see more of those things. You know, his goal is to continue to drive us out of the Middle East and reposition himself as a geopolitical force, on par with the United States. And so you're already seeing more and more of that. And I think unfortunately we were right about that. And we'll be right about it in the future. Because this president is weak and he's seen that way by our adversaries.
GLENN: Yeah. Marco Rubio. MarcoRubio.com, if you want to support. MarcoRubio.com. Marco, we'll see you again. And thank you so much for being on the program.
MARCO: Yes. Thanks, Glenn. Thanks.
GLENN: Running for president, Senator Marco Rubio. MarcoRubio.com.