Learn more about Marco Rubio
GLENN: How are you, sir?
RUBIO: I'm doing well. How are you?
GLENN: Have you ever thought of dropping the O, seriously?
RUBIO: Well, in Irish places I'd say it's Marc O'Rubio.
GLENN: How are things going on the campaign trail?
RUBIO: They are going very well. Obviously we've got a ways to go and there's still a lot of people that don't know about us or about the campaign. So we work hard every day to get the message out. But I'm encouraged. I'm even more encouraged that I hope I'm going to be part of a crop of key people entering politics in 2010 at every level of government that have a clear understanding of what the threats facing our country are and are prepared to stand up and do something about it.
GLENN: Well, here's what I wanted to ask you. The RNC, you know, did you see the PowerPoint presentation they put out on how to fund raise?
RUBIO: Yeah. I mean, I've read accounts of it.
RUBIO: I haven't seen the actual clips.
GLENN: All right. Basically they were saying play on people's fears. And the more you think about that, the more it just hacks me off. That, play on my fears? Are you is the RNC claiming these things aren't happening, that we're not about to drive off an economic cliff, that we're not unpegging almost entirely from the Constitution? I mean, play on our fears? What kind of, what kind of nonsense is that coming from the Republicans?
RUBIO: Well, here's two things. Number one is intellectually all traditions are defensible. In essence I think that if you have in any serious conversation about what's right for America's future, the arguments made by the left just don't add up. And so I believe we can win it on those grounds. Number two, playing to fears is exactly what the left has done in America for the better part of 20 years. It's the only way they win elections. And we've seen that. Whether, you know, it was in the 2008 elections or even now, their whole strategy is to try to discredit candidates who believe in basic things like, for example, the free enterprise system by linking them to all sorts of absurdities and so I think that playing to fears is what the left has been doing for years and there's a double standard as we all know in terms of how politics is covered.
GLENN: But I think you're missing the spirit of the question here.
GLENN: I don't really care about the left. I know what the left is. Most Americans know what the left is. They, you know, they get it. Anybody who's paying attention at this point gets what the left is doing. What the people are screaming for, independents are screaming for is somebody that will forget about the fears, recognize the real issues and fix the problem. Are the Republicans, are they serious about the problems, or do they think that the American people and the tea partygoers are hyping these problems?
RUBIO: Well now, okay, let me explain in the spirit of your question exactly what you're saying now. First of all, that is something put together by one guy. I hope it's not indicative of what they are looking at. But I think what you're saying is very clear. It's what I've been saying and that is America doesn't just need an opposition movement. It needs an alternative, an alternative to what's happening now because I believe if we make the right choices and I think we will that my children's generation has the opportunity to be the most prosperous and freest Americans ever. And I think that's saying a lot, if we make the right choices over the next two to four years. And so what America needs is an alternative. And I hope the Republican Party becomes the alternative to what this administration and this congress is offering the American people. It's the reason why I'm running. I'm not just running to be against the things that are for, although I think it's important to stop what they are trying to do. We also have to say instead of what they want to do, this is what we should be doing. And I hope that will be the central focus of Republican campaign in 2010. It will certainly be the central focus of mine.
GLENN: Marco, did you see what happened over at Iceland this weekend?
RUBIO: I did not. I'm sorry.
GLENN: That's okay. No, no. But what happened I'm a freak. What happened in Iceland this weekend was the people were given a referendum. England and the Netherlands want Iceland to pay them back for the loss of their investments. And basically they are looking for a bailout for their investments because they said Iceland should have known better, blah, blah blah, blah blah. Well, they went up to a referendum. 93% of the Icelandic people said, you are not getting a bailout, we're not giving you money back. You made a bad investment. Buyer beware. Well, now the England and the Netherlands are starting to put pressure and it looks like they are going to try to force Iceland to pay this money back. There is, there is a real problem because Iceland is just the first on the list. Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and eventually us. Do you think anybody really understands in Washington or, you know, any of the political players, truly understand how bad this situation globally is about to become and it's going to take a big thinker with real out of the box ideas to fix it?
RUBIO: Well, the sovereign debt crisis in the world is real and it's coming unless measures are taken to deal with it effectively in the short term. We don't have 15 years, we don't have even 10 to show that we're serious about this issue. Do I think there are people in Washington that get it? I do. I just don't think there are enough of them. And they are certainly not in charge. I think there's also the sense by some including in the Republican Party that we just want this issue to go away that, you know, someone else will fix this. You know, I don't want to worry about that; we'll leave that for someone else to deal with. And these problems don't solve themselves. The sovereign debt crisis that you are seeing right now in Greece could very easily happen in the United States in very short order. You know, the human economic behavior really is only knows two levels, either exuberance or panic and it's not going to take much to create an international panic over sovereign debt particularly that could reach the United States very quickly. The fact of the matter is we owe trillions of dollars that we're not quite sure how we're going to pay back and our debtors know this. And at some point it could happen sooner than we think. They could come to us and demand all kinds of things, including changes in our tax structure in order to in order for them to continue to lend us money, much less not call us on the existing debt. So it is a big problem. I wish people talked about it more. I wish it was the central focus of more campaigns. It's something I talk about all the time on the campaign trail.
GLENN: The I know you are running against Crist and I saw something in, I think it was the New York Times that you're, you know, going after him on the Everglades. I mean, both sides, both parties are in with big money and they're not I mean, they're doing whatever they have to do just to get the money to get reelected. Is there a way to end this corruption?
RUBIO: Well, I think the key here is to elect people who know why they are running and that they are running to do something, not running to be somebody. Oftentimes the goal is not to win an election. It's not an athletic competition. The goal is to be in office for a period of time that the citizens, do the best you can to serve and offer what you think is a vision for America's future. Hopefully you have enough people that agree with you so that you can actually accomplish it. And then go home with the laws you helped to pass. And I think too often in American politics we have people running because the polls say they can win. We have people running because it's the next step, the logical step up the political ladder. I think in I'm not perfect but clearly in my race I can tell you I'm not running to climb the political ladder because running against the incumbent governor in your own party is not the next logical step up the political ladder. We ran because I think the people in charge of American government are trying to fundamentally redefine the role of our government and our country, the role of America and the world. I think we have some people that will stand up to them and offer a clear alternative and I believe that in the U.S. Senate race in Florida, no one else in this race will do that but me.
GLENN: Did you see what happened with Congressman Massa in New York?
RUBIO: Well, I read the account of his resignation after I suppose I guess some personal scandal.
GLENN: But did you hear the audio that has come out today?
RUBIO: I have not heard the audio.
GLENN: Can we play a little of this audio? I'd like you to hear that. I'm going to take do you have a couple of seconds with us or not?
GLENN: Let me play just a little bit of this audio and then we have to get the audio up. Hang on just a second, Marco, if you have time. I'm going to take a quick break.