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ICYMI: Rubio Joins The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show

Nov 3, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show to discuss President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Socialist” spending plan, Democrats’ reconciliation bill, Cuba, and the 2022 Beijing Olympics. See below for a lightly edited transcript of his remarks and listen to the full interview here

On the projected timeline for a vote on President Biden’s spending bill:

“We don’t have very much insight or control over it because [the Democrats] are planning to do it without us. Really there’s an audience of two or three that they’re focused on in the Senate, and in the House a few more. 

“I voted against [the infrastructure bill] for this precise reason, and that is it is a hostage. It is the hostage that is now being held, and what they’re saying to everybody is, if you want this bill that a bunch of you guys agreed on. ?I didn’t, but you guys agree on ? then you have to give us this other thing that only we, the Democrats, agree on. And that’s the hostage they’ve taken.

“Whether they decide to release that hostage, I don’t know. It sounds like they’re trying to figure out a way to do that so that Biden can at least get something done and claim credit for an achievement on something, but I don’t know.” 

On the reconciliation bill:

“It gives me no comfort that [the Democrats] are going to whittle it down from $2.5 trillion or $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion. It’s still a socialist expansion of the government. 

“If you put the government in charge of pre-K in America, it doesn’t matter if you authorize it for two or five years ? ou [have] put the government in charge of pre-K in America. And then you’re going to tell pre-K schools what they can teach, who they can hire, and who’s allowed to provide it. That’s the power that they really care about. It’s not the money, they care about controlling these things.. [Pre-K is] the last piece of education in this country they don’t control.” 

On the latest in Cuba and how the Biden administration is addressing it:

“[The Biden Administration] is doing nothing on Cuba at all. In some ways, it’s good because they haven’t reversed the Trump Administration’s policies, because they make sense. In other ways, it’s bad because the people in charge of the Cuba portfolio inside of this administration are the same ones that were in favor of the Obama deal with Cuba, [which] was a disaster. 

“But my sense of it is that they don’t give it much priority. To the extent they give it attention, it’s handed off to lower level people in the administration and at the State Department that are friendly with the regime, including [Emily Mendrala], the lady that is now in charge of Cuba at the State Department and [who] was in charge of putting together Congressional trips to Cuba to hang out with regime officials. 

“This effort to do this march on November 11th inside of Cuba is not easy. There are people that are still locked up in arbitrary detention three months after what happened in July. They’re pretty brutal about it, they cracked down pretty hard, because they’re pretty good at repression, unfortunately. So we’re encouraging and asking people to do something that, I admit, right now is easy to say from the outside, but it’s not easy to do from the inside. 

“I think there’s this realization by younger Cubans that another generation is going to be lost to this, that their only choices are going to be to get out of the country or live the rest of their [lives] languishing in the system that doesn’t work. It doesn’t work socially, culturally, morally, or economically for them. I think that’s being expressed, and it continues to put pressure on a regime that’s willing to kill and jail its own people to stay in power.”

On the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics:

“I’m not generally in favor of boycotting [the Olympics] because it hurts the athletes who train hard all these years to be prepared to go. That said, I think we have to look very carefully at the conditions that are being placed for people that are going. 

“Right now, [Beijing] violated all kinds of Olympic rules by not allowing athletes to come in early and acclimate as they’re supposed to. I want to see how the American media covers the Winter Olympics, because how can you be in China and not cover the fact that these abuses are going on there? It seems like the Chinese authorities are going to try to constrain and keep everybody in this locked up area where they can’t go outside. 

“What I’m going to really be watching is how the outlets and journalists cover the Olympics. How do they cover it? Are they going to actually write and put things out there that are going to be clear and brutally honest about not just the conditions in the Olympic villages and around [it], but the conditions in the country that happened to host them? Or are we going to allow the sort of paid infomercial where the Chinese can brag about all the advances they’ve made and ignore all the negative stuff they’ve done? That’s something to bear watching. I want to see how this is covered and whether these outlets and these sponsors pull their punches because they’re interested in access and ratings, and not so much in being journalists, or telling the truth, or being on the side of what’s right.”