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ICYMI: Rubio Joins The Rubin Report
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined The Rubin Report to discuss Florida, the lunacy of the Far Left, and the continued promise of America. See below for highlights and watch the interview here.
On why Florida succeeds when other places fail:
“I think it starts with political leadership, [although] maybe the truth is that the people produce that political leadership. They reward a certain kind of leadership and don’t reward others.
“The key thing about Florida to understand is that [for the most part] everyone’s from somewhere else…. Hundreds of thousands of people in Florida have done what you’ve done. And that is, you came here because you didn’t like what life was like under the leadership of people in some other state. When people come to a place to get away from [bad governance], they come for a reason. I think that’s a big part of it.
“And it’s not just from other states. We also have people that come from other countries. Here in South Florida, … we have a lot of people that came from Cuba, or their parents did, and then Venezuela and Nicaragua.
“[People come to Florida] anytime there’s any sort of left-wing disruption in Latin America. For example, Peru elected a president who’s far left and even anti-American — suddenly you see the real estate purchases from Peruvians skyrocket. People come here to get away from that stuff. They come here from other countries, they come here from other states. And I think that’s a big, big part of what makes Florida what it is, and it’s something we really need to protect. It’s a dynamic state. It’s sort of a 21st century frontier state in that way.”
On how Florida is enduring the craziness by the Far Left:
“[Moving is] self-selected. I’m not saying that’s true for everybody, but frankly, if you watch MSNBC habitually, spend all day on Twitter, think in Florida we have people dying left and right, and Governor DeSantis is the leader of a death cult, you’re not going to move to Florida. By and large, people that are moving here are people that don’t believe that stuff.
“This is a state with diverse opinions. This has always been a state that’s had liberals…. But I don’t think that’s the dividing line anymore. You can be a liberal and not be crazy. [But today’s far-left agenda] is the complete total abandonment of common sense…. It’s almost hysteria on its approach to different issues.
“We’ve avoided a lot of that [craziness] happening here. That doesn’t mean it’s not present at all. But I don’t see a lot of that happening…. At the end of the day, there’s a reason why Ocasio-Cortez and all these other members of Congress come down here to vacation and party on New Year’s Eve. They may be … at least publicly in favor of the rules in their home state.
“When it comes time to actually enjoy life, they’re coming here…. Reminding people of that, and comparing us to these other states and what they’re going through, is one of the most important things we can continue to do to convince people and win this battle.”
On liberal bias in the legacy media:
“When you first kind of get into politics, … you think, ‘All right, [the legacy media are] liberal, but at some point there’s some fairness in them, right?’ And so you waste a lot of time thinking you’re going to impress people. [But the bias is] worse than it’s ever been.
“One of the things that Donald Trump revealed is you’re never going to impress these people. They’re never going to treat you the same as they do the other side. I think once you accept that, that’s a fact. The next step is realizing, ‘By the way, there’s a lot of people out there that notice this double standard.’
“There comes a point when you kind of realize it doesn’t really matter. People see [the hypocrisy] and frankly, people don’t believe it anymore. We’re just not living in a [legacy media] era now. There are more people that will watch this podcast than will read what the local newspaper writes about me on any given day. And once you sort of realize that, it makes life a lot easier.”
On Florida’s use of monoclonal antibodies and the Biden Administration’s response:
“The move to make monoclonal antibodies available to people, not just if they got sick, but even if they’ve been exposed to [COVID-19], I think saved a lot of lives and kept a lot of people out of hospitals. I know that firsthand from people that went through it.
“When [the Biden Administration] realized Florida was making them look bad, they decided, ‘We’re going to start rationing this.’’ … They’re doing it to punish Florida. They’re doing it to make sure that Florida doesn’t continue to embarrass them.
“There are benefits … and there are risks associated with virtually everything we’ll do…. But there are things you just have to be able to do in life in order to live. And I think once you [view] public policy from that perspective, it allows you to make decisions like [choosing to promote monoclonal antibody treatments].”
On mask requirements in K-12 schools:
“One of the things that this pandemic revealed is the importance of local government and local control for making those decisions. At the state level [in Florida], schools are being told you can’t have a mask mandate. The public schools here in Miami-Dade have a mask mandate for employees, but not for the kids…. Private schools can make their own decisions….
“It’s a risk and reward balancing prospect. The way these kids wear the masks … isn’t exactly the way you’re supposed to wear them, if that way is even effective at all. That’s the reality…. All we’re doing is creating an additional irritant in their educational setting.
“You hope there’s some common sense put into [COVID precautions]. And I think when you talk about this omicron variant, there ultimately isn’t. If you talk to people who will speak to you honestly about it, the masks aren’t going to stop omicron. This is a highly infectious varian. Luckily it’s not as severe, but it is highly infectious.
“I leave it to the states and the school boards to make decisions, but I would hope they would make those decisions with the best interests of the kids in mind. I’m more worried about them not learning how to read and write than I am about them not wearing mask exactly right…..”
On the radical liberal base putting pressure on Democrats:
“There are more people than just Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema that don’t want to get rid of the filibuster and think some of these ideas [the left is pushing] go beyond their comfort level.
“If you watch what’s happened to Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, there are a lot of people that are saying, ‘You know what, I’m just going to vote with a PAC and keep my head down. [These progressive bills are] not going to pass anyway.’ … These are people that are voting ‘Yes’ but hoping for ‘No.’
“[Moderate Democrats] don’t want to be singled out. They don’t want donors threatening them with primaries; they’re scared. [They] view this as kind of crazy, but they’re not going to say it because their base has become radicalized.
“The people that knock on doors and make phone calls and mobilize for Election Day are demanding whatever the pet issue of the moment is. They are far outside the mainstream, but if [politicians] take those people on, they may not be back….
“The threats against Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin that you’ve seen are … a message to the other members of Congress who may be thinking about stepping out of line: ‘This is what awaits you … if you step out of line. So just be quiet and do what we tell you to do.’”
On the Democrats’ failed attempt to eliminate the filibuster:
“[The Democrats have] a 50-50 Senate and a very narrow majority in the House, but their base thinks they have a mandate to radically transform America. And so they’re getting all this pressure [from their base:] ‘Get rid of the 60-vote threshold because it’s standing in the way of our agenda. And if you don’t, then that means you’re not with us.’
“This fake voting rights thing is just the issue they picked to have a filibuster fight over. But they were prepared to do it over the debt ceiling, and they were, at some point, talking about doing it for immigration reform…. This is just the one they figured we’d have the best chance to make a straight-faced argument over, even though it wasn’t a very good one.
“I don’t think Chuck Schumer had a choice. If Chuck Schumer hadn’t done this, he was almost certainly going to be primaried in New York in his Senate race…. That’s true for a lot of [the Democratic] leadership…. At the end of day, yes, they’re in the leadership, but they need to win elections to stay in that leadership.”
On the Democrats’ voting rights bill:
“I can’t speak for every state about their voting rights and laws, but there are things in that bill that Florida already does. We already have early voting here. And anybody can vote by mail in Florida; you don’t have to prove that you’re going to be out of town. And then you’ve got Election Day. You can go to your precinct from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and as long as you’re in line before 7 p.m., you can vote that way.
“When I first ran for office in 2010, early voting was limited…. When I voted in my first election in 1989, there was no early voting. If you wanted to vote absentee, you had to write a letter…. It’s never been easier to register or vote in Florida. There is no concerted effort to deny access to the ballot to anyone in America.
“Some of those ideas [the Democrats] are talking about — ballot harvesting, allowing people to go out and just grab ballots — we had a huge crisis about those here in Florida. And by the way, it happened a lot of times in Republican primary races. People would be hired to go out and collect [tens of thousands of] ballots, and it just led to all sorts of shenanigans.
“We had a mayor’s race in Miami overturned by a judge a year after the election because there was so much massive fraud on the absentee ballot front, a lot of it driven by ballot harvesting. And so we banned those practices here in Florida.
“The biggest problem I have [with the Democrats’ bill] is that the federal government is going to take over elections…. [When you have] centralized election authority in America, [elections are] at the whim of whoever is in power.”
On Federalism and the importance of states’ powers:
“The Senate was designed to represent the states. That’s why every state gets two senators. Part of our job is to keep a balance in place between the federal and state governments. I’m not against the federal government…. I just think the local government or the state government would do a better job of dealing with [some issues] than the federal government would.
“If we [look at history], there are a lot of reasons why great powers fall. One of the things many of those powers had in common is centralized government control. That entrepreneurial spirit, that competition to see who has better ideas, that creativity and innovation that you see when power is decentralized, [those centralized powers] lost that. It’s one of the key reasons why Europe surpassed the Asia-Pacific region in global leadership….
“I think [decentralized power] is also aligned with our Constitution. Look at every innovation in public education in America over the last 20 years. They’ve all been driven by state initiatives…. I’m going to work very hard to make sure that the Senate stands in the way of any effort to have federal takeovers of big public policy issues [like elections].”
On Biden’s performance as president:
“[President Joe Biden] has a long history of sort of saying things that are silly, and we know that…. I’m not one of these people that [goes crazy] because someone misstates a word or doesn’t perfectly phrase something…. That’s a sort of theatrics.
“I do think it’s relevant when you see a consistent pattern of [strange behavior]. In the big speech he gave in Georgia a couple of weeks ago, he talked about when he had been arrested. It’s been well documented that he’s never been arrested in a civil rights protest. I think if you’re Vladimir Putin or you’re the Chinese leadership of the Communist Party, you’re watching that and saying, ‘There’s something wrong with this guy. I think there are things we can get away with as long as [Biden is president].’ The fact that [our enemies would wonder], ‘Who’s actually making the decisions?’ is a dangerous thing for the country.
“[The administration] had to spend the last 24 hours cleaning up what [Biden] said about Ukraine…. [Biden also] alluded that maybe the midterms aren’t going to be legitimate. They’ve had to clean that up as well. He’s not the same person [as he was]. I don’t know who’s running the show. I’m in no position to speculate about that. But I can tell you [his aides] spend a lot of time having to sort of clean up the things he says, and our adversaries notice.”
On the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine:
“We have to explain to people why this matters. Americans are very wary of engaging in conflicts around the world, so let me be frank: there are not going to be American troops in Ukraine taking on a Russian invasion, because you can’t have a conventional war between two nuclear powers. It’s too risky… we’ve got to do everything possible so that [Vladimir Putin] calculates that the price of [invasion] is higher than the benefits he’s going to gain from it. That’s not an easy thing to do, because the guy is convinced that we’re going to make Ukraine a member of NATO.
“We’ve got to change the reward pattern on [invading]. I think part of that is economic. I think part of it is [emphasizing] the reality that Ukrainians aren’t going to welcome these guys and say, ‘Oh, thank you for taking over our country.’ [Russia is] going to face a protracted insurgency….. And I think this country, as much as any, understands that when you invade a country, you now have to govern and occupy it. And if the people there aren’t that happy, they make life miserable for you. It’s going to bleed and drain [your country].
“The Russian government and Vladimir Putin will have to explain to Russian moms why their sons are coming home in boxes because they took over a place that doesn’t want them. And those risks have to be made clear up-front, in addition to the economic pain and suffering [that come from sanctions].
“I believe Vladimir Putin is going to do something. The highest probability is he goes right after Kiev and decapitates the government. He’s already setting up the pretext for it. We just need to make sure that if he does it, he pays a tremendous price, because it’s not just about Putin. This matters because if he can get away with it, China says, ‘that’s the model for Taiwan.’ Then maybe North Korea says, ‘that’s the model for us to take over the entire peninsula.’ Who knows who else is thinking about things like this.”
On the need for a resilient economy and the possibility of overextension:
“If you’re going to be a country as big and powerful [as the U.S.] with an economy as advanced as ours, then what happens around the world is going to matter to you, because you’re sourcing products, raw materials, energy, trade, commerce, from all over the world. You need there to be stability.
“The one thing you can never allow to happen [is total dependence on another power]. For example, let’s say China comes to dominate the Asia-Pacific region and suddenly we can’t trade — we’ve just lost all those countries in Asia that we sell things to and buy things from.
“We have to have an industrial capability in this country. You cannot be a great power if you’re not an industrial power. I don’t care what people tell you. You can’t just be the place that invents things on paper and then ships [your invention] off for someone else to make it.
“Eventually, the people making these things will be the people that will invent them. Not to mention the national security ramifications of [dependency]. So number one, we have to be in industrial power. Number two, we have to make sure that we don’t live in a world in which another great power dominates a [critical] region.
“There has to be a balance against the notion of overextension. There are a lot of bad things that happen in the world. We need to do what we can [to address them]. But most of them do not have an American military solution, nor should they…. Our number one priority must always be the national interest of our country and protecting it from threats, both at home and around the world.
“A lot of times what happens is if America isn’t involved then some other people will get involved, but they’re going to get involved in ways that may not necessarily further our national interest. The withdrawal from Afghanistan, for example, has led a lot of countries to increasingly turn to China and Russia as their [preferred] defense partners. That’s concerning because of what that could mean for the future of American economic prosperity and security.”
On the dangers of the Democrats’ socialist logic:
“I think [the Democrats’ failures are] the natural consequence of [their bad] decisions…. Inflation is a great example. If you want Marxism or socialism and you want the government to control more of our economy, then inflation isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The way you view it is, ‘The more expensive life gets, … the more people are going to be open to the argument that … the only way you’re going to be able to have [a good standard of living] is if the government provides it for you.’
“[When you drift toward socialism,] the government doesn’t just take over early childhood education, it decides what’s being taught and who gets to teach it. It doesn’t just take over higher education, it decides what you have to teach and who gets to go [to school]. When it sends you the check in the mail every month, it doesn’t just decide how much money you have in the bank. It makes you dependent on that program and increases taxes on other people in order for the money to be there to do that.
“[The logic] creates a scenario in which people become more open to becoming dependent on government to fill in their needs because the economy can’t do it…. But that always comes at the price of your freedom and liberty, both economic and personal.”
On whether we are losing sight of the American Dream:
“I think [the American Dream is] our destiny as a country, because we’re constantly reinventing ourselves. When you reinvent yourself, and I mean that in a positive way — ‘reinvigorate’ really is the term — it gets messy and conflicted.
“Every generation, we have some group of people that rise in politics and say: ‘this America thing isn’t actually that good…. we really need to change….’ and it gets traction for a little while because they take advantage of some peculiarity of the moment.
“Eventually the overwhelming majority of Americans, including people that don’t agree on a lot of issues, generally agree on one thing. Which is, ‘what we have here is pretty good. I wouldn’t rather be anybody else and we can’t walk away from the things that made [our country what it is]; we’ve got to build on them.’
“I think that’s what you see happening right now. There are a lot of people out there that voted for Joe Biden, maybe didn’t like Donald Trump, maybe have never voted for a Republican, but they don’t understand why their kids are being pulled out of school….
“There are people that are saying, ‘look, my kid has really not been in a stable learning environment for two years. How are we going to make that up? And what’s that going to mean down the road and in the future?’
“There are small business owners, many of whom maybe are liberal Democrats, but they’re like, ‘I can’t hire anybody, … and all my products cost more, and I can’t pass it through to the consumer.’ There’s an awakening going on in this country about the consequences of [left-wing] policies….
“There’s no country in the world I look at and say, ‘I wish we were them instead of us.’ The American people are fine; it’s our government that’s broken. It’s people making decisions at the highest levels of corporate America that are broken, not our people.”