Fighting for Florida

Senator Rubio on CBS "Face The Nation"

Rubio: "The only credible plan to deal with the debt must have budgetary reforms and pro-growth strategies."

RUBIO: THE PRESIDENT HAS IGNORED THIS DEBT PROBLEM

Bob Schieffer: "Do you really mean all of that literally, Senator, that everything in America is worse? And I take it that it is all Barack Obama's fault."

Senator Rubio:  "First of all, every President has to be judged by the times in which he lives. This President’s now been in charge for two and a half years, okay? He has increased federal spending by 28 percent. Washington went along with his prescription for joblessness which was the stimulus package, and unemployment is higher than it was when he took over.  Significantly higher, in fact.  We have not had unemployment this high for this long since the Great Depression with no signs of it getting better.  Over 20 million Americans today as they watch this program are either unemployed or underemployed and none of the things he said we need to do in order to turn that around have worked. 

"As far as waiting long to deal with this, here are the facts. When I came to Washington in January, we already knew this debt limit issue was upon us, but nothing happened during the State of the Union. He proposed a budget that was so ludicrous that not even the Democrats in the Senate would vote for it.  A budget that increased the debt, not solved it.  Months went by, weeks went by and up until very recently the President was completely disengaged from this debt limit debate.

"And I do think that in the context of politics, there was a strategy to leave this to the last possible moment so that there would be a take-it-or-leave-it scenario like what some are painting right now. And I repeat, this is not a game, this is a very serious issue. People watching at home they don't care who is going to win the debt limit debate; they want to know how come they can't find a job.  And the answer is because until America has a credible solution to its debt problem, people will be afraid to invest in America’s economy and create jobs here at home."

RUBIO: REPUBLICANS HAVE MADE MAJOR CONCESSIONS - ENTITLEMENT REFORMS

Bob Schieffer: "Well, where are the concessions that the Republicans are willing to make? I heard the President just this week say, 'Yeah he’d be willing to talk about means testing for people on Medicare.' I don’t hear any concessions from people on the other side, they just say no taxes, and that’s their negotiating posture."

Senator Rubio:  "Well, I don’t think that’s an accurate reflection. I can only speak for myself.  I come from a state that has a massive number of retirees and I’ve stood before cameras like this and made it very clear, if we don’t do something to save Medicare and Social Security, they will bankrupt themselves and bankrupt our country. Those programs are unsustainable as they are currently structured. That we are going to lose those programs unless we do something to deal with it. I did that during the campaign and everybody told me I’d lost my mind in terms of talking about these issues.  So I think as far as I’m concerned, and many like me, we have stepped up and talked about some of these issues that face America. Congressman Ryan has paid a terrible political price early on this year for even offering a potential solution to some of these problems. So I’m not sure that’s a fair assessment."

RUBIO: CREDIT RATING AGENCIES INSIST THIS IS BIGGER THAN THE DEBT LIMIT; WE NEED A CREDIBLE PLAN TO DEAL WITH OUR DEBT

Bob Schieffer: "Are you ready to say that you will not vote for anything that lets the government go into default on its debts? So are you willing to let that happen?"

Senator Rubio:  "Well I think that if all we do is raise the debt limit, that's exactly what we're doing.  The full faith and credit of the United States is in danger if all we do is raise the debt limit and it’s not accompanied by a credible plan to begin to deal with this debt issue.  And it’s not me saying it, it's Standard and Poor saying it.  It's the rating houses saying it. I think people every time they cite these reports in the media outlets, they need to read the full report because if you read the full report, they say yes we're concerned about the U.S. not voting to raise its debt limit but we're really concerned that the United States and its government does not have a credible plan to deal with the debt and the only credible plan to deal with the debt is not simply raising the debt limit.  You must also have budgetary reforms put in place that show how you're going to save money and pro-growth strategies that show how you're going to grow your economy.  If we don't do that we are in a lot of trouble."

RUBIO: NEW REVENUES SHOULD COME FROM NEW JOBS

Bob Schieffer: "Aren't you going to have to have some way to increase revenues that goes beyond just cutting taxes?"

Senator Rubio: "I think everybody in Washington would like to see more revenues. The question is: number one, how do you get more revenues? And number two, what do you do with it?

“I think more revenue should come from economic growth. And I think it should come from that because I think it's impossible for it to come from tax increases. None of the tax increases the President is proposing solves the problem. They don't raise enough money. In fact, they make it worse. They kill jobs.  And by the way, I don't trust Washington because they have shown, time and again, that any time they get their hands on more money, they don't use it to pay or avoid debt. They use it to grow the government.

“That's what I'm in favor of. I'm in favor of more revenue that comes from economic growth, the creation of new jobs.  And if you talk to job creators - not politicians, not Presidents - if you talk to job creators, they will tell you that what they're looking for is a fairer and simpler tax code. So I do support tax reform, and I think there is a lot of support for tax reform in Washington. And they're looking for some regulatory reform as well, because they think these regulations that are being imposed make America a more unfriendly place to do business.

"When people tell you communist China is a better place to do business than America, you know you're in trouble."

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