Jan 28 2021
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined The Hugh Hewitt Show to discuss pro-life policy and the March for Life, vaccine distribution in Florida, impeachment, and more. See below for highlights and listen to the full interview here.
On pro-life policy and the March for Life:
“I always remind people that this whole issue of abortion is a very difficult issue, and because it does in fact involve a woman’s right to choose what she wants with her body. The problem is that on the issue of abortion, there is another human being involved, and that’s an unborn child’s right to live. So you’ve got these two competing rights ... And on that, I err on the side of life, or I choose on the side of life, because it’s the most fundamental of rights. Without life, none of the other rights we claim are possible. There is a freedom of religion, freedom of speech, democracy, none of these things are possible without life. And so I think every time we’re forced to choose between a human, especially an innocent human life and some other right, I’m going to be pretty clear about that.”
On the involvement of courts in the abortion debate:
“Well, if you think about, in the state legislatures, where we picked up not just seats, but states, that’s very good news, because that’s the places where you’re going to see laws passed that are eventually going to find their way to the Supreme Court. And these laws are not intended to deny anyone any rights. They’re designed to prevent the most outrageous and egregious abortion practices like a child that’s born alive, or a child that is, the partial birth techniques that are used. Also, safety, the licensing requirements that doctors be there.
“I think at the federal level, the one I think makes all the sense in the world is a law that I’ve been a part of for many years now, which is to say that you cannot move someone across state lines, so a minor, for purposes of an abortion. You think about all the things that a minor needs parental permission for, but in many states, abortion is not one of them. So I think that’s a big win. I think the other thing is the judiciary. And again, the courts don’t make policy decisions, or they shouldn’t be making policy decisions. They make Constitutional decisions. And the idea that somehow the federal U.S. Constitution has in it an explicit or an implicit privacy right that applies to abortion is something that I think is going to be continued to be tested.”
On Roe V. Wade:
“If you think about it, and that’s a debate we need to take to the state capitals, but I think that’s one of the big things that they say out there that just aren’t true, and [Democrats] confuse people, and that is well, if Roe V. Wade goes away, it makes it illegal. What Roe V. Wade says is that no state can make abortion illegal. It doesn’t say what states can do. And as you’ve pointed out, there are states, and I anticipate there will be states, where the law will continue to be what it is. But what it does, what one of the things that Roe has done is it’s made it very difficult to make what’s already a terrible practice, to make it safer, or to ensure that some of the worst abuses don’t occur.
“And so frankly, the one thing that always angers me is if you think about it, and [Democrats are] never asked this, but really, leading Democratic politicians in order to get the 100% rating they need from the pro-abortion groups, they can’t be in favor of any restrictions of any kind. None whatsoever. And that includes late term abortions. They can’t be for that. They’re never asked about that, even though that’s a position that the overwhelming majority of Americans, that’s a practice that an overwhelming majority of Americans think should not be occurring.”
On vaccine distribution in Florida:
“It’s a difficult thing to do, so I have to assess it by comparing it to other states. And I can tell you, we’re doing much better than some of the states that get all of the glory from the national media. It’s one of those issues that really points to you sort of the implicit bias and the narrative that are chosen by the national media. Some are worse than others. You would think that New York is a shining example of how to do this. And I mean, I think California is a complete and utter disaster.
“We’ve got people trying to come to Florida just to get the vaccine. I mean, we had to actually deal with the issue that people come there to get the vaccine, because they can’t, have no chance of getting it in their own states. And remember, Florida, like all states, depends on what the federal government’s making available to them.
“So if you think about it, I don’t have the exact number in front of me, but by the end of this month, I believe every long-term care facility, nursing homes, ALF’s and so forth, every one of them will have had every patient and/or worker have had the opportunity to take the vaccine. And you know, we’re up to, I think, over 20-25% of our seniors have already received at least one dose of it, which is the most vulnerable population. So that's pretty substantial, and obviously that number keeps getting chipped away at every day.”
On the upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate and Rubio’s vote to not proceed:
“I’ll tell you a couple things about that. The first is the automatic penalty for a guilty verdict, right, on an impeachment trial, the automatic penalty is removal from office. So that tells you that the purpose of it is to remove someone from office. That is the sole purpose of an impeachment trial, is to remove them. You can’t remove someone that’s already left. And so that’s the first thing I would point to. The second is how divisive, this continues to pour fuel on a raging fire of division in our country.
“Rather than being able to move forward, we continue on with this whole thing. It’s a really stupid idea, and on top of the fact that you know, I think it sets a terrible precedent. You look at the third world, one of the most typical things you’ll find in the Western Hemisphere and Latin America and other places is every immediate past president of those countries is under indictment, and is in jail because their successor goes after them.
“We’re going to start a pattern in this country of if someone wins the presidency, and the opposing party, suddenly someone is out of office, the opposing party takes over, they’re immediately going to try to persecute them post-office. It’s just a terrible, terrible precedent.”
On Rob Portman’s decision to not run for reelection and Rubio’s intent to run for reelection:
“No, I’m running for reelection, and in terms of Rob, I can’t speak to him. But I’ll tell you this. You know, when you run for reelection to the Senate, you’re signing a six year contract, which means for the next six years of your life, you’re committing to doing this job. And you know, people watch from afar, but ultimately, you know, it’s a job that you really have to have all your heart and soul into. Some people want to do it for 40 years. Some people serve a term or two and feel like they’ve done what they want to do and go back. And I respect that very much. Look, I don’t intend to be here for the rest of my life. You won’t find me here in my 80s. But I do think there’s work I want to finish, especially at this important moment, so that’s why I’m running for reelection. But I think for someone like Rob who’s been in public service for a long time, served in the House, was the trade representative, there comes a moment where you might want to do other things with your life. And that’s something that’s noble and that we should understand and support."
On Florida “getting redder”:
“Well, it’ll continue to take a lot of hard work, but I would say two things. One is we have people moving from all these places that have crazy governors and crazy mayors, and so that’s helping. You have people that were intending to move anyway that have accelerated that timeline. But I think the other really interesting thing is, and they say Hispanic voters and African-American voter performance for Republicans improved. But I don’t think it’s because of ethnicity. I’m really tired of all this identity politics. It’s really because these are working-class voters.
“And what did we learn this week? We learned this week that just like COVID, the only way to deal with climate is to put working-class people out of work immediately. I mean, that’s the answer. And so every time these people are forced to choose, the Left, every time they’re forced to choose between jobs for people and some other goal they have in mind, the other goal always wins. And COVID is serious. Climate is something we have to deal with, but I think there’s ways to do it without putting tens of thousands of people out of work immediately.”