Press Releases

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) spoke with Maxima 92.5 Tampa Bay about the likelihood of a second relief package, the need for additional PPP funding, chances of getting a second stimulus check, funding for the unemployed, Twitter’s double standard with conservatives, the San Isidro Movement in Cuba, and more. 
 
A partial translated transcript of the interview is below:       
 
On a second relief package and additional PPP funds 
“I believe that the possibility of this happening is the highest I’ve seen since June or July. Unfortunately this whole process got stuck in partisan politics, with the elections and everything else. And I'll be honest, the Democrats didn't want anything to happen. We offered them a lot of things and they didn't want to do it because I think they thought that if the economy worsened that it was going to hurt Trump and it was going to help them win different seats in the Senate and in the House. Now, obviously, at the end of the year everything has changed and the elections are over and then they have another willingness. But in the end, it is not a guarantee, but we are working on it. 
 
“I will tell you that the part I’m in charge of is helping small businesses. On that issue we’ve reached an agreement with my Democratic colleague [Ben Cardin]. We’ve worked very well on this and have presented it to the leadership of both parties, to see if they accept it. It would help a lot of small businesses and their employees to not have to close their doors, fire employees, this would obviously create unemployment and despair during very difficult times. ”
 
On the probability of a second stimulus check 
It's not that I’m opposed to that, but I don't see any kind of movement in favor. I also think that one of the things that we do have to do, and the most important thing we can do, is help people who have a job to keep it and help people who do not have a job to get one. And that is impossible if the small businesses are closing their doors, as well as larger companies. So we have to help keep the jobs we already have. We don't help anyone by creating more unemployment and we should help companies survive, especially small businesses, so they can bring back their employees to work. At the end of the day, the vast majority of people want a job, not a government check. " 
 
On unemployment funds
“It’s included in the funding for the states. They’re the ones who run the unemployment system. Also, obviously, the package helps hospitals and schools and everything else. And I repeat, I do not want to be repetitive, but I don’t want to diminish the great importance of small businesses. We have so many small businesses that are about to close. They are surviving the best they can, but they cannot keep up the way they are. We know, for example, that PPP, when we first did it, saved more than 3 million jobs in Florida. Imagine 3 million unemployed, in addition to what we already had in the system.” 
 
On the COVID-19 vaccine and the return to normalcy
Remember, there is more than one vaccine. We already have two that are about to be approved and that will help a lot because it's an additional option. I will tell you that the first round will be given to people working in medical centers and hospitals. That’s very important, because if we lose them we will be in serious [trouble]. Second, it would be given to seniors and people with serious medical conditions. That will help a lot, for example, in retirement homes. Then the general public. 
 
“But remember that every time someone has immunity to the virus, the virus begins to decrease. If there are forty percent of people who can’t get coronavirus, then it is forty percent who can’t spread it. This is not going to be an overnight thing, but I think that we’re going to see constant improvements during the early months of 2021. And, let's hope, they tell us that it’s very possible that by June or before the 4th of July, we’ll be living in a country where there is a level of normality similar to what we had before. 
 
“I think things are never going to go back to what they were before, in many cases. And there are people with serious situations, they will have to continue using face masks simply because we do not know how long the protection of this vaccine lasts because it is new. But anyway, I think that by summer we will undoubtedly be living in a very different situation, God willing.”
 
On Biden's potential presidency
“Joe Biden -- for political reasons -- is surrounded by people from the far left because that’s the base of his party. These millions of dollars that the Democrats raised, not only for the presidency, but for all of the Democratic candidates to the Senate, even those who lost by nine or ten points, they raised more funds than their Republican opponent. Where did that money come from? That came from the far left. And, that far left is going to demand that Joe Biden do certain things and they’re going to have great influence on the direction of the Biden Administration’s policies. So I have no doubt that the far left, and the craziness of the far left, will have an impact on the policies of Biden’s Administration simply because they represent the most energetic base of the Democratic Party right now.”
 
Repercussions of having a Democratic majority in the Senate            
“I believe that one of the first things they are going to do, if they have the majority -- God forbid -- in the Senate, is end the filibuster. In other words, from now on they can pass any law with a simple majority in the Senate. And after they do that, well then they can do whatever they want. They can do the “Green New Deal”, which will end thousands and thousands of jobs, they will be able to increase taxes, they will be able to create a national health system similar to what exists in parts of Europe and other countries, which has been a disaster for those places. They will take away your doctor and everything else - a total and complete Obamacare, not simply what we have at the moment.
 
“And in terms of foreign policy, they’re going to re-enter the Iran Deal, which endangers the status of Israel. I imagine that they’re going to enter negotiations with Maduro, which has never resulted in absolutely anything, and will do great harm. I believe that they condemn that nation to 50 years of tyranny. Also, they are going to try to return to Obama’s agreement with the Castro regime, which in the end didn’t achieve anything for the Cuban people but helped bring millions of dollars to a company named GAEZA, controlled by the Cuban military. Anyway, I think the list is long of what they will be able to do.” 
 
On Twitter’s censorship and their double standards with the conservatives
“Two things: I believe, first, that if Twitter is a company that’s going to censor what people say, then they’ve become a newspaper. They have a protection, the law says you can't sue Twitter and FB because they don't create the content. They are simply a site where people can put up that content. If you're going to put yourself in an editorial position, well then you must be willing to be sued, just like a newspaper, a television station, and so on. They shouldn't have the protection they have right now. Second, I think there is a double standard in the way they apply their rules. For example, a Chinese government official tweeted just a week ago a fake image of an Australian soldier. An image of an Australian soldier with a knife around a child's neck in Afghanistan. That is a false image. For 48 hours, they did absolutely nothing. And that is something very serious because that image could have resulted in violence against those soldiers who are stationed in Afghanistan as part of the coalition. They did not do anything, I sent a letter and finally they put some sort of notification but they didn’t remove it. When Donald Trump said on Twitter that he was going to send the National Guard to Minneapolis they removed the tweet, saying it was instigating violence. 
 
"And I have seen it, I have seen it with my own eyes, many tweets saying horrors about the Cuban-American community. That is the only minority group in this country that can be told the things that are being said about them. There has been no kind of measures against that. I am not in favor of attacking any minority group in this nation. But, openly, if you do it against any other group, they remove your tweet for saying that you are instigating hatred. But you can say horrors, and they say it, every day, that Cuban-Americans in Miami are racists, that they’re fascists, that they're in favor of a Trump dictatorship, that they Cuban-American Republicans must be deported and Twitter says absolutely nothing. 
 
"So, anyway, I think it’s a rule they apply one for the left and others for the right."
 
On Cuba’s San Isidro Movement
“I believe that what it means, more than anything, is not the end of a tyranny but the beginning of the end. It indicates the beginning of a civic movement, a movement organized by the people, which is not political. This is not a political movement, it is a movement of artists who simply want freedom of expression and it’s being denied. These are not people who seek to participate in political life, nor are they interested in power, it’s not a political party. And it’s not that I’m criticizing the political dissidents, because they play an important role as well. I think it indicates, for the most part, that there’s young people who’ve grown up all their lives under this system who’ve been told that everything that’s happening on the island is the US’ fault, because of a blockade and everything else. And they simply want the opportunity to express themselves, on different issues, including social issues within the country. Also, it is an organic movement. Totally organic. It has absolutely nothing to do with foreigners, it’s not a movement inspired by those in exile or by politicians, or anything else. Even many of the people who participate in that movement, I’ve never heard of them because I’m not well immersed in the music and culture within Cuba that criticizes the regime because you simply don’t hear much of it abroad. 
 
“Anyway, I think that what it’s teaching us is that there is a young generation of Cubans, who have a role to play in Cuba’s future. They’re demanding the basic: the ability to express themselves freely and openly, which they’re able to. I think the whole world is going to support that feeling. It’s a peaceful movement and the brutality with which these people have been treated simply tells us that absolutely nothing has changed in Cuba. The names in some of Cuba’s leadership positions may have changed, but anyway, it is the same system and there is a young generation within Cuba that is not going to accept it."    
 
Message to Floridians Following 2020
I wish you all the best. I know that it has been an extremely difficult year for the nation and for many of you. Our prayers go out to the people who’ve lost loved ones due to this virus, who have lost their jobs, who have lost their businesses. I ask you to keep the faith that I believe that better days are ahead of us, that with God everything is possible. I wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year. That together we will be able to move forward and have a better year next year.”