Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Fox News Radio's Guy Benson to discuss a possible government shutdown, criminal justice reform, foreign policy and more.
On government shutdown: I think a reasonable compromise was offered to them and that is today the Democrats were offered by our leadership here in the Senate, the opportunity to do basically what they supported in the past which is to fund 1.3 billion dollars for border security and then some additional money that could be used at the president's discretion for additional improvements necessary on the border. They rejected and it's surprising because they supported that in the past and as recently as last week Chuck Schumer was saying he would support the 1.3 billion. So, what it looks like now unfortunately is we're so close to sort of finishing out something that hadn't happened in a long time and that is funding the government through the normal system is good for funding the government. I think unfortunately I believe the likeliest outcome at this point is that there's a continuing resolution that takes us into the early part of next year a date to be determined I imagine, but of course that if that place is it on the lap of the Democratic house and I think at that point obviously this gets this harder from the president and Republicans perspective and is the reason. (00:53)
On Democrats saying no because they think they have leverage: I think there's something deeper here. Despite public pronouncements, if you're Nancy Pelosi and you know I don't agree with her on a lot of public policy issues, but I respect to her ability to work the system and get elected leader because she's been doing it so often and for so long so she knows how to get elected Speaker of the House. So, despite public pronouncements about how secure she is in having wrapped up the votes and she's got a pretty aggressive left-of-center base or far-left even, in her own party, these upcoming coming members and the like, and anything she does that goes along with any deal that gives the president anything on the wall or border security could cause some of those people to reverse their votes. I'm just calculating here that I think as much as anything else has to do with her own election as Speaker and the fear of losing some of these left wing, ultra-liberal votes that she needs in order to win. (2:04)
On his concerned on criminal justice reform bill: Let me just tell you that I think everyone is in favor of the first part of that bill which I've long supported as a separate bill and that is the idea that if someone is going to get out of jail anyway, they're scheduled to be out of jail in 10 years, 5 years or 15 years it behooves us, it's in our interest, to make sure that those people have training and those people have skills acquisition and the kinds of things that you need in order to be successful so you don't go back to jail. The second part of it is what's troubling and that is the incentive that they want to use to get these people to take these services is a reduction on the back end, a credit time, credit for the back end where they're able to serve part of the sentence in a halfway house or even in non-detention home probation. Whatever it might be. And then on the front end also reducing some mandatory sentences for certain cases. That's the part that I get nervous about because ultimately you're talking about some very bad people that have done some horrible things. We have to be very careful when we start walking in that direction. I think mandatory minimum sentences can sometimes have impacts that you look at it and say aren't fair, but we also have to recognize mandatory and minimum sentences have taken really terrible human beings off the streets for long periods of time. The best way to prevent a criminal from committing another crime is to not let them get out there...I'm not sure given the Amendments that are out there that they could ever get to the point where I'm 100% confident. I don't understand why we didn't just do this for a small select group of crimes and start from there and build it up as oppose to the reverse, but they've decided to take a huge bite of the apple. If I'm uncomfortable in the end I'm going to air on the side of public safety and vote against it. (3:37)
On imposing additional sanctions in Iran: The additional sanctions are exactly those targeted at the loopholes they've been able to find and that may include lifting some waivers in time we've allowed some people to have. Now, some of them done for purposes of geopolitics and in cases of our allies and the case of Iraq is an example, which is not necessarily always an ally, but a country you don't want to see collapse. But, ultimately that's being used for evasion purposes. That has to be targeted. On the second point that you mak, we have to understand, and this is one of the sad things about the way this whole issue is discussed, the nefarious activities of Iran are difficult to exaggerate. They are responsible for a lot of those IEDs that maimed and killed American servicemen in Iraq. So, every time you run into some incredible hero who lost an arm or both of their legs or is forever traumatized by the experience that they had remember it is Iran who made it possible for that to happen... They are by far one of the most dangerous actors in the world today, against our interests and against the interests of our allies and of world peace. (9:04)
On what the Republican Party needs to take away from the midterms: I'm not diminishing because it was significant. Just know if I told you from a historical perspective that the party in power that controls both chambers and the presidency lost seats in the midterm you would say that's the historical norm. So, that's a fact. That's happened. It's similar to what we saw in 2010 and 2006. That said, you look at some of the district's and some of the losses they clearly came from area that have a large number of the highly educated college educated professionals who maybe voted for Mitt Romney and McCain before that, but this time have turned from the Republican Party, perhaps even sharper than in 2016. We don't just want to be in the majority want to have a governing majority in America so we can do the kind of good public policy that we need. Ideally, we would continue to work on policies that meet the needs of the majority of the American people, which would require us to number one, keep on board the men and women who supported the president that many of whom abandon the Democratic Party because it has long ignored the plight of a working-class American. But at the same time do it in a way that also brings back the people that voted for Mitt Romney and voted for Republicans in the past but didn't do it this cycle. (11:53)
On advice he has for people running for president: I don't know about advice because you probably want advice from the person who won not the person who I who didn't win. But it's a challenge. I don't know if there's going to be a personal with a big personality like Donald Trump on their side. That was a dynamic that's worth exploring and thinking about, but you know it look at such it's always a challenge to try to figure out how to stand out in a big crowded field. I remember the first debate I think we had like 16 people on the stage. It's tough to get a question in. Here's what I would say to people though ultimately, I don't regret running. It's one of the greatest experiences in my life. I met incredible people I learned a lot. I think I'm a better senator for having run and been exposed to realities and things that perhaps I didn't know before I ran and so forth. I would just tell people to ultimately know why you're running. Go out there and make your case first of the democratic elector and ultimately to the American people. A lot of what turns out happening in these elections is really out of your control. The strategy, the message that might have won four years ago may not win four years later because circumstances change. You can't control circumstances. You can control who you are what you stand for. Go out and offer people something that's authentic that you deeply believe in. Work as hard as you can and if it works out you get to serve as president and if you didn't you have the unique opportunity to run for the highest office in the land and an opportunity to contribute to the debate and you'll be better for it. That's my advice to people if they think about doing this. (13:45)