RUBIO: He had better seats. And, you know, in -- in so many ways, again, my -- my dad was -- I'll tell you, he was obsessed with your show. He would TiVo it every night or DVR the "Hannity" show every night, because he thought I was on every night. And I told him, no, I'll let you know when I'm going to be on and --
HANNITY: Now, why -- why are you trying to take away viewers from me (INAUDIBLE)?
RUBIO: Well, I -- I'm sure they get --
RUBIO: -- I'm sure they get your show where he is now, too.
But -- but my point is that, you know, he wasn't a political guy. I mean, he wasn't -- in terms of someone that loved politics and followed it. He cared about it and he certainly never pushed me in that direction. But he showed his pride in the attention he paid, especially at the end of his life. And my mom would talk about -- I mean he had Fox on 24-7 just in case I came up for 30 seconds in -- in some interview somewhere.
So I think he was proud of what we accomplished, because as, A, we were his kids. And all parents are proud of what their kids accomplish. But I -- I talk in the book about when I first ran for office in the city of West Miami. And that's a very small city, so you -- the way you run there is you knock on doors. You go door to door. And it was during that time, going into the living rooms of my neighbors, a lot of elderly Cuban-Americans, that I got to know who I really was and who my generation was.
And invariably, those conversations turned to when they were young and the hopes and dreams they once had for themselves and how that was lost to them because of history. And it became the purpose of their lives to give their children and their grandchildren every chance they didn't have. In essence, what gave their life meaning at the end of their lives, what -- what -- what was their statement that they mattered, that they had been here, was what we were now able to do in our own lives or through the lives of their kids. And I think it was the first time that I really began to understand that my generation of Cuban-Americans were the heirs of two generations of unfulfilled dreams.
HANNITY: You know, it's interesting you say that, because I've been going through Ancestry.com. And the things my -- my grandfather, in 1940, earned $600 in this country, came to the country in the early part of the last century. It's -- it's fascinating, you know, what you learn about them and how we really stand on their shoulders, on the shoulders of our grandparents, great grandparents and our parents.
You even told the story, an interesting background about your grandfather, from a broadcaster's standpoint, is that part of his job was to read the news --
HANNITY: -- in a factory where they were rolling cigars so that it would -- it would keep them working.
RUBIO: The early part of the book --
RUBIO: -- details my family's history, back to the birth --
RUBIO: -- of my grandfather in 1899, when the U.S. still basically governed Cuba, up until 1902.
My grandfather, when he was born into a large rural family, there were a lot of kids. And they -- one of the reasons why they have a lot of kids is to help work the farm. But my grandfather was stricken with polio at a very young age, so he -- he lost the use of one of his legs. He couldn't work the farm. So he was the only one of his siblings that got sent to school and learned how to read.
And when he lost his job at the railroad station, one of the jobs he took up was he'd go to this cigar factory where they would roll cigars and they would hire him to sit at the front of the factory and read the newspapers to the workers. And then afterward, novels, to the workers.
And from that, he picked his lifelong -- first of all, he learned a lot, obviously, covering history as it was happening and -- and later reading the classics. But he also picked up this lifelong passion for reading and for learning, which, years later, he would share with me on the porch of our home as he smoked one of his three daily cigars --
RUBIO: -- at the -- in the porch of our home in Las Vegas. He would talk to me about history. And invariably, that turned to politics.
HANNITY: And -- and, also, it wasn't an easy time for your father, who, at nine years old, had to begin his work life and take care of younger siblings.
RUBIO: That's right. His mom died when he was only nine. And literally within hours or days, he went to work and he never stopped working. His first job that I talk about was at a small little cafe just around the corner where the -- he had found some money or a wallet and he turned it in. And one of the guys playing dominos there, it was owned by some Spaniards that accused him of stealing the wallet. And the owner chastised the guy and told them, don't accuse this kid, he's an honest kid. Did you see he turned the wallet over to you?
And he said, hey, kid, do you want a job here bussing tables and helping out? And that's where he started to work. And, unfortunately, a few months later, he got fired for -- for taking a chocolate bar without asking for permission.
RUBIO: But --
HANNITY: The things you learn.
RUBIO: -- just think about it, that he was nine years old.
RUBIO: And instead of being in school, he was working. And he worked virtually until the time, you know, he -- he passed away. That's a -- that's a lot of work.
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