The following is a transcript of Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio's speech at the Republican National Convention on Aug. 30, 2012.
RUBIO: Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you.
I think I just drank Clint Eastwood's water. Thank you.
Thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me here
today and thank you so much for doing this convention here in
Florida. Before I begin --
Before I begin this is such an important night for my
Thank you so mucch -- thank you so much for having
me here today, and thank you so much for doing this convention
here in Florida.
You know, before I begin -- yes, thank you -- before I
being, this is such an important night for my country. I want
to begin -- with your permission -- 80 seconds, to talk about
another country. A country located just a few hundred miles
away from this city, the country of my parents birth.
There is no freedom or liberty in Cuba, and tonight, I ask
for your prayers that soon freedom and liberty will be there as
It -- this is a big honor for me. Not so long ago I was
just a underdog candidate. The only people who thought I could
win all live in my house.
Four of them were under the age of 10.
But this is incredible when I was asked to introduce
Governor Romney, who will hear from in just a moment, he is
backstage, ready to go.
So, I called a few people, and asked them, ``What should I
say?'' And they had a lot of different opinions, but the one
thing they all said was, ``Don't mess it up.'' So, I thought the
best way to introduce Mitt Romney tonight, the next president of
the United States...
... is to talk about what this election is about. And I'm
so honored to do this here in Florida at the Republican national
convention in front of all you patriots.
I watched my first convention in 1980 with my grandfather.
My grandfather was born to a farming family in rural Cuba.
Childhood polio left him permanently disabled. Because he
couldn't work the farm, his family sent him to school. He was
the only one in his family that knew how to read. He was a huge
influence on the growing up. As a boy, I sat on the porch of my
house and listen to his stories about history and politics and
baseball, as he would talk on one of its three daily (inaudible)
cigars. Now, I don't remember, it has been three decades since
we last sat on that porch. I don't rember all the things he
talked to me about. But the one thing I rember is the one thing
he wanted me never to forget. That the dreams he had when he
was young became impossible to achieve . But there was no limit
to how far I could go, because I was an American.
Now for those of us -- here's why I say that -- here's why
I say that. Because for those of us who were born and raised in
this country, sometimes it becomes easy to forget how special
America is. But my grandfather understood how different America
was from the rest of the world because he knew life outside
Tonight, you will hear from another man who understands
what makes America exceptional.
Mitt Romney knows America's prosperity did not happen
because our government simply spent more money. It happened
because our people use their own money to open a business. And
when they succeed, they hire more people, who invest or spend
their money in the economy, helping others start a business or
Now tonight, we have heard for a long time now about Mitt
Romney's success in business. It is well known. But we've also
learned he is so much more than that. Mitt Romney is a devoted
husband, a father, a grandfather, a generous member of his
community and church, a role model for younger Americans like
myself. Everywhere he has been, he has volunteered his time and
talent to make things better for those around him. And we are
blessed that a man like this will soon be the president of these
Now, let me be clear so that no one misunderstands. Our
problem with President Obama is not he is a bad person. By all
accounts, he too is a good husband, a good father, and thanks to
lots of practice, a good golfer.
Our problem is not that he is a bad person. Our problem is
that he is a bad president.
Do you think he's watching tonight? Because his new slogan
is the word, forward. Forward. A government that spends $1
trillion more than it takes in? An $800 billion stimulus that
treated more debt than jobs? A government intervention into
healthcare paid for with higher taxes and cuts to Medicare,
scores of new rules and regulations. These ideas to not move us
forward. These ideas move us backwards.
These are tired and old big government ideas that have
failed every time and everywhere they have been tried. These
are ideas that people come to America to get away from.
These -- these are ideas that threaten to make America more
like the rest of the world instead of helping the rest of the
world become more like America.
As for his old slogan, under Barack Obama, the only change
is that hope is hard to find.
Now, sadly, millions of Americans are insecure about their
future. Instead of inspiring us by reminding us of what makes a
special, he divides us against each other.
He tells Americans that they're worse off because others
are better off, that richer people got rich by making other
people poor. Hope and change has become divide and conquer.
But in the end of this election, it doesn't matter how you
feel about President Obama. This election is about your future,
not about his.
And -- and this election is not simply a choice between a
Democrat and Republican. It is a choice about what kind of
country you want America to be.
And as we prepare to make this choice, we should remember
what made a special. -- remember what made us special . You
see, for most of our human history, almost everybody was poor.
Power and wealth only belonged to a few. Your rights are
whatever your rulers allowed you to have, your future was
determined by your past. If your parents were poor, so would
you be. If you were born without opportunities, so were your
But America was founded on the idea that every person has
God given rights.
Founded on the belief that power belongs to the people,
that government exists to protect our rights and serve our
interests, and that no one should be trapped in the
circumstances of their birth. We should be free to go as far as
our talents and our work can take us.
And we're special -- we're special because we are united --
we're united not as a common race or ethnicity, we are bound
together by common values. The family is the most important
institution in society.
And that almighty God is the source of all we have.
We are special. We are special because we have never made
the mistake of believing we are so smart that we can rely solely
on our leaders or on our government. Our national motto, ``in
God we trust'', reminding us that faith in our creator is the
most important American value of them all.
And we are special -- we're special because we've always
understood the scriptural admonition, that for everyone to whom
much is given, from him much will be required.
Well, my fellow Americans, we are a uniquely blessed
people, and we have honored those blessings with the enduring
example of an exceptional America.
I know for many of you watching at home tonight, the last
few years have tested your faith in the promise of America.
Maybe you are at an age when you thought you would be entering
retirement, but now because your savings and investments are
wiped out your future is uncertain.
Maybe after years of hard work this was the time you
expected to be your prime earnings years, but instead, you've
been laid off and your house is worth less than your mortgage.
Maybe you did everything you were told to do to get ahead.
You studied hard and finished school, but now you owe thousands
of dollars in student loans, you can't find a job in your field,
and you've had to move back in with your parents. You want to
believe we're still that special place where anything is
possible. You just do not seem -- things not seen to be getting
any better, and you wonder if things will ever be the same
Yes, we live in a troubled time, but the story of those who
came before us reminds us that America has always been about new
beginnings, and Mitt Romney is running for president because he
knows, if we are willing to do for our children what our parents
did for us, life in America can be better than it has ever been.
My mother was one of seven girls who parents often went to
bed hungry so their children wouldn't. My father lost his
mother when he was nine. He had to leave school and to go to
work, and he would work for the next 70 years of his life. They
immigrated to America with little more than the hope of a better
life. My dad was a bartender. My mom was a cashier, a hotel
maid, a stock clerk at Kmart. They never made it big. They
were never rich, and yet they were successful, because just a
few decades removed from hopelessness, they made possible for us
all the things that have been impossible for them.
Many nights growing up I would hear my father's keys at the
door as he came home after another 16-hour day. Many mornings,
I woke up just as my mother got home from the overnight shift at
Kmart. When you're young and in a hurry, the meaning of moments
like this escape you. Now, as my children get older, I
understand it better. My dad used to tell us -- (SPEAKING IN
SPANISH) -- in this country, you'll be able to accomplish all
the things we never could.
A few years ago, I noticed a bartender behind the portable
bar in the back of the ballroom. I remembered my father, who
worked as many years as a banquet bartender. He was grateful
for the work he had, but that's not like he wanted for us. You
see, he stood behind the ball all those years so that one day I
could stand behind a podium, in the front of a room.
That journey -- that journey, from behind that bar to
behind this podium, goes to the essence of the American miracle.
That we're exceptional, not because we have more rich people
here. We are special because dreams that are impossible
anywhere else, they come true here.
But that is not just my story. That's your story. That's
our story. That's the story of your mothers, who struggled to
give you what they never had. That's the story of your father
who worked two jobs so that the doors that had been closed to
them will be open for you. That's the story of that teacher or
that coach who taught the lessons that may do for you are today.
And it's the story of a man who was born into an uncertain
story in a foreign country, whose family came to escape
revolution. They struggled through poverty and the Great
Depression, and yet he rose to be an admired businessman and
public servant. And in November, his son Mitt Romney, will be
elected president of these United States.
In America, we are all just a generation or two removed
from somebody who made our future the purpose of their lives.
RUBIO: America is the story of everyday people who did
extraordinary things, a story woven deep into the fabric of our
society. Their stories may never be famous, but in the lives
they lived, you will find the essence of America's greatness.
And to make sure that America is still a place where
tomorrow is always better than yesterday, that is what our
politics should be about. And that is what we are deciding in
We decide, do we want our children to inherit our hopes and
dreams? Or do we want to inherit our problems? Because if Mitt
Romney believes, if we succeed in changing the direction of our
country, our children and grandchildren will be the most
prosperous generation ever, and their achievements will astonish
The story of our time will be written by Americans who
haven't yet even been born. Let us make sure the right that we
did our part. That, in the early years of this new century, we
lived in an uncertain time, but we did not allow fear to make us
abandon what made us special.
We chose more government instead of more freedom. We chose
the principles of our founding to solve the challenges of our
time. We chose a special man to lead us In a special time. We
chose Mitt Romney to lead our nation and, because we did, the
American miracle lived on for another generation to inherit.
My fellow Republicans, my fellow Americans, I am proud to
introduce to you, the next president of the united states of
America, Mitt Romney.