This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 8, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: And now former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio is here. He is in a knock-down-drag-out slugfest of his own in his state. There are lots of issues to talk about, but tonight there a new one, the BP oil disaster. He joins us live. These election nights are exciting aren't they?
MARCO RUBIO, GOP FLORIDA SENATE CANDIDATE: They give you butterflies. I'm going to be one of these nights where it will be about our race in Florida. It is exciting to watch for candidates, exciting election year with so much at stake.
VAN SUSTEREN: Which one are you watching?
RUBIO: They're all interesting. Everyone watches the governor's race in South Carolina and everyone is interested to see what happens in California. I grew up in Las Vegas for part of my life so I still have deep ties to that community in Las Vegas and across the state.
VAN SUSTEREN: President Obama says he's going to Florida. Florida is beginning to get threatened by this oil slick.
RUBIO: We are worried about that. And unfortunately what happened is an ecological and economic disaster, and you would you hope the number within priority the federal government. And I feel it has not been to stop this as soon as possible and work with those that can help to stop it.
And the second part is to find out why this happened so it never happens again. Whoever is responsible has to pay for the cleanup, the economic damage. The most important thing is we need to figure out why this happened. There's offshore drilling going on now and it is going to continue and we have to make sure this never happens again.
VAN SUSTEREN: It is obvious who is responsible one of three companies, Trans-Ocean, Halliburton, or BP, so that's an easy one. What is it that the federal government is not doing thank you would expect them to be doing?
RUBIO: If you watch any of the press conferences held out of Louisiana by Governor Jindal you know bureaucracy he has to fight through to get his state at they needed to help their marshes and protect early on when there was an opportunity to do that just the frustration with the dispersants and the fight they had with the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.
It was a tremendous amount of frustration by Louisiana dealing with that, and I hope Florida doesn't have the same problems, because unfortunately it looks like we'll have some impact soon.
VAN SUSTEREN: The president is complaining about talking heads, trying to decide who it is he needs to kick around. He seems to be on the defensive. Are you critical of the way he's handled this? And if so, what would you have wanted him to do, precisely?
RUBIO: In the early days it wasn't dealt with that way the first 72 hours the first week when happened, you wished the administration was more assertive. It took a week before there was a real and growing understanding about how bad this problem was.
The second thing is providing aid to the state of Louisiana and the kinds of things they asked for, whether dealing with the bureaucracy or the Army Corps of Engineers, and giving material that Louisiana was asking for that only the federal government could provide to help protect their marshes.
VAN SUSTEREN: If Florida does -- if Florida you haven't gotten it, but even the threat can deter people from going to enjoy your beaches. If people do not enjoy your beaches you don't have revenue to run your government, and you are in a deeper financial problem aside from the ecological damage. Now what?
RUBIO: Obviously, you want to make sure people have confidence in the state of Florida with the assistance of the federal government is doing everything it can to protect beaches.
The second thing is information be accurate. Beaches in Florida have not largely been impacted by this. There's been tar balls in northwest Florida. But by and large almost every destination in Florida is open for business, fishing, our beaches. And luckily we are still seeing tourists coming. And they should come.
VAN SUSTEREN: When we figure out how much damage, let's say only BP pays the damage not the only two companies, but it's obvious they've destroyed fishing in Louisiana. The cost when it goes deeper along people not going to a beach, and so people are not coming from the north so Florida is hurt economically, and it is hard to collect from BP.
RUBIO: It is hard to measure because it has a trickle effect. Tourism that comes for fishing the fishermen in Destin, Florida and other places in northwest Florida saw sharp declines in reservations because of the news.
So it is hard to measure, no doubt about it. This is an unfortunate situation we have to deal with this, figure out why it happened so it never happens again.
VAN SUSTEREN: How is your slugfest with Governor Crist?
RUBIO: We have a three-way race. The governor decided to abandon the Republican Party even though he said would not. We'll have a democratic opponent we don't know who that will be yet. I'm the only one running that will stand up to the Obama agenda and offer a clear alternative.
VAN SUSTEREN: How does Governor Crist running as an independent change your strategy?
RUBIO: It doesn't.
VAN SUSTEREN: But it may steal some of your votes.
RUBIO: It ignites our party and it makes it clear that in this race there was only one candidate running as a Republican that would stand up to the Obama agenda and offer a clear alternative. And now it is clear because Charlie Crist abandoned the Republican Party.
And the majority of Floridians believe the world will be a safer place if America is the strongest country in the world. They want a strong, consistent, genuine voice in the U.S. Senate that will say that and I'm the only one in the race that will.
VAN SUSTEREN: Are you having fun?
RUBIO: I am.
VAN SUSTEREN: Are you tired?
RUBIO: Some days are more fun than others. Generally speaking, I've been blessed with the opportunity to travel the state and talk about issues I care about deeply. I think is the most exceptional society new all of human history and I want to make sure it is country high kids get to grow up new.
VAN SUSTEREN: Will you join us election night in November?
VAN SUSTEREN: Now you have to show up, we booked you, thank you.
RUBIO: I'd love to be here.
VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you very much, and we'll be watching.
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