This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 15, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: President Barack Obama is hoping to coast into a second term by claiming that it is the Republicans who are responsible for the legislative gridlock in Washington. But as he continues to blame the so called do-nothing Congress, as well as Americans who have gotten, quote, "A little bit lazy for all the problems that are facing the country, well, the reality is he's the one kicking up his feet during this time of economic uncertainty.
Now for much of the week, the President has been relaxing in beautiful Hawaii under the guise of the APEC Summit. Now, he's at the golf course with friends, he's hosted fundraisers. But again, according to the White House, it's those do nothing rascally Republicans who are to blame for the high unemployment rate here in America.
And joining me now to help shatter that illusion and tells us about his bold bipartisan jobs proposal is Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Senator, good to see you. I got a chance to watch you speak this weekend when I was in Florida and I thought it was a great speech. And it's good to see you.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA.: Well, thank you, it's good being with you again down there in southwest Florida. Thanks for being a part of that.
HANNITY: My favorite part of the country. What do you make of the president? This is not the first time that he's kind of attacked the American people, that you know, the people are a little bit lazy, he spoken a while back about them getting soft, we lost our ambition, our imagination. What do you make of that? Are the American people not smart enough to accept his goodness and greatness?
RUBIO: Well, you know, I think he has it wrong unfortunately for us. I mean, he's the president but he's gotten that wrong. Here's the bottom line. Americans haven't forgotten how to create jobs. Americans haven't run out of good ideas. There are a lot of good ideas sitting out there on the sidelines, waiting to go out and create jobs and grow our economy. But people are afraid to do so because they think the worst is yet to come. They look at Washington and they get worried about the policies that coming out of here. And we have a government that's make it harder for people to start a new business or expand an existing business.
So, hardworking taxpayers, everyday people, all walks of life who do have good ideas are afraid to do it, are afraid to pursue them because they look at the politics of this administration and Washington and it discourages them from following suit.
HANNITY: Something you said about the Republicans, that Florida -- I was a little surprised at this -- you think it's a 50-50 purple state. I would think that -- well, first of all, the polls show that Republicans are doing very well in Florida right now. Barack Obama is not particularly popular there. Why do you think it's still 50-50?
RUBIO: Well, first of all, I think Florida voters, when it gets down to elections it always narrows and that's just the way it plays out. But secondly, the president is going to raise more money than anyone has before and he's going to spend a lot of that in Florida and then to try to win the election. I think earlier today and earlier yesterday, we saw Governor Christie point out that we shouldn't take that for granted. Yes, I mean, if you look at the president's job performance, he's made everything worse. I mean, our country today, by every economic measure, is worse off than it was when he took over. And based on that, he can't run on his record and he shouldn't be re-elected but he's going to raise more money than any candidate in the history of this country and he's going to spend it. These guys, they know how to run campaigns. They're going to spend a lot of it in Florida. So, it's going to make a competitive state more competitive than it should be based on his record. And we need to be cautious of that and worry of that. And understand that our nominee, whoever that is, needs to do a good job of creating a clear contrast from the president on jobs and the economy.
HANNITY: I think one of the best speeches I ever heard came from you, and when you talked about your family and your upbringing and your values and your love of freedom. And you said something, I'm not sure if people will take it the right way, you said that the Republicans need to tone down their rhetoric on immigration and be the pro-legal immigration party. I'm trying to understand, I didn't really understand what you mean tone down their rhetoric because the only thing I see is that people want to control our borders, we support immigration. You know, my family came from Ireland. I just want you to explain what you meant by the tone.
RUBIO: Sure. Well, a couple things. Number one is, I think we have done a pretty good job of explaining what we are not for. We aren't for amnesty, for example. And I think people know that about Republicans now. I think now it's time to talk about what we are for and what we are for is legal immigration. We believe in legal immigration, we think it's an important part of our heritage and an important part of our future. But we can't be the only country in the world that doesn't have immigration laws and doesn't enforce them. And that's really what we're for. I think that's what the majority of Americans are for. You know, I think, sometimes people when they talk about immigration, not necessarily the candidates but just in general, there's an anger behind it, and we need to understand that many who cover this issue are going to portray it that way.
I mean, if you give strong language on it, they're going to try to turn it into a negative. We can't let that happen. We are not anti-immigration, we are pro legal immigration. That's what the Republican Party is about. But we need a legal immigration system that honors our heritage both as a nation of immigrants but we are also a nation of laws. And I think if we focus on that and what we are for, it's going to really bode well. Because on the economic issues, we should be winning the votes of the Americans of Hispanic decent because this president has made everything worse.
HANNITY: Let me ask you. Tomorrow, Stuart Varney mentioned, we're going to hit the $15 trillion in-debt mark. I mean, that's all -- we are burdening future generations with that debt. The Super Committee, maybe they will come up with $1.2 trillion in cuts but they aren't dealing with baseline budgeting. Even the Fed says the chance of a new recession tops 50 percent. What is the answer? How do we get Congress to really adopt bold responsible programs instead of basically playing the old Washington insider game and just touching around the edges here?
RUBIO: Well, there are two fundamental things in play. Number one is, we have to going to win an election. People that believe in limited government, that believe that government should be making it easier, not harder to create jobs in America, we're going to have to get more people like that elected in 2012. But that election is not until November of next year and people are hurting right now. So, in the interim, I think we needed to do the best we can without doing any further harm the way the administration would have us do through some of their ideas. So, what I have basically have done, is I have sat down with a Democrat, with Senator Coons of Delaware and have identified all the things that Republicans and Democrats have in common in their jobs plans and our ideas, let's pass those things and then we will have an election about the other things. There are some big issues that we disagree on. And that's what this election is going to have to be decided on. But there are things we could be doing to help veterans, to help with job creation and we should get those things done and then let's have an election. And I'm confident that if the election is about the proper role of government, we're going to do very well, we Republicans are in 2012.
HANNITY: All right. A little personal story. So, I walk in the room, I was a little late which I shouldn't be, and you were speaking at the time and you were very gracious and acknowledged me this weekend when I came in and I said, Senator -- I'm sorry -- Mr. Vice President, good to see you, and the room erupted in laughter. And I know you are sick of the question, and I suggested an answer. So if anyone asks you about, would you accept the vice-presidency, what would you say?
RUBIO: Well, I have nothing further to add to that than I've already said, so.
HANNITY: This is an inside joke. Nobody knows what we are talking about. But Senator, it's great to see you. Thanks for being with us.
RUBIO: Thank you. Thanks for having me on again.
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