This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 23, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: It is the dirty little secret that Obama's re-election campaign wanted to keep quiet until after November. Now, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, over $8 billion is being wasted on an experimental program which gives bonuses to providers of private Medicare advantage plans that meet specific targets.
Now, here's the twist. Reports indicate that the money is funding the program until after the election when it will then be gutted by Obamacare. Now, without the money, this would explode just days before the general election.
And we all know that team Obama, well, they wouldn't want that. Meddling with health care insurance of seniors, which is a key voting group, is bound to hurt his re-election campaign.
Joining me now is reaction to this and much more, Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Senator, welcome back. Good to see you.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA.: Good to see you, Sean. Thank you.
HANNITY: All right, before I get to that, I have to punish you and be a horrible host and ask you about the slip of the tongue that made so much news last week. If you don't mind and you'll indulge us, here is what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: Three, four, five, six, seven years ago, if I do a good job as vice president -- I'm sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys all got that, right? You all got that, right?
As a senator -- if I do a good job as a senator instead of a vice president, I'll have a chance to do -- I'll have a chance to do all sorts of things including commissioner of the NFL, which is where the real power is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Well, do you want to explain that?
RUBIO: Well, it's what you said. It was a slip of the tongue. But, you get asked so many times, stuff starts floating in your head.
RUBIO: So, in terms of the word, you know. So, but that's why at this point, Sean I think that Governor Romney has begun a formal process. He has asked some people to do that process for him. And I think that we should all respect that. All of us who participate in politics, inside and outside of it, and let them do their work. And so, we're not going to be talking about that anymore.
HANNITY: All right. Can I ask you if they came to you and said we would like to consider you, we need your help in the vetting process, would you be open to it?
RUBIO: Well, I'm not going to talk about anything that has to do with that anymore because I just want to be respectful to their process. And so --
RUBIO: But -- next question.
HANNITY: There's an inside joke behind that answer. Thank you very much, Senator.
All right, let me go to what we're talking about here. Now, this is interesting because a lot of the more draconian portions of Obamacare don't go into effect until after the election. A lot of them starting next year, 2014. And this one provision, though, would go into effect just a few weeks before the election. The Medicare advantage program.
Now, what they cynically did is they are funneling $8 billion -- I would even argue you can use the term slush fund -- through Health and Human Services to delay its implementation by saying it's an experiment and the experiment is, what if we don't change things? That is what the experiment is so they won't feel the wrath of voters that they predict would be angry at ObamaCare? How do you react to that?
RUBIO: Yes, you know, one of big issues I've had with Washington in general and the administration in specific is about Medicare. Because in addition to having millions of people in the state of Florida that are on Medicare, one of them is my mother. And so to me, Medicare matters deeply. And my mother is on Medicare Vantage, which is a program think is one of few choice programs we have in the public sector in United States.
And so, everything is political with this administration. I mean, everything is designed around the elections, and increasingly so you are starting to see that with things like what you're highlighting.
And the bigger problem with Medicare is this president doesn't have a plan to save it.
Now one of the things that's going to come out in this report is it's going to show that Medicare spends less money than it takes in. It is headed towards bankruptcy. We can never allow that to happen. And if there was real leadership from the White House, there would be a sense of urgency about saving Medicare and instead of saving it they want to play politics. They want to run ads on it. They wanted to attack Paul Ryan on it. You know, instead of focusing on the fact that this is a very important program and that unless we save it, we're not going to have it.
HANNITY: But, Senator, we just played (INAUDIBLE) here earlier in the program and he's saying the GOP, you know, is out to get grandma. You mentioned the Paul Ryan look alike ad throwing grandma over the cliff.
I mean, every time any effort has been made to save Medicare from inevitable bankruptcy, it gets demagogued. You know, the hyperbole comes out. The Democrats have signaled the president himself has said Republicans want elderly and kids with autism to fend for themselves. So this is going to be the campaign, how do you combated that?
RUBIO: It is. Well, let me tell you. First of all, we to have tell the people why this is going to the campaign. The reason why they say these outrageous things is because they don't want this campaign to be about the president's record.
This campaign is about president's record. He is going to lose and he knows that. His is a record where everything is worse than it was the day he was sworn in. So they don't want this to be about economy. They don't want it to be about his record. They're going to want it to be about everything else. That is why they say these outrageous things. Let me tell you about Medicare. What we need to be consistent about at least where I'm concerned. My mom is on Medicare. I will never support any changes to Medicare that would negatively affect her or anyone like her that is currently on the program.
I do believe, however, that people like me that are decades away from retirement, we are going to have accept that in order to keep Medicare as it stands for our parents and our grandparents, our Medicare, my generation's Medicare is going to have to look different, especially if we wanted one. Is that too much to ask of our generation after all our parents have done for us? We need to drive that point home.
HANNITY: Any time it's been attempted, any time any responsible proposal is put forward, you know what happens. It gets demagogue. Look, what's frustrating to me is you watch this process unfold and the president does this with abandon.
It seems that he'll say anything to hang on that nice house, nice plane and nice helicopter. One has to wonder, you know, is the country ready -- you know, we borrow 40 cents of every dollar. He says we're borrowing from the Bank of China in the name of our kids and grandkids.
RUBIO: Yes, but here's the thing. People get what is happening. Increasingly, they're starting to understand. If you went to the American people and said, should we keep Medicare as it is right now for the people who have it right now, but in order to do that should we ask future generations, people like me and younger who are decades away from retirement, to accept that their Medicare is going to be very good, but different than their parents in order to save their parents and grandparents Medicare? The vast majority of Americans would say absolutely. The sooner we do that and the better off this country is going to be.
That is why we need to elect Mitt Romney because he is the only one running that is willing to say that and do that. This president has no plan to save Medicare, none. He's been in office for three and a half years. He has no plans to save this program whatsoever. He should be held accountable for that in November.
HANNITY: All right, so you're sure there is nothing you want to add about the issue of vice president. This is a very inside joke. So we were giving a speech together in Naples, Florida, and I was fashionably late. You were up at the podium giving a great 45 minutes speech. I was only like a few minutes fashionably late. I said I'm sorry. You were gracious enough to introduce me. I said I'm sorry, Senator. I apologize for being -- I'm sorry, Mr. Vice President and what was the reaction? The room erupted. They liked the idea. It just happened very organically.
Nice to see you, Senator. Thanks for being with us. Good answer. You did very well. Thank you.
RUBIO: Thank you.
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