OTR Interviews

Rubio: Marine jailed in Mexico needs to be priority for Kerry, Obama

Fla. senator: Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi's wrong turn and incarceration in Mexico a 'cautionary tale' #MarineHeldinMexico


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 22, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Sergeant Tahmooressi had recently moved from Florida to San Diego to go to the V.A. hospital. We spoke with Sergeant Tahmooressi's home state Senator, Senator Marco Rubio, about the Marine's detention.


VAN SUSTEREN: What do you make of the fact that the Marine is sitting in Mexico prison waiting for judicial action.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA.: First of all, this is not the first time this has happened, unfortunately. We have been in contact with his family and the State Department trying to get more information about this. We are deeply concerned about this. It's not the first time it's happened now. I think it's a caution to people about being careful near that border area. We have been in contact with the State Department. We have asked them to make it a priority in their communications with the Mexican government.

VAN SUSTEREN: I thought it was a preposterous story. How can you accidentally drive into Mexico? We went down there and retraced the steps. The roads you drive are bizarre. If you want to go home to San Diego, you think you turn left and head north. Instead, you turn left and you loop around and end up right in Mexico without any options. This is so poorly designed. And now this two-term who went -- he did two tours in Afghanistan and now he is sitting in that prison.

RUBIO: That's right. Like I said, we are deeply concerned. We have been in contact with his family, with the State Department. We're hoping this thing has happy resolution here very soon.

VAN SUSTEREN: What does the State Department saying to you though?


RUBIO: They are somewhat limited. They say they can't give us too much information without the permission of the family. They say they communicated with the Mexican authorities and made this a priority. Beyond that, we haven't heard too much yet.

VAN SUSTEREN: He is from Florida so he one of your constituents.

RUBIO: He is.

VAN SUSTEREN: I can tell you his mother will give you permission and we went down to the prison to talk to him. He gave us permission and then the prison said that he needed to do it in writing, and then they wouldn't give him a pen and paper. The prison is doing everything to get in our way.

RUBIO: Yeah. I don't think that the Mexican prison system is an ideal model to begin with. We are very, very concerned about this case. I'm glad that you have shown some light ton.

VAN SUSTEREN: What should President Obama do?

RUBIO: Well, I think he should call on the authorities over there, including the president of the country, and make this a priority. They are going to argue they have their own judicial system. This has to work through there. But this gentleman, quite frankly, doesn't fit the profile of anyone that is dangerous. This sounds like an accident that occurred. I hope is he treated fairly. I hope he is back in Florida soon.

VAN SUSTEREN: I understand they have a judicial system one they could do as a courtesy since we give them a lot of money and we do a lot of the business with elm. This he they could accelerator the process. Any prosecutor, any judge looking at this, looking at those roads, looking at those signs, looking at the fact that when he got to the border, he made a phone call saying that he had accidentally gone in there, and he told the authorities about the guns that he could lawfully possess in the United States. He told the border police and they still picked him up. But anybody looking at that would cut him loose.

RUBIO: Again, we should make this a priority in making those points. Beyond that I would say you are right, we should use our diplomatic influence to make sure this matters to us. And I hope the White House will do that.


VAN SUSTEREN: We at ON THE RECORD want to thank you because the #MarineHeldinMexico has now reached over 19 million people. We asked to you apply pressure. You can through. You did. We don't know if there is a connection but we are obviously thrilled that the Obama administration is finally talking to Mexico about our jailed Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi.