Marco Rubio breaks down the GOP debate

GOP presidential candidate weighs in on debate performance, polls and campaign strategies on 'The O'Reilly Factor'


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 15, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: Thanks for staying with us, I'm Bill O'Reilly. In the "Campaign 2016" segment tonight, let's bring in one of the debaters last night, Senator Marco Rubio joins us from New Hampshire.

I was a bit confused about the Syrian refugee question. They ran down all of the candidates. All of them but you said that they would stop immediately any refugees, Syrian refugees from coming here. You had a bit more nuanced answer. Would you stop them?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, it wasn't nuanced at all. I said if we don't know who you are, hundred percent for sure and we don't know why you are coming, we are not going to let you in whether you are a Syrian refugee or anybody for that matter. And in the issue of the Syrian refugees, I don't think we can know who they are 100 percent for sure. Because there is no database to check them against. Because, you know, we don't have a cooperative government, we can call up and ran them again, see what they know about them.

O'REILLY: But the U.N. is starting to run interference there.

RUBIO: Yes. But the U.N. doesn't have -- there is no database for Syria. Not even the U.N. has them.

O'REILLY: So, you would not take any Syrian refugees at this point then.

RUBIO: Not unless there is someone we know exactly who they are. A Chaldean priest, you know, or a 3-year-old orphan, you know. I mean, obviously there is common sense here.


RUBIO: But the vast and overwhelming majority of the refugees are not people we can vet. They can't come because of that.

O'REILLY: OK. Talked about tax plans last night. Most of the tax are flat and low. You still have a 35 percent top tax bracket rate. Cruz went after you a little for that. Why do you have that rate up there?

RUBIO: Well, because we also have a per child tax credit increase which is a substantial savings for the vast majority of Americans that have children. We also have a flat tax of 25 percent for all businesses, which means that our individuals today, who are paying on their personal rate, because they have a small business. And it could be as high as 39.5 percent. Under our plan it would only be 25 percent. So -- and the top rate today is 39-and-a-half. It would come down to 35 for people over $300,000.

But again, the child care tax credit, the 25 percent tax rate for businesses. A lot of that income at the top levels are being earned by people that are self-employed. They are actually paying much higher rates today than the 25 percent that they would pay under our plan.


RUBIO: Ted's plan has is a VAT, is a Value Added Tax. Very dangerous.

O'REILLY: You guys were very entertaining last night going back and forth. I don't want to get into that.

RUBIO: I only debate on policy. And as I said, I did the same with Governor Christie. You know, he supported Sonia Sotomayor, he denies it. There is a press release with his name on it.

O'REILLY: Yes. He was lukewarm on Sotomayor. Yes. I wouldn't say he was jumping up and down on her. We checked on that.

RUBIO: Oh, I can read you the words. I actually have them with me. I mean, what he basically said is, I support her nomination. He said how proud people should be of her and how qualified she was. It was not lukewarm. But irrespective he supported her nomination. He supports gun rights and common core and internet sales tax. And it's not personal because I like Chris very much. But it is a policy difference. I don't think our president -- our next president can be someone who holds those positions for those Barack Obama do.

O'REILLY: OK. That's what you guys do. You present yourself, you challenge each other and that's what the debate is all about. Final thing. I want to get this down on the record. Illegal immigration. Do you support a wall, building a wall along the southern border?

RUBIO: Yes. The 700 miles of the border need to be walled or fenced off. And the remainder needs to have sensors and cameras and we need 20,000 new border agents. And we need an entry-exit tracking system. And we need e- verify. We need all of those as president.


RUBIO: I have been pushing for that for three years.

O'REILLY: Would you force illegal aliens here who were caught in some kind of situation to deport? Would you deport them?

RUBIO: Well, it depends. Number one, if you haven't been here long enough, if you have been here less than 12 years you are going to have to leave.

O'REILLY: All right. Twelve years is the --

RUBIO: -- at a minimum.

O'REILLY: Is the minimum.

RUBIO: Correct. The other one -- if you are a criminal alien, you will going to be immediately deported.

O'REILLY: OK. Good. You support, I know, Kate's law.

RUBIO: I do.

O'REILLY: And so it's a 12-year thing. If you are here, less than is it years, and you are apprehended by the authorities, no matter what the circumstance, you're deported, is that correct?

RUBIO: Right.


RUBIO: You are going to have due process and then you will be deported. And that's the law now though. That's not new. That's the law now.

O'REILLY: But it's not enforced.

RUBIO: Well, actually the law is for anybody who is apprehended. Well, it is. I mean, there are people who are deported. You can argue not enough or they haven't been enough of that enforcement.

O'REILLY: It's mostly a ticket though, and they come back and you know -- you know how the game is played.

RUBIO: Well, yes. Right.

O'REILLY: OK. I have more. Government entitlements, food stamps, things like that. You are not an American citizen, you don't have working papers, do you get those?

RUBIO: No. You don't get those now, by the way. If you are in this country and you are -- even if you are a legal resident of the United States, a legal permanent resident, do you not qualify for federal benefits for the first five years that you are in this country. So, you don't qualify for that now, there are states that award benefits to children and other things like that.

O'REILLY: Yes. In state tuition. Right.

RUBIO: You don't qualify for them and you don't now.

O'REILLY: But the states don't have -- if you are president, you can hold the states responsible for breaking the law like sanctuary cities. So, my question is --

RUBIO: Correct.

O'REILLY: California gives illegal aliens' drivers' licenses, in-state college tuition. Benefits, food stamps, are you going to crack down on the state of California?

RUBIO: Well, I'm going to crack down on sanctuary cities or any jurisdictions that are ignoring our federal laws. If you are ignoring the federal laws on immigration, absolutely. If you are ignoring federal law, especially on immigration, and you brag about being a sanctuary city, you will lose your federal law enforcement funding.

O'REILLY: All right. Senator, always a pleasure to speak with you. Thanks for coming on.

RUBIO: Thank you.

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