Marco Rubio on his GOP debate performance

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 11, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: Continuing now with our Campaign 2016 coverage. Joining us from Columbia, South Carolina Senator Marco Rubio.

Now, Senator Rubio did not hear the interview with Donald Trump so I'm going to have to bring him up to speed here. I asked Mr. Trump who he considers his main competition at this point in time. He hemmed and hawed and of course, I was obnoxious and I pulled it out of him.

The two names that surfaced were yours and Ted Cruz. But then he said you guys are like the three amigos, all right? You are pals. You are buddies. Is that all true?

RUBIO: Well, we get along. I mean obviously he says things about me I don't like and so we respond and visa versa but at the end of the day we get along personally. I see him at the debates and we have a nice time talking.

Look, I think we all want the same thing at the end of the day and all of this. We don't want Hillary Clinton to be president. We are going to have a friendly competition I hope about who the right person should be to take her on and the Democrats.

But in the end we are all going to be on the same team because we can't afford to have another four years like the last eight years. And that's what Hillary Clinton represents.

O'REILLY: Ok. He said you made a mistake by calling Putin a gangster because if you are elected president you are going to have to deal with Putin. And he says he is going to make Putin his friend or at least try. So, that, I thought, was a pretty decent point. If you call Putin a gangster -- and I think he is, I absolutely think he is a gangster -- then, you know, you go in with a poisoned well against an adversary that you are going to have it deal with.

RUBIO: Well, look, first of all, Vladimir Putin doesn't take that as an insult. He's at "60 Minutes" when they asked him that specific question they told him that Marco Rubio had called him a gangster he smiled and said "How can I be a gangster I'm in the KGB?"

I think it's important that he knows that we know exactly who he is and what he's all about. We are still going to have to deal with him because between the United States and Russia we possess over 90 percent of the nuclear weapons on earth. But that doesn't mean we should be fooled about who he is or how he makes his decisions or what his long-term goals are for the world or for Russia's role in for the world.

And so, you know -- but that's what he is. He is basically a gangster, an organized crime figure. That's how he governors his country. And it's unfortunate. I feel bad for the Russian people.

O'REILLY: So do I.

Now, I was surprised that the moderators and this is the one question I would have asked that they did not. Did not hone in on your personal finances -- not make a scandal out of it, not do that but just a question of information. That's what I have for you.


O'REILLY: It has been established that while you were in the House in Florida, that you used a Republican credit card to pay personal expenses. You did reimburse -- that has been established, ok? But why would you do that? Why wouldn't you just use your credit card? Why drag the Republican credit card into it?

RUBIO: Well, first of all, it was a card secured under my personal credit in conjunction with the party but it was my personal credit. For example in the first two years I used it six times for expenses that were personal. And I didn't reimburse them I paid American Express directly as you're supposed to do. It's a charge card not a credit card.

I've said I wouldn't do it the same way for the exact same reason you're pointing out -- it creates confusion.


RUBIO: But this has been looked at for years.

O'REILLY: It has been vetted.

RUBIO: This has been around for five years. It's a silly story.

The finances that I care about are the finances of the American people because you have millions of people in this country that are working harder than they have ever worked before and they're barely making it. They're living paycheck to paycheck. They're not making any money on their savings account because interest is at zero. Their kids owe thousands of dollars in student loans.

That's the important issue in the campaign. And I'm glad that yesterday's debate was focused on the big issues and not these, you know, silly things that have been talked about for five or six years and have been dealt with already.

O'REILLY: You know, I remember the "New York Times" article on that you got traffic tickets on the front page. And when I was in Fort Lauderdale last Saturday night I did a riff on that. I said you know, if Senator Rubio only got four traffic tickets in, I don't know, what it was six or seven years, I think he is an extraordinary driver.

RUBIO: No, 17.


RUBIO: Yes. That's four in 17 years.

O'REILLY: If you go across Alligator Alley just driving across you are going to nine or ten tickets. You go through (inaudible) and you go through these towns they are going to give you three tickets. I mean that's just it.

So I said he is the best driver in the country if he only got four tickets down in south Florida in that period of time.

RUBIO: Yes. I'm going to be in the driver's hall of fame.

O'REILLY: The point of the matter is -- I know the state real well. It's fantastical down there. So you drive across the state you are going to get a ticket. Hey, pull over.

Ok, now, is the media out to get you, Marco Rubio, in your opinion right now?

RUBIO: Well, their number one bias is for conflict. They need there to be scandals. That's what drives eyeballs and readers and so that's their number one conflict. I do think there is a bias against -- at least a double standard when it comes to those of us who are conservatives.

They hold us to a different standard than they hold Democrats and I think -- and liberals, especially. I do believe that in much of the mainstream media I don't think that's a fact that's in dispute or can be disputed.

I mean if you look at how people like Ben Carson have been covered, myself and others, it -- you see that double standard at play. But you know that. When you are a conservative, you know that this is the way you are going to be treated. But at the end of the day do you want to serve our country you have to go through this. You answer the questions and you focus on the things that really matter. And that's what I have tried to do on this campaign.

O'REILLY: All right, Senator. FBN was much different than CNBC, right? You got a fair shake last night, right?

RUBIO: Well, it was about policy. Our people deserve to hear about that. I thought last night was an excellent debate because it was about policy.

O'REILLY: Yes. It was very fair. All right, Senator, you are welcome any time. Thank you.

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