Rubio's debate reaction: 'This race will never be the same after tonight'

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 3, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Joining me now with reaction to tonight's first presidential debate is Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

Senator, how are you? Good to see you.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA. : Good to see you.

HANNITY: You know, I -- this is the thing that really was -- it was almost stunning to me in terms of the dominance of this debate. Everything from body language to substance. And my take on this is the president has never faced tough questions. The media, you know, sucking up to him, and never asking him tough questions. He was not prepared.

RUBIO: You know, Sean, I'm here on behalf of the Romney campaign. I'm supposed to come out here tonight and tell you he won and Barack Obama lost. Let me tell you something. It -- I'm not saying it because they asked me to. It is absolutely true. I mean there's no way you can watch this debate tonight and not reach that conclusion.

But look, I don't want to approach this as an athletic competition. The reason why he won tonight is because the president and his rhetoric have never been exposed for what it is like it was exposed tonight. I mean it was a stunning moment early in the campaign when after few given takes on the taxes, the president had run out of basically myths to put out there and had basically run out of excuses. They were debating about the tax increase. The president was saying it was only three percent of taxpayers. Mitt Romney came back and said yes, but it happens to be where all the jobs are. And the president said, can we change the subject?


RUBIO: He basically turned to the moderator and said, well, let's talk about something else. Here is what was also very apparent. This president was -- you could see it in the body language -- he was so uncomfortable talking about the economy, about debt, about taxes because he doesn't understand it. I think for the --


HANNITY: There was --

RUBIO: He just doesn't understand how jobs are really created.

HANNITY: I actually tweeted that out tonight. He doesn't understand economics 101 and Romney just kept trying to explain it to him. No, you put people to work, fewer people dependent on government, increases revenues to the government.

RUBIO: And not only that. The other thing that was exposed tonight that I finally -- you know, you stand up and say yes, finally someone is doing this. The president's attacks against Republicans and against Mitt Romney is built on a bunch of myths. This whole thing about, we have tax credits to send jobs overseas, Mitt Romney turned him and said, I've been in business for 25 years, I have no idea what you are talking about.


RUBIO: That was a stunning moment. The president had no comeback for that.

HANNITY: You know what else stood out in my mind is when he kept saying well, this is Bill Clinton's plan. Bill Clinton -- Bill Clinton hasn't been president for the last four years. And Romney kept going back to one in six Americans in poverty, 25 million un and underemployed Americans. Fifteen million more Americans on food stamps, 49 million Americans total. Four years you have been president.


HANNITY: He was -- Obama was almost running as if he'd never held the office.

RUBIO: Look, I think all of Barack Obama's attacks against Mitt Romney are based on myths. Thing that just aren't true.


RUBIO: Now you can get away with that in a 30-second commercial. You might be able to get away with that in an interview with a journalist or two. But when you're standing face-to-face with someone who's ready to call you out on it, and explain why you're wrong, you're not going to get away with it.


RUBIO: And that's what happened tonight. He was exposed. The president and his entire agenda was exposed tonight and this race will never be the same after tonight.

HANNITY: You see, I agree with that and that analysis, and this is interesting. Because the media never did do their job. And Mitt Romney went in there with a lot of confidence, kept looking him right dead in the eye. Obama is looking down. Didn't have answers, I mean anecdotes that didn't fit the question or the moment. He was meandering.

You know? For -- who is -- Bill Maher actually tweeted out, I think he really does need a teleprompter.


RUBIO: Look, I think again, what you have is a president that's basically built this mythical campaign based on things that aren't true. But now you have to stand next to the person that you're saying that to and they're there to call you on it. There was another moment, you're going raise $5 trillion in taxes. No, I'm not. That's what Mitt Romney's answer is. I'm now going to do anything. I'm not -- I mean in the debt, I'm going to raise $5 trillion on the debt. He said I'm not going to do anything with the tax that increases the national debt.

The president had nothing left to say. He wanted to move away from the topic.

HANNITY: Yes. It was interesting because he was trying to explain to Romney what Romney's plan is.

RUBIO: Right. That's right.

HANNITY: The other thing is that the media was claiming leading up to this debate that Governor Romney had not been specific. When he went through, for example, what -- where he stood on health care, what was wrong with ObamaCare, the choices that he'd make differently on Medicare, on Social Security. All of these things --and the economy. And job creation. Very, very specific.

RUBIO: But he did something else, Sean, that proves why he's so ready for the job. He said then, look, as an executive -- he's not running to be speechmaker, he's not running to a legislator, he's running to be the chief executive of the United States of America. His job is to lay out these broad principles of governing. Right?


RUBIO: This is what we're going to do. But then you've got to work with the legislative branch and to get things done, you've got to get Democrats and Republicans to vote for it. So you understand, if you don't come in and impose that on people. Barack Obama, he just wants to impose his campaign speeches and shove it down the throat of the American people like ObamaCare, like the stimulus. It exposed why he'll be effective and Barack Obama will not.

HANNITY: And very likeable, too.

RUBIO: Well, there was no doubt about it. I mean I think he is -- I think tonight I was glad so many, millions of Americans got to see the Mitt Romney that we know. The person who's a great father, a great husband, and who's going to be an incredible president.

HANNITY: You know, it's interesting, because he's not the guy the President Obama said wants to throw granny over the cliff or Democrats have been saying or wants dirty air and water and wants kids with autism and Down syndrome to fend for themselves.

RUBIO: Right.

HANNITY: Senator, it's always good to see you. Thank you so much for being with us.

RUBIO: Good to see you.

HANNITY: We appreciate it.

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