Rubio's take on the sequestration battle

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 26, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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Now for the "Top Story" tonight. Let's bring in Senator Marco Rubio from Washington. The Senator is closely watching the budget travesty unfold. At this point Senator many believe the automatic cuts will kick in on Friday. Do you believe that?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I do. I do believe they will happen on Friday. And you know, Bill, let's be clear. I mean, the goal here is to -- I mean, the solution to all of these problems is rapid dynamic economic growth. But we can't have rapid dynamic economic growth if we don't bring our budget problems here under control.

This is not the best way to do it but it's better than raising taxes as an alternative and it's better than doing nothing. So the ideal way to do this is to save and reform Medicare because that's -- those are the programs that are driving our long-term debt. But the President has decided he doesn't want to do that so there is going -- that sequester will kick in on Friday.

O'REILLY: Ok but -- but here is what I am worried about. The press is telling me that I'm probably not going to be able to get on an airplane, that illegal aliens are going to flood across the border because we're not going to have anybody down there, that global warming is going to overwhelm us. You know, I mean the scare tactics -- and I think this is in concert that the President, his administration and the press are putting together are designed to make Americans think that you guys, the Republicans are causing the destruction of America.

How are you going to counter that?

RUBIO: Well, first of all, this is the President's idea. He actually came up with this. This is something that he suggested. That his office suggested when they were talking about this back in the summer of 2011.

Number two is there are certainly going to be some impacts to governmental services. But I think what's being put out there is being exaggerated for political purposes. There's zero doubt about that. And I think this idea of somehow making the cuts as painful as possible, in essence focusing them on those programs that most impact people as a way to create outrage is a time tested tactic that's used all the time at the state level when people, for example, threaten to cut some program or another.

So look I think the bottom line is, yes, this is not the best way to do it. But we're not going to walk away from this in exchange for tax increases. I think the House has offered real plans to do this.


O'REILLY: Ok but -- I think you guys are going to have to expect by you guys I mean the Republican Party --



O'REILLY: -- that the people of the United States who certainly aren't locked in. They don't know what sequester means. They are not paying attention.


O'REILLY: They are going to blame you for whatever inconvenience might unfold and I don't know whether you guys are going to be able to counter that.

RUBIO: Well I think here is the -- what people need to understand is that that is nothing compared to what's going to happen to this country if we don't begin to bring our fiscal house in order and grow our economy dynamically. I mean, those cuts, those things that people are going to face is nothing compared to what this nation is going to face if we continue to spend a trillion dollars a year more than we take in.


O'REILLY: Oh I agree with you but I don't know if the folks are -- I don't think the -- I don't know if the folks are locked in. I've got to take a drink of water here, Senator.

Now, so I'm going to take a little sip. Now, were you surprised that you got hammered over Watergate when you took the little water? Were you surprised the press used that to kind of diminish you a little bit?

RUBIO: Well I don't know.


O'REILLY: You weren't surprised.

RUBIO: No. Look I think every day people that watched it, normal people in everyday world they look at that and say what's the big deal. People that don't like you will harp on it. And certainly -- look, I think it is what it is. I mean, that's the state of political coverage today in America. I knew that when I got involved in politics and in service.

You make the best of it. I thought I had a pretty important message to deliver that night. A lot of people heard and -- and liked it and so we'll continue to work on the things that matter. And by the way I --


O'REILLY: It might even work to your advantage -- it might even work to your advantage by making people feel sympathy towards you because it was unfair what they tried to do with it.


O'REILLY: Now, I would do this for a Democrat if the Democrat were unfairly hammered for taking a glass of water or eating a tuna sandwich or whatever. I would do the same thing. But I've got to -- I'm going to give you some TV advice. Ok?


O'REILLY: I've been in this business for 36 years so I know a little bit about it. Whenever you're on television, particularly live television, where you can't edit and do it again, you've got to tell the folks everything, everything.

So, when you were giving that speech and I understand you had given a speech in Spanish before that so you obviously were bloviating and your throat was parched and everything, when you wanted to take your water, you just tell the folks that. You just say "Excuse me, I'm a little parched here. I've got to get a drink of water. I'll be right back."

RUBIO: Right.

O'REILLY: You smile, you take your little water, which should have been closer to you by the way and the pinhead who put it far away you've got to slap them around a little bit and then you take your sip and you smile again and you go "Oh, that was good." And now and you go back. That's what's called performing and you know who is a brilliant performer doing that? Do you know who is?


O'REILLY: Barack Obama. He's got everything -- on the teleprompter he's got "take sip of water". I mean, he's got everything scripted. And that's the way -- that's the age we live in.

RUBIO: Well that's good advice, I don't anticipate doing that again in the future but if I get a chance, it's good advice and I will take it.

O'REILLY: You just be -- just be natural. Tell the folks whatever is on your mind, whatever is going on. People want authenticity, Senator. That's what they want.

RUBIO: That's good advice. Absolutely.

O'REILLY: And if can you take that the sky is the limit.

RUBIO: Or really long straw, a really long straw.

O'REILLY: All right, that's right. Whatever you need.

RUBIO: All right.

O'REILLY: Hey Senator, we always appreciate you coming on the program.

RUBIO: Thank you Bill.

O'REILLY: Let's hope that the carnage in Washington is kept to a minimum. And we appreciate. Thank you.

RUBIO: Thank you.

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