MIAMI, FLA. — Marco Rubio joined CBS 12’s Mike Mangoli for an interview Friday after receiving an endorsement from the National Federation of Independent Business.
Click HERE or below to watch the full interview.
“We’ve seen the highest year to year increase in food since 1979. Gas is still substantially more expensive than it was. And that’s despite the fact that Joe Biden’s depleting our strategic reserve.
“That’s embedded in the price of everything else. Airline tickets. Food because it has to be transported. You name it. And then you’ve got supply chain challenges because of the pandemic and frankly, because we depend too much on China. We make too many things in China. So, if they have a pandemic and they have to shut down their factories, there’s going to be less product available. If there’s less product available, it’s going to be more expensive here. And at the same time that’s happening, you also face the risk that one day, they’ll just cut you off. They’ll say, ‘We don’t like what you’re doing with Taiwan. We’re going to cut you off of medicine, of semiconductors, rare earth minerals.’ The things that are critical for our economy to function. So, I think both the pandemic and this inflationary cycle is a reminder that we’ve got to get our supply chains right and we need to move more of them either to the United States or closer to the United States to places that we can rely on and not be held hostage by the Chinese.
“All of it’s driving inflation. All of it made worse by the fact that on top of everything else, on top of that fact that there was a supply problem, they created a demand problem. Because when you pump a trillion dollars into an economy, that’s going to create more demand against limited supply, guaranteed inflation, and now the price will be paid by borrowers. If you get a mortgage, if you have a car lease, if you have credit cards, the Fed is going to increase interest rates, if they haven’t done so already by the time of this interview, by three quarters of a point, which means everyone’s going to be paying more for everything from your credit card to your car leases and loans to your mortgage if you’re trying to buy a home.”
“I think it’s impossible to walk in anywhere, whether it’s a business or your home or your school or anywhere you are, and not walk into a room with a bunch of things that are made, either components in China, or entirely in China. So, the Chinese determine whether we can have it or not because they make it there. We don’t make it here. It was a terrible mistake to allow factories and jobs to leave and go to China because they could do it cheaper. Yeah, they can do it cheaper because they’re subsidized by their government. But once they control it, they can charge us whatever they want or cut us off.
“Val Demings doesn’t talk about it. She has no history on China. In fact, she’s on TikTok… No elected American official, especially someone like her that supposedly serves on the Intelligence Committee in the House should be on TikTok. We know that the Chinese steal all of the data that’s on TikTok. Now, maybe we’re not that freaked out by the data of a fifteen- or fourteen-year-old, but you should be freaked out about the data of a member of Congress who happens to be on the Intelligence Committee. She doesn’t care. So, she uses it to post ridiculous videos of her trying to act like a teenager. But in the end, she’s endangering, she’s a US member of Congress.
“My record on China is the strongest of anybody in government. I was the first member of Congress ever, in modern history, sanctioned by the Chinese. Sanctioned twice. I don’t know what they sanctioned, but they sanctioned me. Obviously, banned from traveling there which is fine. I had no plans on going. The change in US law towards Hong Kong was my bill. The fact that today you can’t bring in things from Xinjiang province because it’s made by Uyghur Muslim slaves in China, that’s my bill that I had to fight against Nike and Apple and all these other corporations to pass. No one has a history of doing more against China, I was warning about China before it was cool. I was warning about TikTok before it was cool.
“So, I’ll put up my record against hers. She has no record on China. She doesn’t talk about it. She doesn’t care about it. She has no history of talking about it. It’s not a priority for her and obviously she’s not too concerned about it because she’s on TikTok exposing her data and all her contacts and everything else to the Chinese government.”
On his Record of Delivering for Florida
“I have passed more bills this year alone than Val Demings has in six years in Congress. Republican Senator passed more bills this year alone. You know why? Because Val Demings has passed zero bills. The next time you interview Val Demings, you should ask her, ‘Tell me about your favorite bill, the one you’re most proud of that you sponsored and passed.’ They Paycheck Protection Program, we’re here talking about today, saved millions of jobs in the state of Florida. I didn’t [just] cosponsor that bill. I wrote it. I named it. I got it passed when the Capitol was empty and Val Demings was sitting in Orlando doing Zoom calls in her pajamas, I was in Washington, D.C. working, with a Democrat, to pass the Paycheck Protection Program.
“Both of the VA accountability bills that allow us to fire people at the VA that are not doing a good job was my law. We just passed burn pits legislation so people that were harmed, veterans that were harmed in Afghanistan and Iraq, by burn pits can now get benefits, that’s something that Kirsten Gillibrand and I got done.
“We used to have sober homes that were taking advantage of people that were addicted to opioids, all littered throughout Palm Beach County, those are all gone. You know why they’re gone? Because I worked with Dave Aronberg. Came here, visited, saw it, got a bill passed. We have an opioid problem, but the sober homes that were tracking these people. Basically, sober homes that were cutting deals with the rehab centers. ‘Send us your people after two weeks. We’ll get them hooked again. We’ll send them back to you.’ And it was ruining neighborhoods. And we got that bill passed.
“I can sit here all day and talk about the bills and the achievements and the things we’ve gotten done on issue after issue. No one’s passed more bills than I have. She’s passed none. She’s never passed a bill. That’s why she calls herself Chief Demings. She was a chief ten, fifteen years ago. She’s been a member of Congress for the last six. She’s passed no bills and she votes with Pelosi one hundred percent of the time. Plus, she votes by proxy. That’s the other thing she doesn’t tell people. Members of the House get to work from home. You get to vote without even being in Washington. So, it’s a silly thing that they talk about. I ran for President six years ago. I’ve been in the Senate for twelve years and been there the last six. I get things done. I’ve got more things done under a Democrat President in a Democrat Senate than a Democrat in the House has been able to do in her entire six years in Washington. She’s done nothing, except vote for Pelosi and support all of her stuff.”
On Political Divisions
“We’ve had times like this in our history before. I think what makes this different, honestly, the divide is not left vs. right or ideological. It seems partisan. I’m not sure it’s even partisan… There’s a small group of people in this country that have a lot of power and a lot of influence over culture, media, government, big business, and who live very different lives and have different priorities than the vast majority of Americans.
“When we did PPP, the first thing everybody thought about [addressing the pandemic] was, ‘How are we going to save the airlines? How are we going to save the cruise ships? How are we going to save the hotels? How are we going to save the big businesses?’ No one was talking about, ‘How are we going to save Main Street?’ which is seventy percent of our economy. And I was fortunate we were able to get involved and do that.
“So you have this massive disconnect, frankly in both parties between the people who live in New York and control media, the people who live in LA and control entertainment, the people who live in northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. and control politics, between them and what’s important to them, and what matters to millions and millions of people in the real world. That’s the disconnect that’s playing out. That’s how you get an Inflation ‘Reduction’ Act, which is what they call it, that has nothing to do with inflation. It has to do with giving tax credits to people to buy electric cars ten years from now. What does that have to do with inflation today? It has to do with hiring 87,000 IRS agents. And then the tone deafness of thinking they can do a press conference on the White House lawn on the very day when numbers, at the very same time as the numbers coming out saying inflation grew faster than was anticipated and the stock market is collapsing.
“So, it’s that disconnect between everyday working Americans who govern themselves by common sense and a small group of elites in both parties who are completely insulated and isolated from all of this. That’s the real disconnect that’s driving this anger. People feel like those in charge at the national level of all of these institutions, not just government, don’t care about them, and they’re right, and they’re completely out of touch with them, and they’re right.”
On Statewide Elections in Florida
“DeSantis is going to be reelected. I don’t have a doubt in my mind. I want people to think if Andrew Gillum, who only lost by thirty thousand votes had been elected, Florida would look very different today. We would have been basically no different than California and our kids would have been two years behind in school. Crimes would have been soaring. Police departments would have been defunded. Businesses would have been collapsing. That’s what would have happened. And people would have been leaving Florida. So, I think Floridians understand that. It’s something you can’t fully capture in polls. It’s something political talking heads don’t fully understand. But evidence is this: Florida is one of the states that’s growing the fastest. People are moving here. People don’t move to places that they think are not doing well. You don’t move to Florida because you think it’s a disaster. And if a place is working well, then you reward the people who are in charge.
“Which is the fundamental argument in my race at the federal level. Everything is worse today than it was two years ago. Everything. The economy. Our standing in the world. The drug problem. The immigration problem. The crime problem. Everything is worse. And one party is in charge of everything. So, if the people who are in charge of everything have made everything worse, why would we leave them in charge of everything? And that, at the end, is the choice voters are going to have for governor, in Florida most certainly, because in Florida things are better, but at the federal level, it’s the opposite.”