"Face the Nation" transcripts, August 26, 2012: Rubio, Priebus, Barbour, Blackburn
BOB SCHIEFFER: Here we are on the eve of the Republican Convention, and there have been some distractions here. I mean you can't do anything about the weather. We all know that. But you know, you had this group of Republican congressmen that we now know about going swimming in the Sea of Galilee, some without their-- without their swimsuits and then this fellow comes along in this Senate race down in Missouri, Mister Akin, questioning whether people who are raped, if they have the ability to not get pregnant. Everybody I know of stature in the Republican Party has called on this guy to get out of the race, including Mitt Romney but he's still there. Should Mitt Romney take stronger steps to-- to tell this fellow to go find something else to do?
SENATOR MARCO RUBIO: I think he has and others have as well, including Paul Ryan has called him. Here-- here's the thing, though, the decision is his to make. Ultimately, all we can do is inform someone in the position that he's in right now of what it means for our chances to win a seat that we should win, and what that means for the country. Because if Republicans get a majority in the Senate, this country will-- will be that much closer to getting things turned around. So that's where the stakes are. When you make comments like that, in addition to being offensive to people like myself and many others, they also hurt your chances of winning. And so I think he's been informed of that. Ultimately he has to make the decision he feels is right. But-- but I think everyone has informed him of what the political consequences of this are and have also publically stated how strongly they disagree with what he said, but he won the primary. It's-- he's going to have to make that decision. There is no way to force him out of it.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you think if he stays in he could actually hurt the national ticket and hurt other Republicans by just drawing attention to this.
SENATOR MARCO RUBIO: Bob, the comment-- apart from the bigger issue of the politics nationally, I think ultimately the race is going to be decided on what Mitt Romney stands for and what he is going to do if he's elected versus what Barack Obama has done now that he is in the last four years. As far as that particular race is concerned, absolutely, I believe his statements make it much more difficult, borderline impossible, perhaps, for him to win that race, and it has been clearly communicated to him, both publicly and privately by a whole host of voices. So we'll see what decision he makes going forward.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Now you're going to introduce Governor Romney at the convention. How is that speech coming along? And give us a little insight into how-- how that works. Well-- what-- what will be the tone? What will be the line you will take care?
SENATOR MARCO RUBIO: You know I think the-- the two things I think that will be clear by the end of this week is that this-- this election is not just a choice between two men or two political parties. It's literally a choice about which direction we want this country to go. Do we think that the way forward is for us to become more like the rest of the world or is the way forward for us to help the rest of the world become more like us, a nation that's bought into free enterprise. That believes that opportunity is created when people are given the confidence and the ability to go out and start businesses and grow existing businesses and then what can government do to help that happen. And so I think the stakes is important for people to understand what's at stake here. We're not just voting for the person we like more. We're also voting for two very different directions for our country. And in addition to that, I hope people understand who Mitt Romney is. Because his-- his business career has been well documented and his success is-- is extraordinary in the business realm, but he's so much more than that.
He was a successful governor. The job he did at the Olympics in Salt Lake City was extraordinary by all accounts. And then look at his personal life. This man is a personal role model to young men-- younger men like me, as a father, as a husband. You look how successful his family has been. Any-- everywhere that he has ever gone, whether in his church or his community, he has made it better using his talents and his time. I think Mitt Romney is a role model for-- for-- for-- for people like me and-- and I think that Mitt Romney as a person especially, and the kind of person we would all be proud for our kids to grow up and be like.
BOB SCHIEFFER: How-- how does this work? I know at some conventions in the past, the candidate staff has written a speech. Are-- do you-- will you tell them what's in the speech?
SENATOR MARCO RUBIO: No.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Will they suggest things to you? How does that work?
SENATOR MARCO RUBIO: You know, that's-- they actually have not asked me to say anything in particular other than understanding I'm going before Governor Romney. The, you know, usually I don't even write speeches. I-- I have general thoughts. But this one of course is a big one so I will. And I-- I write these myself for the most part with some help in terms of just getting it framed right. But-- but I usually want my own words to come through and I look forward to doing that. Look at-- my only wish is that my-- my dad and my grandfather were still around to see it. My mom is and has been and-- because I think in many ways that speech affirms that-- that what's made us great as a nation is not that we have the more rich people than anybody else but that it's a country where dreams that are impossible everywhere else are possible here.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me-- since you brought up your parents, of course they were immigrant, President Obama issued a directive that we would no longer deport the children of illegal aliens who were brought into this country as children. Governor Romney will not say whether he intends to repeal that, whether he intends to let it stay in place or what he intends to do about it if he's elected.
SENATOR MARCO RUBIO: Well, I can't speak for Governor Romney. In my opinion here-- here's my problem with it. First of all, to identify what the goal is. The goal is to help and accommodate these young people who find themselves here without documents, through no fault of their own, they were brought here as children, have grown up their entire lives and have so much to contribute to our future to help accommodate them but to do so in a way that doesn't encourage or reward illegal immigration in the future. And that's a difficult balancing act and we were working on something like that. And, unfortunately, the President, rather than helping us work on it, actually instructed some DREAM Act advocates to not work with us. I mean this was documented I believe in The Washington Post that-- that he met with the activists and said do not or his-- White House did, do not work with them on the solution. Instead they've come up with a stopgap solution. Let me tell you. We will never solve our broken legal immigration system and we will never be able to compassionately deal with the people in this country who are here in undocumented status as long as this issue is a political volleyball tossed between two parties who use it against each other to raise money and gain votes.
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