Transcript: Sen. Marco Rubio on "Face the Nation," Sept. 10, 2017

Sen. Marco Rubio on Irma

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, joined "Face the Nation" Sunday as the center of Hurricane Irma was just off Key West.

Speaking from Miami, Rubio said there are a couple of things people in Florida need to know.

What follows is a transcript of the interview with Rubio, which aired Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, on "Face the Nation."


John Dickerson: Florida Senator Marco Rubio joins us by phone from Miami. Senator right now what's the most important thing that people in your state need to know?

Marco Rubio: Well a couple of things. Obviously there is no -- virtually no part of Florida that is not going to be impacted by the storm. I am currently in my home here in west Miami and it is a nasty, brutal storm. And we are not even in the eye of the storm. We are going to get the sustained tropical storm winds, we are getting the gusts from hurricanes, tornado threats. It is going to be exponentially worse everywhere from you know up the west coast of Florida. So if you live in Naples, in Fort Myers, in Sarasota, in the Tampa Bay region, this storm has the potential to be that sort of worst-case scenario that meteorologists and emergency planners dread. And obviously you have to listen to local officials at this point but if you are in one of the storm surge areas, it is important for you-there's still a chance to get out-to heed those warnings. This is not going to turn, it's not going anywhere else, it's coming in the next few hours. You're probably feeling the effects of it already. And in many ways as I said this is hitting the west coast of Florida is the worst possible route this thing could've taken.

Dickerson: In your neighborhood senator, there has been a lot of worries about senior centers, about hospitals, areas where people can't get out of the way of this. What can you tell us about what those are holding up and are they ready for a storm of this size?

Rubio: Yeah the good news is that we have been able to for days now message on this in the southeast coast of Florida. Now that doesn't mean people, some people stubbornly didn't stay behind. Gosh we are worried about them. If you are in Key West or anywhere, anywhere in the Florida Keys. I mean we are going to find out hopefully not too many people stayed as I hope we are going to find out because it doesn't look very good down there no matter what they did. There's probably no safe place to be. I am concerned about southwest Florida. People are concerned about the Tampa Bay region because they have not gotten the warnings really only started to be amplified Friday night for them and so even as late as last night we were talking to people we know personally and others about the need to move. And it's been so long since the Tampa region has had a storm that some people perhaps have no memory or have, of what it's like to be through one of these. You can't hide from the water. That's our biggest fear. And by the way storm surge doesn't come until the storm passes so it's a long time event and we are concerned about it. But, I know our local officials have been working hard to move people. The problem we have is there's nowhere to move. The whole state is being impacted by this.

Dickerson: Senator, you and I have talked over the years have talked about trust in government and people losing faith in their government. Do you see any of that? I mean are people not taking things seriously because sort of either because of crying wolf or because they lost faith in in voices of authority on these kinds of things?

Rubio: No I can't say that in this case. I really can't. I think that people have really responded. You see an enormous amount of people have acted. The most massive evacuation I think in the history of the state, millions of people have moved. And I think coming in the aftermath of those images from Harvey people have really jumped on it. So I think the bigger concern that we have is we've got - this is a very unique situation. The whole state is impacted. A lot of the relief efforts are being directed from places that now themselves are in, in the path of, of the storm. And we have a lot of people for example that left South Florida, that drove to Orlando, or Tampa who are now figuring out maybe I need to go back to Miami or something or, or Ft. Lauderdale or Palm Beach. This is no time to be on the road. This is a very unique storm because of its size and scope. You usually are able to say that there's some safe place in the state that you can go to. In this particular case, virtually the entire state is being impacted by the storm.

Dickerson: Alright Senator. We will leave it there. Thank you so much. Stay safe. And we'll be back in a moment.

Rubio: Thank you.