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And hello again from fox and is in Washington.
It's rare that a primary flight attracts national attention but the writes for the Republican nomination for the US senate seat in Florida.
Is one of the top and -- shots -- 2010.
Former state speaker of the house Marco Rubio -- a new favorite of conservatives -- Tea Party years.
And he is hammering Florida governor Charlie -- for supporting the Obama stimulus last year.
Here's the reason rubio commercial why use of desperate Charlie Crist falsely attacking Marco Rubio.
-- Florida do better.
Governor Chris is big lead in the polls is turned into a big deficit is now going after -- was just another political insider.
Here is -- -- TV yet.
You -- international story.
The Republican Obama who now comes -- choose do you was it registered lobbyist whose income skyrocketed while his power increased.
Now after months of talking about each -- governor Chris that mister rubio -- funny each other for the first time a gentleman.
Welcome to fox and his -- thank thank you.
-- Israel and I'd like to ask each of you to take a minute.
To lay out what you think is at stake here what's the choice for Florida voters take a minute.
Mister rubio you start.
Thank you thanks for the opportunity to have a thing happened on Sunday governor happy pumps on it all -- our viewers.
-- very simple.
People from all over America all over Florida are looking at this administration chip away at all the things -- -- made America great and unique throughout our history America's not just an exceptional nation.
It is actually one was without its greatness the world would be a very different I would daresay a worse place and all that's being chipped away now by this administration.
And people are looking for leaders that will go to Washington DC and stand up to this agenda and offer a clear alternative.
And I've chosen to run for the United States senate in Florida because in Florida there's no other candidate that we can count on to actually do that.
That's the basis of my campaign it's the only reason why I'm running and I think it's a compelling one it's the reason why I think we've found success.
Governor Chris what's at stake what's the choice between the two of you for Florida Republicans well I think the choices crystal clear in this race Chris I really do I think that it's important for the voters in Florida understand that there -- -- clear stark distinction.
Between speaker rubio and myself and our approach if you will to public service.
I -- public service as a calling something that you do to try to help other people to improve their lives their quality of life.
Unfortunately recent news accounts in Florida have come out that -- in fact that speaker rubio -- public service as a way to enhance his personal enrichment.
And that's just wrong for example he set up about a 600000 dollar slush fund.
Which -- utilized for ostensibly political purposes but -- it's been shown lately it's been used to fix his minivan get haircuts.
Employ family members things of this nature that are not what a political committee is supposed to do.
In fact out of the 600000.
Dollars that were raised only 4000 dollars -- two candidates to try to improve their chances to be elected to office.
That's not what people want they want people who are not there to enrich themselves but to who are there to enrich the lives of their fellow Floridians.
Mister -- -- how's -- for official I was gonna get into the question of your finances both as as a young legislator in 20034.
And then also as speaker where there are and it.
Allegations that you double billed the state.
And also the party for various expenses.
Your response well first of all.
Those allegations -- -- the allegations have been proven false in fact Associated Press is looked at some of the allegations that the governor's name I just today and on -- commercial.
And found to be not true and over the top here the facts the facts so this is not taxpayer money.
It was a race for the purposes of political advancement for advancing a political agenda and that's what the money was spent -- Now there were some occasions where we had some personal expenses expenses which I identified and I make payments on out of my own pocket at the time those expenses were made.
All the money's been accounted for.
And so that's what this is about the government you just don't get is due respect or whatever the latest -- he was younger.
This campaign is not about you and it's not about me it's about the people watching this program.
They're watching their country.
Being fundamentally redefined by this administration -- this congress they're taking us in a direction that is wrong.
And they're looking for people to stand up to this agenda and offer an alternative and you're right there -- that this thing.
I will stand up to that agenda everyone knows that you won't stand up to the Obama agenda just a year ago you were campaigning for.
But what we're gonna get to the of the famous target them in a moment but that governor but why not -- thought why is this relevant and rates for the US.
Well if if trust and confidence and individual what they say what they do is -- relevant and I don't know what is.
It's very important to people who put themselves up for public office understand that they're asking for the trust of those individuals are asking to vote for them.
The speaker just misspoke yet again he said all these things have been accounted for.
Dollars in expenses from that 600000 dollar slush fund that have not been accounted for we don't know where the money where we don't know what happened to it.
And the speaker won't won't tell us you know -- claims that it's all accounted for the these allegations are not true they're absolutely true.
You know the other thing that I think we need to talk about here today.
Is the fact that the speaker continues to tell us that he wants to work for the people he wants to be a good conservative I think we can both agree were both good conservatives.
But what he has also done is he's utilized.
Funds double dipping as you mentioned earlier.
Four plane flights you know thousands of dollars for it to build the taxpayers of Florida -- also build the Republican party of fla only after he was caught.
Did he take the steps at least he's policy has to go ahead repay the party I thought he should repay the taxpayers that's who we've worked for.
It's a real simple difference.
Ask you to respond to that and also the question as to whether or not you are amending.
Your tax returns mister rubio to reflect some of these questionable findings let's talk about those for a second all of that money unaccounted for and as I wish it would have been a better job of reporting there's no doubt about it on the first admitted but it has all been accounted for.
As far as flights are concerned even the chairman of our party has said that they were inadvertent.
Now let me talk about something else -- this election is about trust.
Who do you trust to go to Washington and stand up to Barack Obama and offer -- clear alternative and 2006 governor I voted for you because I trusted you when you said it would be a Jeb Bush Republican.
Your record something very different you find a budget that raise taxes he tried to oppose the Cap and Trade System for.
-- -- -- liberal Supreme Court justices for Supreme Court -- -- -- -- Supreme Court justice -- to the Supreme Court justice Harry -- Jeb Bush appointed to the court originally did that liberal in addition to that you work with acorn groups like that.
To -- felons voting rights in Florida and finally.
You campaign of Barack Obama on behalf of -- failed stimulus program so it is about trust already -- to go to Washington and stand up to Barack Obama.
I like the speaker -- mine I like the speaker so that I was utilized those stimulus funds in order to help the people in my state.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And here's the famous some would say infamous picture of the hard.
When you came out and supported the Obama stimulus package by the start of this year.
Florida had received eight point two billion dollars in stimulus funds governor Crist says that is creators say 87000.
Jobs including 26000.
Teaching jobs before I let that governor -- answer.
-- -- why is eight billion dollars and 87000 jobs that for a state that has 12% unemployment.
Here's the -- -- -- bad for America can't possibly be good for your state let me tell you what the stimulus has failed.
The stimulus bill because since that -- -- in February.
Where the governor campaign -- Barack Obama on behalf of the stimulus program 211.
Thousand Floridians have lost their jobs today just this week it was announced.
We have the highest unemployment rate in Florida's history but here's the centerpiece of the stimulus debate that we need to talk about we're running for the United States and and so the choice for Republicans in Florida is do you want a candidate that would've stood up to Barack Obama.
Voted against the stimulus.
And support it's something that would cost less money and created more jobs if that's the candidate you want that would be me.
Or do you want the next Republican senator from Florida to be someone who would have voted with the Democrats.
For the stimulus package and that candidate would be governor Chris that's really the choice.
The governor Christie your Republican predecessor Jeb Bush says that -- by embracing.
The Obama stimulus.
You undercut Republicans who at the time we're fighting for more tax cuts of less government spending.
But -- from Republicans were fighting in a forceful way against that governor Crist in correctly in my opinion supported the stimulus package that was a mistake.
And I considered on for an unforgivable in the sense that we're now in a battle for.
Our country's future.
Governor how do you respond to Jeb Bush is as it was unforgivable.
And -- also Heidi respond to the fact that despite the stimulus this week as mister rubio points out.
Unemployment in Florida is at an all time high recorded high.
Twelve point 2%.
First let me talk about my friend governor Jeb Bush governor bush was an extraordinary company did great things for our state particularly in the area of education.
I was proud to be -- education commissioner during that time.
People have different opinions on different things not everybody agrees on everything all the time and I think it would be you know foolish to think that everybody would.
Now I what I wanna talk about -- the fact that my opponent talks about you know we need to look at spending while I think we need to look at spent.
Look at the record of my opponent when it comes to what he was paid as a lobbyist.
My opponent was a lobbyist while he served in the Florida House of Representatives please please I'd like an answer the question but the State's delicate I think I've answered -- you know we we utilize those -- just like Haley Barbour did in in Mississippi just like and Sonny -- did in Georgia some of these wild eyed liberals.
Who understood they have a duty to the people of their state.
They have to put people about politics and as governor you've got to make tough decisions I made the tough decision to utilize these funds to help the people Florida.
I know the unemployment rate is -- I know the economy is -- I understand all of that.
If we had taken the speakers approach we -- have 87000.
More people on top of that 12% that would be unemployed in Florida today.
20000 of those as you indicated school teachers who are teaching our children.
That's awfully important for us to be able to continue to do that.
But let me let me follow up and and I'm gonna let -- mister rubio respond only three Republicans in the US senate voted for.
The Obama stimulus when it passed in in in 2009.
Susan Collins and Arlen Specter are you saying that if you had been a senator.
And Republican senator in the US senate in 2000 -- you would have voted for the state.
Yeah that's pretty clear I mean you know I think it was the right thing to do with the time you have to go back and remember what was happening and our economy it was literally falling off the -- I mean some of these you know ideas to try to prop up our economy frankly begin under the Bush Administration President Bush it was the -- They wanted to make sure our financial institutions did not collapse the people didn't have to have fear -- a run on the banks or something of that nature.
And when it came to the stimulus it was money to help our economy things have started to stabilize now and they're getting better in Florida.
-- -- I don't know how you to find stability having the highest unemployment -- Florida's history certainly not stability especially to the one.
Out of ten Floridians can't find -- job stimulus has failed.
And I think in this conversation we've established a critical difference in this campaign.
If I had been in Washington DC as a US senator I would have voted against the stimulus I would of fought on behalf of alternatives that -- offered by Republicans that would cost less money.
And -- -- for all promoted more jobs quite frankly.
-- Charlie Crist in the US senate he would have voted for the stimulus and so for Florida Republicans the choice is pretty clear.
Do you want your next US senator to be someone like me or like the gentleman that you can into the US senate who would have voted against the stimulus and fought against -- Or do you want someone who would have voted for the state that's just.
Resistant into the bigger issue that I wanted to discuss and that is what role you see for yourselves if you're lucky enough to be elected the next senator from Florida mister -- you say.
You will stand up to the Obama agenda and that governor Crist won't you say your favorite senator is Jim -- of South Carolina.
The Obama agenda right down the line doesn't have an effect mean though that if you're elected.
It's more partisan gridlock.
Well first of all partisan gridlock is not something I'm in favor of okay but but the problem is it depends on which are standing for what are you fighting -- -- more than happy to work across the to do things like lord of the capital gains tax lower the corporate tax.
Flatten a tax rate.
Lower all of these other taxes that make America increasingly an unfriendly place to do business.
And the Obama administration tomorrow announces that that's their agenda for the leadership in congress does.
I'll be more than happy I will be thrilled to work with them but what they're attempting to do is -- fundamentally redefine the role of government in America.
And we can't cooperate that we've got to stop that from happening because once we cross a certain point we can't turn back.
That governor Chris you say that the senators that you admire most or John McCain and Lindsey Graham and in your recent state of the state speech you said estimates put it on the screen.
Problem solvers recognize that important achievements.
Often require consensus consensus -- -- requires.
Which -- seem to be saying is you'd look for areas to work with President Obama areas of consensus and areas of concession.
I would work to.
Make sure that I stand with people who help the people of my state my country.
I am a pragmatic.
Common sense conservative.
My political mentor was a guy named Connie Mack a great United States senator and I look through almost every issue through the prism of less taxing less spending less government and more freedom.
I also understand that weren't a tough economy right now.
And it when you're -- a tough economy sometimes you have to do the kinds of things that make sense in order to be able to keep people employed.
To continue to have work happening in your state to make sure that your schools continue to be productive and that you fight for the teachers you fight for the students if fight for the people of Florida.
That's what I've always done as attorney general the state.
As commissioner of education and as a state senator from Tampa back.
These things do matter and you can't just be off on some -- You know rattling the cage and saying you're gonna do great things and stand on principle or politics above the people of your state that you're supposed to serve.
You gotta do what's right and this race comes down to doing what's right.
That's what it's all about my opponent has -- public service as a way to have personal enrichment.
We talked about it briefly about him double billing flights we talked about an inch in terms of the 600000 dollar slush fund that he set up.
Ostensibly it was supposed to help other candidates all the help was rubio incorporated.
You know family members got hired they spent money on the mini -- he got a 135 dollar haircut or whatever was that doesn't make sense to people it's not what they want.
They want people to serve in public who want to serve.
This is really that those outrageous accusation -- not outrageous that the truth here we are eleven months into the that is true now Chris we are almost fifteen minutes into this debate we have yet to hear a single serious public policy proposal.
From my opponent all he wants to talk about -- staring me down personal attacks etc.
he talked about making sense.
How to spending 787.
Billion dollars -- -- we don't have.
Money were borrowing from Chinese and Japanese investors' money that my children and their generation are gonna have to work their whole life.
The pay interest and principal on how does that in -- -- make sense for Florida or for our country.
But -- it made sense is meaningful tax reform wanted to eliminate senses entitlement.
Let me let me look these -- the things that would have -- -- let me know -- things -- move on because I -- talk about a specific issue and see where you agree or disagree.
Because clearly one of the biggest issues that the next senator from Florida is going to have to confront his health care reform which by that point.
Well -- been the law of the land for the better part of a year.
Governor -- you set a month ago there may be parts of that that you don't have to scraps up if you become -- US senator from Florida but parts would you scrap.
What parts of the would you keep.
And what can you do with long that Barack Obama's president.
I think one thing that's very important and I think everybody agrees on this Chris that.
Instances should not be a discriminatory tool that's used by insurance companies to not give people insurance.
I think what we need to do is go ahead and repeal this thing let's start over let's take an opportunity to do what's right for the people.
The real problems with health care our access and affordability.
And we have approach those in Florida in fact the speaker and I worked together on a plan called cover Florida health care and its cover Florida health care dot com.
We negotiated with the private sector we reduce the cost to those who were uninsured.
We were able to provide access and the average cost for health insurance in Florida went from about 600 dollars a month for an individual to about a 150 dollars a month.
No tax dollars involved no government mandates I think Washington could learn a lot from.
From what let me ask you about governor Chris because cover Florida we looked into it and you signed it into -- two years ago stripped down insurance for stripped down prices.
As you say all voluntary no subsidies no mandates we looked at it.
Of 1% of Florida's uninsured.
Have signed up -- of the last two years 5000 out of millions of people.
Well amid talk about those 5000 people.
For every single one of those -- it's about 6000 now but I won't quibble over the numbers but for every individual who now has that peace of mind.
Who doesn't have to worry about their child having a catastrophic illness or they themselves it's hardly cover Florida governor well I think it's important that -- -- families.
People who get it like it they they understand that makes a difference in their lives it gives -- the peace of mind that they deserve.
And I think it's important understand that.
-- Now that the health care reform bill -- law.
Would you if you go to Washington -- to repeal of how would you do it given the fact the Barack Obama will still be president.
And could Vito a repeal and I want to ask you about an article that you wrote last December let's put it up on this great.
Should ultimately seek to promote a vibrant private market.
Where individuals can buy health insurance the way we buy auto insurance independent of our employer.
With a kind of flexibility and coverage we need and at affordable prices this -- would you move away from employer based health insurance system.
-- it's not about moving away it's about providing an alternative to -- let me first tell you about this -- there are so many things wrong with -- we don't have enough time -- you're talking about in the health care of there's so much time that we don't have enough time to talk about it whether it's tricky accounting -- but here's the main one we can't afford.
The bill when the true numbers are applied to it.
Add to our debt and bring us closer to insolvency as the nation's we have to move away from and the solutions.
Are like those -- outlined in that article you pointed to a moment ago with about allowing individuals have the same tax benefits of their employer gets.
When they try to buy and insurance from marketplace.
It's about allowing small businesses to pool together -- insurance coverage and to do so across state lines it's about tort reform.
It's about -- lawsuit abuse reform that would help lower the cost of health insurance.
These are the sorts of reforms that we should be working on I think the first step is to repeal it and we need to win a few elections before we can get there but we certainly need to start campaign -- well.
When you when you talk about creating a private market independent -- of our employer are you in some ways and you want to dismantle the employer the employer would only.
Have the option continue to offer health insurance but our congressman congresswoman and members of the Senate get their insurance that what you get a medical payment.
And use that money on average about 72% of the plants use that money to go out to an employer -- -- and insurance marketplace.
And by the health insurance that you want to buy it we can give the consumer more control over their health care dollars.
-- finally have a kind of vibrancy and competition in health insurance in America that will help control costs helped and improve quality.
All right gentlemen we have to step aside for a moment but when we come back we'll continue this debate we're gonna turn to immigration and taxes.
As a persistent rumors that governor press they run as an independent.
More of the Florida senate showdown him.
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