captioned by closed captioning services, inc. >> sean: welcome to this special edition of "hannity" tonight i will be swroined by florida senator marco rubio who this week released a brand new auto biography called "american son". he's here in studio and you'll hear from his wife and kids seated in our studio audience, however, senator, good to see you. >> thank you. >> senator rubio. >> thank you. >> greta: i learned so much about you in this book. one of the things you highlight is how difficult
your grandparents and the life they've had, the life your parents and how fortunate you are. you, at one point said i'm not half of the man my grandfather was, my father was. tell us about their lives. >> this misconception immigrant story is one of instant success. it's not in this country. many instances people come to work all their lives and barely get ahead more than when they got here, what they do is that they're able to give their kids every opportunity they didn't v my parents were discourage forward a number of years and thought about going back to cuba. people thought fidel was going to be a good thing. they had settled here and accept this is their new life z grateful for the country for the opportunity. because of the fact they were able to give me the chance to do the things they had to give up on for themselves. >> sean: it's a american story. talking about your mom wanted to be an actress.
she had to settle for being a made most of her working life. your father had other aspirations but was a bartender what? 70 years? you have a picture about your dad, he wanted to be a business owner. and what was their goal for you. >> they wanted me to have dreams and to pursue dreams and to have a chance to do it. it was true for me and my brother and two sisters. one of the things the book forces me to do when you sit down ask have to research your parents and who they were, you learn. you meet these people you never met before. you realize your parents were once your age with hopes, dreams and just like you did. and for some parents it becomes impossible. in the case of my parents and circumstances.
they didn't know the language, didn't have much education. the purpose became i want my kids to be able to do things we weren't able to do. it was never to be a senator or actor or athlete. whatever we desired. i think that is really a testament to america. >> sean: you talk about the night you're elected senator and you watched your mother walk up the stairs. just before you gave your speech. tell everybody about that. >> that night was her birthday. i thought about what a different place that was just three, four decades before. my mom born into a family that struggled. my grandfather did okay for a while. overnight lost his job running a railroad stop and thrown into poverty because he was a disabled man n rural cuba in 1940s there was no unemployment. no well pair, no food stamps. there was is that you got up and got work you can find in the hopes of getting money to feed your kids and he was disabled. there wasn't a lot of work
around fr a disabled man back during that time. he struggled. and i thought about how far removed that was from that evening. where i rose to very distinguished position and honor in a greatest nation of human history. i thought what a testament that was to my father, mother and country. >> your father died two months prior to the night you became senator but died believing you would win. >> yes. he got to vote in the primary. i think he knew we'd turned a corner on that race. i like to tell people my dad did see what happened, he just didn't see it on television. >> sean: he had better seats. >> he had better seats. again mirks dad was, i'll tell you he tivoed the "hannity" show every night because he thought it was on every night. >> sean: why are you trying to
thaik away viewers? he wasn't a political guy. in terms of someone loves politics. and he certainly never pushed me into that direction he he showed pride in attention he paid. he had fox on 24-7 just in case i came up 30 seconds somewhere. so i think he was proud of what we've accomplished because we were his kids ask all parents are proud of what their kids accomplished but i talked in a book about when i first ran for office in west miami. it's a small city. you go door to door. during that time going into the living room, my neighbors. a lot of elderly people. i got to know who i was. who my generation was. in conversations turned to when they're young in hopes and dreams they had for them selfs and how that is lost to them because of history. and this became the purpose to
give their children and grandchildren what chance they didn't have. their statement is what we're not able to do in our lives. i think the first time i really began to understand that my generation of cuban americans were eras of two generations of unfulfilled dream autos going through an seftry.com my grandfather in 1940s earned 600s ndz this country. it's fascinating what you learn about that and how you stand on their shoulders. you told a story about your grandfather. is that part of his job was to read the news in a back room rolling cigars so it would keep them working. >> the early bart of the book details back to the birth of my grandfather when the u.s.
still governed cuba until 1902. my grandfather fworn a large rural family. a lot of kids. to help work the farm by grandfather was stricken with polio. so he lost the use of one leg and couldn't work the farm. he was the only one that got sent to school and learned how to ree.d when he lost his job at railroad station one of the jobs he took up was going to the cigar factory and they would hire him to sit in the front and read newspapers to workers then afterwards novels to the workers. from that he learned a lot. covering history as it was hatching and later, reading classics but he also picked up life long passion for reading and learning which years later he would share with me on the porch of his home as smoking one of his three daily cigars. >> sean: also wasn't an easy time for your father who at nine years old had to take
care of younger siblings. >> his mom died when he's only nine. and in that job working in a small cafe. he found money or a wallet and turned it in. one of the guys there, accused him of stealing the wallet. the owner says he's an honest kid. did you see it turned it over to you sne said kid do you want a job here? that is where he started to work. and a few months later got fired for taking a chocolate bar without asking for permission. he was nine years old, instead of being in school he was working and worked until he passed away. that is a lot of work. >> sean: amazing story. there is a lot more still to come. more as we look at how he got a start in life and you'll meet his wife, here tonight in our studio. we begin to get to know this american son. straight ahead. >> calling it for you.
associated press reporter turned to me and spoke those words. seconds later ap reports simultaneously. after all of these years of watching elections it felt surreal to see my name with the words projected winner. there it was in front of me. projected winner. marco rubio. ♪ why not make lunch more than just lunch? with two times the points on dining in restaurants, you may find yourself asking why not, a lot. chase sapphire preferred.
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>> sean: welcome back to "hannity". our special guest is marco rubio, the son of two cuban immigrants who came to this country in search of the american dream. let's take a look at the family's remarkable story. >> my parents came from cuba to united states in late 50s. and they came basically because they had heard good things about the united states. it was the basic american dream. the two parents come from another country and start working to give kids basic opportunities. they just really wanted us to feel comfortable, secure. they just sacrificed a lot for us, we grew up in a very middle class house. we had a lot of people in the house. family, always there. together. my brother and i were only 18 month as part. we're very close growing up. he loved to sit with adults and have conversations about
whatever they're talking about. he would sit with them and talk about whatever going on in news. loved to be a part of that and get involved. you know it wasn't common for kids. he was really funny. i think he got that from my dad. who was kind of a jokester. my brother was a year ahead of me in school. we had a lot of the same friends. >> marco was from the get go we had posters of cars or whatever teenagers had back then, marco had a picture of ronald reagan. and a picture that said america forever above the bed. wasn't custom yairy fr a 16-year-old. >> marco is not only a father he's an athlete. and for years, he has shown his friendship to us via the sports we've played. basketball, football, we've
stayed in touch. i don't think anyone who has known him has been surprised of his success, very honest and fair person. we're all very proud and not surprised. >> football has been a passion for marco. he played in high school and college. >> i think he always wanted to be a football player in the nfl but he was average, i guess. >> one day marco is at my house and my parents started interrogating him what do you want to do with your life. he said i want to be the president. they were like come on. he says i'm going to be the first, the president he's known what he wants to do in life. >> i don't think marco rubio has limits. he would set his own limits as far as how much he wants to do. boy love to see him as president one day. >> he's just, i think he's got
all potential in the world. basically to get as far as he would like to go. >> most proud of the way he's maintained close ties to where he came from. this is what maeks him so different. it's very encouraging. >> back with us is florida senator marco rubio. you're getting teared up. >> yes. my friends gave away a secret plan to rule the world. >> are you going to be president? >> i don't remember that conversation. >> sean: not at all? >> well your name is at the top of everybody's list as someone that might be chosen as vice president. what does that mean to you in light of the story of your grandfather and father? >> it's an honor people would think of you in that way. and i'm trying to be a respecialful of governor romney. he has great options out
there. i don't comment on the process. i know he's going to make a great choice. just being here on this stage, i think if my grandfather were alive he'd be beside himself to be a voice for principles he believed in. my dad would be beside himself a one-hour show on "hannity". i try to remind myself yes, my parents worked very hard and sacrifice but parents do that all over the world. why was i able to do things others weren't? it's because an i'm american son. >> sean: there are people making the argument there are many obstacles in life. it's too difficult. what is your answer to those that say this is preventing them from achieving -- x is preventing them from achieving y. >> there are so there is no doubt about that. the difference is -- this is a
testament to america. it doesn't matter who your parents were or whether you're born into poorest family, richest, twont right schools or public school that didn't do as well. the point is that if you have a good idea and willing to work hard, you can be that. if i think of the gifts our parents gave us and they gave us a strong, stable home, you saw my sister talk about that. the greatest gift among those great gifts is they never taught us we had limits and said look because our family because where we come from there are certain things you can't do, people like us to do that, i never felt like that. it's because they understood very early on we would have chances that they didn't have because of how great this country really is. >> sean: were you just average in football? >> yeah. do you know what? i tell people i would have been in the nfl had it not been for my lack of size, speed and talent.
>> sean: we're going to take a break and come right back. we take a look at his skyrocketing political career. his wife will join us right here on the set. >> i saw my mother coming up the steps to the stage. she turned 80 that day. absent was my father. he lost a short battle with lung cancer less than two months earlier. he hadn't lived long enough to ♪ [ male announcer ] aggressive styling. a more fuel-efficient turbocharged engine. and a completely redesigned interior. ♪ the 2012 c-class with over 2,000 refinements. it's amazing...inside and out.
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>> sean: welcome back to "hannity". we're joined by marco rubio and his family, he became a household name during 2012 elections and it's mentioned when discussing the vice presidential short list. what many people don't know is how he got his start in politics. we sat down with one friend by the name of jeb bush. >> when i first met marco was in 1996, all volunteering for the presidential campaign.
and quickly we started a good friendship and started to see great quality that's marco had back then. which have led him to where he is today. during that campaign in 1996 marco was already establishing himself as a leader in the campaign, he quickly ascended to the campaign manager for dade county. >> some people acquire a thirst for public service at some point in their lives. i think marco carry that had willingness from childhood. >> we're all children of a powerful and great god. >> marco has real charisma and a joyful attitude, he's smarter than most politicians i've met. he's eloquent. and this was pretty apparent from day one. >> the 1997 run for miami
commission he was lucky to have the support of then mayor. >> he asked me are you the mayor? i said, yes, i am. he told me they told me if you support me to run for commissioner, i want to win. can you help me? the next day, we were walking door to door knocking on every house in west miami. he became elected commissioner, an incredible moment in his life he ran for the state house in his early 20s ran a difficult primary. won by less than 100 votes and began his career in the hate state house of representatives. >> it's was a race everyone wrote him off and told him he couldn't win and that odds were too big. he knew he was outwork anyone else that his passion and his intensitty would translate to
others. that is what happened in that race. why he was able to win. >> we served four years together in the legislature, he was fortunate enough to serve side by side with him as speaker of the florida house. when he became speaker he was able to go around the state listening to voters and asking them what their concerns were. that is what launched him, that launched him into the senate race in 2010. >> for seeking my advice about running for senate. i told him first, you should pursue his dreams and not worry about political implications of whether he's going to win or lose, i'm really proud of him. i think it's spectacular he's in the united states senate. >> as far as his political future i've always think the sky is the limit. >> some day we're going to see young marco rubio be the first hispanic president in the
history of the united states he could be president of the united states. >> senator. >> sean: senator rubio, this keeps coming up. people have confidence you can go as far as you want. do you think about that? >> you know i shouldn't the truth is that what i've learned is that people get into a position planning to use to it catapult into something else almost always end up destroying themselves. a great example of someone doing it right is jeb bush, taking on every difficult issue. and i think at the image of his career as governor. people didn't agree with him, respected him. i learned a lot from watching that example as a kind of leader i want to be. >> sean: the senate seat you ran for opened up you had a phone conversation with jeb bush and assumed he was going to run.
and in that conversation he suggested you run. >> he decided not to run. i thought he was going to run. i was convinced and he thought bit over christmas holiday and we came back and he said he wasn't going to do it and encouraged me to think about it. it was a process we're very concerned about the future of our country. i wanted next u.s. senator from florida to be someone going to go to washington stand up to barack obama and offer a clear alternative. but at that time i wanted someone else to do it. i didn't want to go through the hard work and it was my wife that said to me why don't you do it?. >> sean: i'm going to let her confront you later in the program. you became speaker of the house and it's interesting you're able to balance the budget. and you're still a young man. and after you gave up, the outgoing speaker you decided
to say god is real and he loves everyone that ever lived. you made a decision to do that. why? >> i wanted to leave people with something and i waned them to understand what happens here matters a lot but what happens after here matters more. and my faith calls to us bring glory to god in everything we do to recognize that that reality god is real whether people want to admit he's there or not, he's there. >> we'll continue with florida senator marco rubio, more coming up tonight including his wife who challenged him in a pretty big way, straight ahead. >> with challenges america face there's is no nation on earth with a brighter future. the fundamental source of our nation's greatness remains our people. their government and leaders
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>> sean: welcome back to this special edition of "hantity" we continue with marco rubio. you show immigration as on the for front of people's minds z president deciding to do something he said he could not do just a year ago. that is that decide we're not going to enforce immigration laws as written. do you writ in the book it's very difficult for the republicans to appeal to hispanic voters for support and people who lead republicans are trying to deport their loved ones. >> that is the message democrats and left are driving against us that somehow republicans are antiimmigrant and as a result, antihispanic
that. is unfair. we do have a legitimate illegal immigrant issue in this country. and there is no a generous program legally. and they're waiting in line and doing it the right way. so this is a country of generous when it comes to immigration policy. we have a very serious illegal immigration party. it's a legitimate thing to be concerned about that we can't be the only country if the world asknt have immigration laws and that doesn't enforce the laws. the other part of the immigration debate is that there are people undocumented and came here in different ways. some legally and documents expired. others brought here as children. these are human beings and real people. they're coming here in search of a better life. some to escape from desperate situations. as a human element to that,
but that has to be balanced for a concern about illegal immigration. it's a difficult balance. and as i write in the book i think the left often exploits that for political gain. not everybody on the left and not everybody in the democratic party but i have -- there is no doubt democratic party in the left used immigration issues a wedge issue in america. >> and president doing it this late in the presidency is this more what is constitutional versus issues of immigration in this case? >> i think no matter where you stand on this issue there is still a constitution. and as frustrated as you might get with congress we do have a congressional process. that is how you create poll sni america. i think that going to make it harder for to us come up with
a decision we're trif striving to accomplish. i don't think the white house could deny it z yet, they are. and i don't know how they do that. i think everyone sees it for what it is. >> sean: you said when arizona laws came into debate you didn't like it and felt this is a federal issue z won't support from florida saying upon further understanding what is going on in arizona ask difficulty in impact illegal immigration is having on the educational system and criminal justice system you felt it was probably warranted in that case and you would have probably supported it had you been there arizona? >> people need to understand what that state continues to face. it's a border about mexico and human trafficking and gun running. it's about drug violence, people in arizona are facing this and a federal government that isn't doing enough about it.
they're frustrated. how people frustrated and scared react? through state ledge lay tour. arizona has a right to do what it did. >> i don't think that should abe national model. better model is for the federal government to do its job. continuing to improve security to do e-verify, modernize the system. these are the things we should be doing at the federal level z states like arizona facing a public safety crisis are going to. >> you wrote in the book you're conflicted about president obama. one hand the night he's elected you were working on a local television station. you felt you got caught up in the moment of first african american ever elected president and you were meegsal about it. on the other hand you write about his, you felt the need to a decidedly left of center policy agenda the country didn't need. you think in that sense he hid
the real obama was during that campaign? >> oh, absolutely. if he would have run on issues he never would have been elected to office. if he had run on a platform including obama care he would not have won in 2008. so he did. it's not like an idea developing over time. they passed it shortly after he got elected. here is another thing that i would like to say bit. whether you agree with the president or not and i don't and didn't, he had a very unique opportunity unlike few americans have ever had. to unite this country and elevate our political discourse kind of the low level it had reached. he walked away from that. today he's by design and abandoned any effort to elevate the political discourse and all you can see from the white house now are efforts to divide americans against each other. rich versus poor, one group of
hispanic against another group of hispanics he's just like everybody else now. i think that will go down as a tragedy. >> sean: and saying recently if mitt romney doesn't get 31% of the hispanic vote he cannot win the election. do you think democrats have been successful as portraying conservatives and republicans as antiimmigrants? and alien yaited the republican party? >> i think the republican party has been hurt by some of the rhetoric but also in unfair coverage to say because you're concerned about illegal immigration is unfair, we're the pro legal immigration party. what about 50 million people waiting to imgreat here, what about people saying their mom or dad has been waiting in line 10 years? what do we tell them? come illegally? it's cheaper and quicker?
the community loves someone, know someone who is caught in this illegal immigration situation. they understand the law has to be enforced but there is a deep personal compassion fr a real life human being suffering the consequences of a broken legal immigration system. so yes, the immigration system, issue matters a lot in the hispanic community. >> sean: you're going to meet the woman behind the man, senator rubio's wife, jeanett will join us on the set here on "hannity". >> many times i tried to have it both ways. all in as husband and father and politician. i didn't do the job as well as i should have. i thought god is testing me again and giving me another chance to prove i have often claimed but didn't live up to. that being a husband and father was more important than ♪ why not make lunch more than just lunch?
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>> sean: welcome back i've been talking to florida senator marco rubio. author of the auto biography "american son". i have his wife here in the studio. welcome to the program. >> thank you. you write in the book he writes about you you don't enjoy politics and have no desire to be a senator's wife. >> no. not up for the position. marco was involved in politics for a very long time while we're together but it's obviously when the senate situation came into play, you know it was something i was a little you know, bit, i know how he waned to make a difference so i supported it and it was very... >> sean: then he goes further in the book and says you hammered him a couple times on
issue of politics. one had to do considering running for senate and you know, you said why don't you do it. in other words you're saying at the time i wish someone would do it. you confronted him and said why don't you do it? >> yes. he would get so frustrated when his speech some of the things the governor would do and say and the way just things are going you know in the country. he you know, i told him, why don't you just do it. you feel this strongly bit just do it. >> sean: but that is different he describes you as a wife who would be happy, wanted a husband and dad home at 6:00 for dinner every night. so you must have felt strongly he could do a good job. >> i did. i believed in him. i believed he could make a difference. i believe what he -- his passion for doing something you know, for you know plitly
and for people, actually. i believe in him. so... >> sean: there is a couple moments saying one you had not raised a lot of money. and iing i don't have a chance in this race. he's got endorsements and money. you began to doubt whether you should do it. and began running for governor and attorney general. what was going through your mind? you didn't want to lose. >> everything i knew about politics i was going to lose. ways behind in the poll asks i couldn't raise money, everyone was endorsing him. everything i'd known up until that point taught me i was going to lose and badly. i didn't want to go through that. i didn't want to put them through a year and a half of campaign for a cause that couldn't be won. where i think jeanette, she reminded me of yi wanted to be in this to begin w this wasn't to be someone, it's to do something. if you want to be shun you run
for easiest office. >> i remember first time we met there was a point where nobody knew who you were. kind of assumed that charlie chris would win that position that oo that gets to you, too. i had doubts and was trying to figure out a way to save face, i didn't want to be embarrassed after spending a year and a half chasing something that wasn't possible. but i'm glad it happen that had way. i consider it a blessing because it forced me to ask why are you in the senate is in the only thing i had with me was my family, principles and support of a handful of people around the state. they met me believed i could be a voice for what they wanted. >> sean: you led the charge for him changing to the easier race. that you led that charge. you didn't have interest in being a senator's wife. why did you lead that charge? what did you see in him that made you say i've got to put
pressure? >> he was in, i knew why he was trying to find a way out. it wasn't because he didn't what he believed in because of the -- because he was saying it was starting to get hard. and so that challenge for me, i believed wasn't a reason to get out of something that, you know, felt strongly bchl i think everything in what you do in life was, is good, his heart, you know, it's not, it's never easy. >> sean: you used the word humiliated and destroyed. >> i thought i'd lose by 30 skpoints would have to spend money against me to tell people how bad i was. i thought at the time boy money to even defend himself and would be struggle to find a job who. is going to hire a lawyer smeared on television state wide? i'm glad it happen that had way. as i said in the book it was a faith journey, too. i, it's
not some -- just about politics it is about me being more reliant on him. one of the hardest things we face is are we able to abandon ourselves to god whatever that will may be. in this race i had nothing but faith. >> sean: you talk about jeanette writing you a note that i love you and believe in you. signing it me. >> i knew it was her. >> and you do realize that i'm looking at this more objectively that you're making argument you get a call for another job that you've got to accept it. you know that exact thing you're laying out in the book here? >> nice try. yeah. yeah. >> sean: i hate when i get busted on that. i gave it my best shot. more as this special edition of "hannity" continues and we're glad you're with us.
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>> sean: welcome back to "hannity". and you guys had a really tough moment you write about the in book. you have your family here, four kids work to boys and two girls your youngest boy -- i'll let you tell the story. you found him in a pool. >> i was home making phone calls and all of a sudden i heard an alarm and something in me told me go to the back skbrard keep track of dominic. i found him floating in the top of the pool. pulled him out. for a second he didn't breathe then vomited up water and started crying and it was scary. and it affected me today just what could have been. it reminded me of how inconsequence yil this is. in just a moment a this can change in a heartbeat.
>> that is chilling. it's great i don't know when you decided to put the ta larm on. and mr. tl is a pool fence. and they left a little space open. just a little space. >> sean: all it takes. it's scary. and this is a stigs and your encouragement for him to move forward you wrote that something was gnawing at you of you felt ashamed that you had been tested with adversity and failed and had nothing like your grandfather. a disabled man who lost a job. nothing like your father, motherless, working since he was nine. do you see that conflict going on in him? >> no. i mean, there are moments i saw him conflicted in regards to what was outcome of the race and everything was. but no. i mean... -- .
>> sean: using the word ashamed. >> you think about if things went bad for me i lost an election but i get home to spend time with the family. if it went bad for my dad he wouldn't pay the bills at the end of the month. for my grandfather, kids won't eat that night. that is the real test. losing a race? i just felt bad you that know once again, god is testing me. once again, he's asking to have faith in him that it may not turn out the way the world wants it to turn out but it's what god's will s i failed. that bothered me, a lot. >> sean: you made the right decision in the end and stuck with it. with jeanette's help. you say you're a proud member of the tea party that. struck me. a lot of people go to washington want to distance them self as a little bit from their base. why do you consider yourself a tea party senator? >> i can tell you i'm proud of
my association with tea party groups in florida and across the country. these are every day americans from all walks of life angry at both political parties because they see this country headed into the wrong direction and no one doing -- or not enough people are doing enough about it. and this brought a lot of energy into american politics and despite negativity the tea party movement is still growing strong and helping decide races around the country. it's not an organization but a sentiment that has been there ooths. >> sean: senator, jeanette congratulationses and this is a american story standing on the shoulder of our parents and we look forward to seeing your future, that is all the time we have left this evening. thank you to our studio awed yons. have a great night. thank you for being with us.