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Faith and Family Forum | February 12, 2016

Note: Official youtube video is linked through the subheadings

Attorney General Alan Wilson:  All right. Ladies and gentlemen, we're going to go ahead and jump right into it. Oran.


Dr. Oran Smith:  Well, we've titled this forum, "The Faith and Family Forum." So I want to start off with that first word in the title of our event: faith.


Sen. Marco Rubio: Yes.

On the Role of Faith in America Today

Dr. Oran Smith:  Tell us how your faith has influenced your life and driven you along your life’s path?


Sen. Marco Rubio: Yeah, well faith is the most important influence in my life. And you know, a lot of times there’s this talk out there about you should separate faith from politics. When you’re running for president especially, you shouldn’t do that. You deserve to know what influences my life because it will influence how I make decisions. My faith teaches me that I was originally, we were all, life on earth was, humans were created to live in eternity with their creator. But humans allowed in sin to be introduced into the world. And so God had to become a man and come down and die for our sins to remove that and to give us the free gift to salvation. And so now we have the opportunity, thanks for that sacrifice, to be able to live in eternity with our creator who is going to return, and judge in final judgment, and then is going to create a new heaven and a new earth where I’ll be able to live in eternity as we were originally intended to do with our creator. So that is what gives me perspective on everything that’s happening. So whatever is in the news tonight or, whatever happens, tomorrow morning is not nearly as important as the ability to live for eternity.


Attorney General Alan Wilson:  Senator Rubio, I’ve said it a number of times today that faith has become a taboo subject in modern American politics, whereas if you start talking about your faith or even say the word faith, you say anything related to religion all of a sudden people start to look at you funny. And I’m kind of offended by that notion because if you look at last summer, it was faith that united the nation and certainly united the state in the wake of the massacre at Mother Emmanuel church. Nine families, nine murdered victims stood there, and through faith and forgiveness, they forgave the murderer of their loved one. And that is partly the reason I believe that we didn’t have a lot of the things that you see happening around the country where there were riots and chaos and things like that happening. So that faith united people around something common. My question: as president what role will would your faith play in breaking down the political, religious, racial, and economic divisions that divide so many Americans today?


Sen. Marco Rubio: Well, first of all, I had an opportunity to visit Mother Emmanuel after that incident happened. And let me just tell you that it is an example, letting your light shine on the world. If you think about that happening in another community, what could have happened? The violence that could have ensued, the division. They live their faith in an extraordinary example. Because your faith, you have to, your faith also, we’re ambassadors of Christ. In essence, sometimes you may meet someone and the only thing they know about Christianity is you. You’re a Christian and how you behave or what you do is what indicates to them what Christianity is all about. And I cannot tell you what an extraordinary impact it had on people across this country to see someone who had just gone through this brutal, horrifying tragedy, be able to forgive.


The second thing I would say is anyone who ignores the role of our faith in the foundation of our country doesn’t understand history. So I’m motivated by that, and I will be as president of the United States. Let’s start with this. What is this country founded on? It is not founded on a political principle. America was founded on a powerful spiritual principle. Here is the principle, it’s a truth. Your right do not come from government. Your rights don’t come from your leaders. Your rights don’t even come from the constitution. Your rights come from God. So you cannot be a nation founded on the believe that your rights come from God if you do not recognize God. And so of course, our faith has to be a part of our conversation. And what is the influence that our faith has had on our culture? Well, I’ll give you an example. Why are Americans the most generous people in the world? It is not because of the 60% tax write off on charitable deductions in the tax code. We are the most charitable people in the world. We volunteer time, resources, and money not just for people in this country but people around this planet because our faith teaches us that in order to serve the lord, we have to serve each other and especially those who are facing hardships. To feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to house the homeless. Our faith commands us to do that. And so when people say you should leave your faith out of your politics, I would say you better hope that faith I just described to you influences your political leaders. Because it teaches us to love one another, to forgive your enemies, and most important of all to care for those who are less fortunate.

On Judicial Philosophy

Attorney General Alan Wilson:  Thank you, Senator. I want to turn to the Supreme Court and your judicial philosophy. I'm going to ask you a question in just a few seconds. I'm sure many people here would be curious knowing that there are nine Supreme Court justices on the Supreme Court. Are there any that you admire that you hold up as a model? And I would like for you to answer that in two seconds. The other one is, are there any recent decisions that you vehemently agree with and why? You can ask, answer those two questions in this one. What kind of people would you want to put on the court knowing that four of the Supreme Court justices were born in the 1930s and the next president could choose nearly half the Supreme Court in the next term?


Sen. Marco Rubio: Well, the first and the third question are related. If you look at Justice Thomas and Justice Scalia, I wish we had nine of them sitting instead of only two. The Hobby Lobby decision which originally found that in fact even those in business are allowed to live out the teachings of their faith and not be compelled by government to violate their conscience. It's a decision that I agree with and, of course, there's a bunch that I disagree with. But that one is important in terms of understanding that religious liberty is not simply the right to believe anything you want. That's a part of it. But we all us people say, it's also right to believe, it's not just the right to believe everything you want. It is a right to live out your faith. In essence to never be personally compelled to violate your conscience for the teaching of your faith. That is a critical component of that right. And I want justices, and by the way, an attorney general, and the justice department, that will protect the right of every American to live out the teachings of their faith in every single aspect of their lives.

On Religious Freedom

Dr. Oran Smith:  This [inaudible 0:06:25] decision has just sent shockwaves throughout the church and Christian ministries and is a pattern that some of the decisions that we've had but is really the worst in the threat to religious freedom that it represents. In response, some Members of Congress have drafted the first amendment defense act to push back against the threats to religious freedom that would include manipulation by the federal government through its regulatory arms. Would you make such an act a priority to do in your first 100 days as President?


Sen. Marco Rubio: Yeah we're going to, and anything else that we can do to protect the religious liberties of all Americans. In essence, we're not going to turn the IRS for example into an agency that now begins to target people's not for profit status because of what they teach or what they believe in. This may sound outside the realm of possibility to a lot of people. I don't believe that it is. You have now reached the point where if you disagree with people for example on the definition of marriage, they call you a hater and a bigot. And what's the next step? Once you define that as hate speech, you've defined Christianity as hateful. And then you can foresee how that can apply to tax policy and all sorts of things. The only thing I would say is this decision that you just mentioned, I always mispronounce the name, but it's the same sex marriage decision. If you look at Scalia's dissent, I think he perfectly describes what a ridiculous decision it is. They're in essence arguing that these justices, these five justices that voted in favor of that decision have discovered a hidden constitutional right that over two centuries of jurisprudence somehow missed. But now all of a sudden, they found this hidden constitutional right. And it is an example to you what the left has done to this country. They can't get these things done legislatively. So they either have to do it administratively through executive orders or through the judiciary. And one of the problems we've had in the center of right movement and the conservative movement is we have not been willing to fight as hard for our nominees as they have been willing to fight for their nominees. That will change when I'm president of the United States.


Attorney General Alan Wilson:  You mentioned Hobby Lobby case, which as you can see I have on my notes to talk about and you've already talked about it. But that begs the other issue. Often times people always invoke in the public square this constitutional separation, wall of separation between church and state. Jeffersonian, that is somehow out of the constitution. And for those of you who have walked in the last hour, I mentioned this earlier: you cannot find that anywhere in the constitution. And you talked about how Supreme Court justices often times miss the ball here. That was out of a 1947 case, Justice Hugo Black's quoting Thomas Jefferson in 1802 and completely took the quote out of context. So the Hobby Lobby case was another case that you mentioned allowing people to practice their faith in concert with how they run their business. But also, the town of Greece which is another one which is basically you had to fight to even have an invocation at a local town hall meeting. What are your thoughts on that and where are we going as a country?


Sen. Marco Rubio: Actually on the town of Greece case is interesting. I led the effort in the Senate to submit an amicus brief to protect Senate prayer. And I actually sat in the hearing at the, there was Supreme Court made and heard oral arguments on that issue. I was there that day sitting in the audience to hear it because we wanted to protect the right of the Senate. We begin every morning in the Senate with prayer. Now you may argue it's not working very well but we're going to keep doing it. But maybe we should pray every hour is what should happen. But we have a great Chaplin in the Senate. And he does a great job every morning of invoking prayer. But if you go back to the history of our country and that's always been the case. So we wanted to protect the right of political bodies to begin with prayer. And you know what? You don't want to be a part of the prayer, you don't have to show up. You don't have to be there. No one is compelled there or a part of that.


I think the fundamental question goes back to the thing that I've talked about at the beginning. And that is in cases such as those, I'm glad that they went in the right direction. But this separation of church and state is in fact, that term, that phraseology is not from the constitution. And I've had people argue with me about it and I've made bets, you know, go ahead. And I'm not a gambler, okay?. But that one, I think I can win. And I said that go find those words in the constitution. What we have is an establishment clause which all of you support and so do I. It means this is never going to be Roman Catholicism, Presbyterianism, Methodism. We're never going to have an official denomination in this country. But the separation of church and state, that does not exist. And it goes back to what I said earlier. This nation was founded on a powerful spiritual principle: that our rights come from our creator.


And it also, we understand that our faith community is a critical component of the well-being of our country. Why? Because you can't have a strong country without strong people. You cannot have strong people without strong values. No one is born with strong values. They have to be taught to you. They have to be instilled. And where are they taught? They're taught in the family and reinforced in the faith community. It is why I as a parent, I'm raising four children right now. Our faith helps us to instill values. If I tell someone, my kids not to do something because it's illegal, it is not nearly as powerful as saying to them don't do something because your creator has taught us that it is wrong. Even if it's legal, it might be wrong. And so that is why it's so important for the faith community to be a vibrant part of our lives. Our founders understood it, almost 200 years of American history understood it. and it's only in the last 15 or 20 years, in particular, we've had people take control of government power who have somehow thought that they could replace our values with government, with regulations, with agencies, and with laws. We need to get back to the fundamental truth. Our faith is important.

On the Second Amendment

Dr. Oran Smith:  Senator, you referred to in the Obergefell decision as the court finding a right that wasn't there. Often we also have this situation where there are rights that are clearly in the constitution that for some reason become doubted. And it's mystifying to me but the second amendment seems pretty clear. You don't think it's referring to a state militia, do you?


Sen. Marco Rubio: No. In fact, I believe and I said this if Barack Obama could get rid of the second amendment, he would. He knows he can't. And they'll never admit it because they understand the majority of Americans support the second amendment. It goes well beyond this militia. It's about the right of everybody in this country, if they choose to, to be able to protect their families and their property from criminals, and increasingly, from terrorists. This is a constitutional right. I said this at one of debates. The second amendment was not a suggestion. It was a right. And it is like the second amendment which means it was pretty important when they wrote it in there. And so they do try to undermine it consistently. And they try to undermine it with laws that they argue, if you don't support these laws then you're in favor of gun violence. And here is what they ignore. Criminals don't care what laws you pass because by definition they ignore the law. That's why they're called criminals. I will follow the law. If you pass a law, I may not agree with it but I'm going to follow it but criminals will not. And while they focus all of their attention on the gun aspect of it, they're ignOrang the violence aspect of it. And what we really should be doing as a society is asking ourselves why is there so much violence happening in America?


I was personally touched by this a few weeks ago. In December of last year, I forget the exact date. It might have been December 28th. A young child was playing in the living room of his family's home when a thug, a 19-year-old punk, shot up the home and he was killed. That young child happened to be a teammate of my youngest son Dominic. And I think the question we have to ask us--and by the way, the reason why he shot up that house is because he had a dispute with someone who lived there over a stolen gun. Which means he wasn't buying his gun from a gun show or a gun shop. They were getting it on the black market like criminals always do. Here is the question for us as a society. A 19-year-old young man who presumably has his entire life ahead of him didn't care, shot up a home with no regard for human life as a result. What is happening in our country that we've reached a point where that is not just happening but happening with stunning regularity? Because our society is breaking down. Because when the family is undermined, society doesn't work. It is the basic nucleus of the entire society. And when family life breaks down, values break down. And when values break down, your country breaks down.

On Federal Agency Appointments (EPA, NLRB)

Attorney General Alan Wilson:  I've often referred to the constitution as kind of a handbook on how to govern ourselves. And you know, it gives powers to the executive, legislative, and judicial branches through the various articles in the constitution, and if you go to the Bill of Rights, the tenth amendment, it says anything not listed are basically reserved to the states. I'm a strong tenth amendment person. But as attorney general over the last five years, I've been either directly involved or indirectly involved in nearly 30 lawsuits against the federal government because regulators and bureaucrats who are not elected by any of your elected representatives rule through administrative fiat; they do not recognize the states' sovereignty. What kind of people and directors of these agencies, like the EPA, the National Labor Relations Board, the Department of Justice, and multitude of other ABC agencies would you put into power?


Sen. Marco Rubio: There is, at least, one agency I don't think we even need, and that's the federal department of education. We don't need a national school board. We don't need a national school board. Student loans, pell grants, you can move that to treasury. You've got this people sitting around all day in this office building at the federal department of education imagining up ways that they can get control of our schools across this country. So we're going to get rid of the department of education. Now what kind of agency has people that understand the federal government is supposed to be of limited government? Part of it goes back to something you need, the next president of the United States needs to be someone that understands there is not a federal solution to every problem in this country. There just isn't. Those aren't even a government solution to every problem in this country.


And so we need to elect people that understand that the federal government is supposed to be a very limited government, primarily to provide for the national security. That is the number one obligation of the federal government. The federal government's involved in all kinds of things it has no reason to be involved in. You know, our anti-poverty programs, I agree we need to...we're always going to have a safety net in this country. But not as a way of life. Not as a lifestyle. And that's why I believe that it should be turned over to the states. Transportation funding as well. So I'm looking for agency heads people that understand that their role is to be very limited in their application of the law. That their job is to execute the law, not to reinterpret it or create law of their own. We're going to have a regulatory budget when I'm president that will limit how fast and how much regulations can grow. Meaning if they want to add new regulations they'll have to get rid of the existing ones. We're going to have a regulatory system that keeps us safe. Our water is going to be clean and our air is going to be breathable, but we're not going to destroy the American economy and disadvantage ourselves in global competition when it comes to economics. And in terms of one of the most important agencies of all, the justice department, we're going to have an attorney general that protects all Americans from discrimination, including Americans that hold traditional values.

On the Mox Facility and Guantanamo Bay

Attorney General Alan Wilson:  Real quick, this week we filed, South Carolina filed suit again against the Department of Energy and the Obama administration on the closure of the Mox facility and it's refusal to abide by federal law. Basically a dozen years ago, the federal government said South Carolina, take all these plutonium, this nuclear waste. South Carolina said, we don't want to do it. Government said, if you do it, we'll build a facility that will process it and make it safe and not a threat to your community. And if we don't build the facility, we'll give you millions and millions of dollars to deal with it and we'll remove it off your hands for you. They have done none of that. And so we have sued them on violating the federal law. Second part of the question, the first part of the question is they're bringing nuclear waste to South Carolina and not living up to their agreement. As President, how would you do handle that as it relates to South Carolina? Number two, Gitmo. This is one of the states that they want to take, they want to bring the terrorists to from if they close Gitmo and I would be interested to know what your views all of that because as a national security threat to our state.


Sen. Marco Rubio: Well on the first issue of nuclear waste part of it is we refuse to move forward on a responsible place to keep it. It doesn't belong in the places that they put it now. South Carolina has said that if you're going to force us to have it, we're going to put it to good use. We're going to use it as fuel for nuclear energy. The Obama administration is against that too because they want the entire economy to be powered by wind and solar and biofuels. Well, I'm for all that stuff but you can't power a 21st-century economy with windmills alone. We're going to fully utilize our oil, our coal, our natural gas, and our nuclear energy when I'm President of the United States. On Guantanamo, number one, we're going to keep Guantanamo. We're not giving it back to the Cuban government. We're going to keep it. We're going to stop the practice of releasing enemy combatants. That's what these people are. They're enemy combatants in a war against radical jihadism and radical Islam. We're not going to release them because they rejoin the battlefield against us. And number three when I'm president, we're going to destroy ISIS but if we capture any of these people alive, they're not getting a lawyer, they're not getting a court hearing in Manhattan. They're not coming to South Carolina. If we capture a terrorist alive, they're going to go Guantanamo. We're going to find out everything they know.

On Immigration

Attorney General Alan Wilson:  Last year, a little over a year ago, South Carolina joined 26 other states in challenging the president's executive action on immigration which basically was kind of regulatory amnesty without going through Congress. We're actually winning that legal fight as of this time, and I'm confident we'll ultimately win it. But my question to you is what would you do to solve or address the illegal immigration problem in the United States?


Sen. Marco Rubio: Well first of all, like any other policy, immigration policy has to be 'What's good for America and good for Americans?'. And when the world changes, your policy has to change with it. So what's good for America? Number one, keeping ISIS out of America is very good for America. And that means that we're going to have to stricter than we've ever been about allowing people to enter the United States. Okay? We're going to have to be stricter than we've ever been. When I'm President if we don't know who you are and we don't know why you're coming you're not going to be able to come. And it's not discrimination; we just need to know who you are given the fact that today you have radical terrorist groups that are using refugee crisis--and, by the way, student visas, professor visas, doctors and all kinds of things to get people into other countries. Number two, we have, my parents were immigrants. My grandparents were immigrants. I've been raised in a community of immigrants. My wife's entire family are immigrants. And I'm tired of being told that securing our border and enforcing our law is anti-immigrant. It is not. It is what sovereign countries do. When I'm President, we will do that. Instead of hiring 20,000 new IRS agents, we're going to hire 20,000 new border agents. We're going to finish the 700 miles of fencing and walls that the experts know we need. We're going to have mandatory E-Verify. So if you're in this country illegally, you will not be able to get hired. And we're going to have an entry-exit tracking system. Because 40% of illegal immigrants enter the country legally on a tourist visa, student visa, the visa expires and they stay. We don't know who they are. We're like a hotel that checks people in but doesn't check anyone out. So we don't know who is here. That changes. And until all of that is in place and all of that is working nothing else is going to happen on immigration except sanctuary cities will lose all their federal funding when I'm President.


Attorney General Alan Wilson:  Oran, it's that time again. We've done, yeah I'm going to set Oran up with a question because so many people are coming and going. And this is important to me because I'm a veteran and I work in law enforcement. I always like to know how many people in the audience that our candidates are speaking to are involved in the military or have ever been involved in the military or have been involved in law enforcement or as a first responder or related to someone who does that. So if you fit into one of those categories, could you clap?, Oran, we have a pretty vocal audience here on this issue.

On Law Enforcement and the United States Military

Dr. Oran Smith:  Yeah, sure, a lot of support. You know, every single day in this country, men and women and law enforcement risk their lives, our military risks their lives often on foreign soil. A couple of questions related to that. First of all, do you think that men and women in uniform have the respect that they deserve? And has that changed under this President? And the second part of that is in between the two candidate, the last few candidates coming out, I happened to take a look and I noticed that the whole issue of the role of women in the military is starting to bubble up again. So either one of those you choose to address.


Sen. Marco Rubio: Well, that's, I'll try to get to both of them fairly quickly. On the first one, and because I think there was a question in the last debate, they asked about selective service, first of all, I don't even think we need selective service anymore. I don't think, we'll ever have a draft again. Modern warfare, if it ever reaches that level because of the weapons that now exist, I don't think you're ever going to see a draft instituted. Second of all, I do not support drafting women and forcing them to be combat soldiers. And I don't support that. I never have and I don't know. The third thing I've said is we should never lower our combat standards in other to achieve some sort of societal aim or some sort of societal messaging. You have to be physically qualified; that's true for both genders in order to do the work. And fourth, I would say we need to recognize that today there are women in the military that may not be directly in combat but are serving basically combat like roles that put their lives in danger which leads to your first point. How are we treating our veterans and our men and women in uniform? Well, it's your actions, not your words. The President and all kinds of people around the country, we all clap for the veterans and we should. My brother is a veteran. He was a seventh Special Forces Green Beret from 1968 through 1971. So my view on this issue is impacted through the lens of what he has got to go through. How do we treat him? You have a record number of veterans today, unemployed, homeless, and waiting in long lines to get their treatment at the VA. Treatment that they earned. When I'm president of the United States, if you're not doing a good job at the VA, you're going to be fired. And when I'm President, veterans will be able to take their VA benefits to any hospital or any doctor they want to go to.


Dr. Oran Smith:  This may be the hardest question I have to ask you, at least from my perspective because I haven't worked out exactly what the answer is yet. But phrase that we use when we talk about our organization The Palmetto Family Council. By the way, we have a friend, common friend in John Stumberger.


Sen. Marco Rubio: Yes sir.


Dr. Oran Smith:  Who is the director of the Florida Family Council.


Sen. Marco Rubio: He is.

On Family Values

Dr. Oran Smith:  Good old John, our common friend. But we talk about defending and strengthening families. Defending families often looks like legislation. We're for this, we're against that. But the strengthening of families, how do you that? How does an organization do that? Is there a way that a President could do that, could help strengthen families, the relationships between a mother and father and children.


Sen. Marco Rubio: Yeah. I mean first, we shouldn't have any policies that are anti-family. And we do, we have a tax code today that doesn't just punish marriage but punishes child formation. That's why I have an increase in the child tax credit. Because...think about this for a moment. If you're a business and you take a thousand dollars and you invest in a new piece of equipment, you're allowed to write that off on the tax code. But if you're a parent and take a thousand dollars of the money you earned, it's not a government check because you're working and you invested in your children, the tax code doesn't recognize it. The most important job any of us will ever have is the job of a parent and our tax code should, at least, be pro-family and not anti-family. We have marriage penalties in our tax code. A married couple will pay more than singles filing jointly or separately or whatever it maybe. So we should remove all marriage penalties in the tax code. Also in our safety net programs. Do you know that we have safety net programs like Medicaid that encourage people not to get married? Because if they get married, their combined income costs them their government benefit. And so we're basically telling, encouraging people not to get married. So we should get rid of any policies that are anti-family.


Second, Presidents have been willing to tell us don't overeat. It causes obesity. Don't smoke, it causes cancer. There is nothing wrong with a President saying be engaged in the lives of your children. Don't get divorced. Have strong families because it's good for your children. It's good for you and it's good for America. And so there is nothing wrong with that. But ultimately, the job of raising our families is on us. It's what I said a few moments ago. Every challenge before America does not have a Presidential solution or a government solution. The time has come for us to take responsibility in this country. To take responsibility for raising our children. To take responsibility for having strong families. To take responsibility for the community around us. This is why the faith community is so critical. It provides that support for people who are trying to do that. Ultimately many of the problems we face in this country are societal in nature and there is no regulation, no government program, no tax break that we can do that is going to overcome that. We must responsibility as a people for our children, for our lives, and for the decisions that we make. And that's why we need to ensure that we protect the institutions that help us instill and reinforce the values of marriage and family and all in respect for life and all sorts of other things that make us a stronger people and ultimately a stronger country.

On the Environmental Protection Agency & Energy

Attorney General Alan Wilson:  Senator, I'm going to pivot real quick to the environment. The theme here today is family. And often times, a lot of the regulations coming out of the EPA and another agencies in the federal government basically drive up the cost of living. They drive up the utility costs, they get passed onto families trying to live paycheck to the paycheck and small businesses. Like clean power plans that the Supreme Court just stayed, which could drive up costs in South Carolina and states around the country. But the waters of the U.S., which is one of my favorite and most ridiculous regulations that they're trying to push down your throats through regulatory fiat where they're going to redefine that a ditch with water in it three months out of the year is an applicable water like the Mississippi river that the federal government can now regulate. So it's a land grab. My question to you is everybody here is a conservative, at least, most of us are and we believe in conserving the environment.


Sen. Marco Rubio: If not, we're going to make them one, right?


Attorney General Alan Wilson:  That's right.


Sen. Marco Rubio: We're done here, that's right.


Attorney General Alan Wilson:  As President, you're going to appoint people to the EPA and other federal agencies that regulate us. How as president would you balance the need to protect a livable environment with the reality of the cost of regulations on businesses and families?


Sen. Marco Rubio: Yeah. So my family lives not just in the United States but on the planet earth. So I want our air to be breathable. I want our water to be clean. I want the medicine to be what the bottle says it is. There is a proper role for proper regulation and keeping us safe. But this is not what we're talking about here. We're talking about over regulation. We're talking about what happens when a government bureaucrat decides I'm going to create new regulations in order to justify my existence. We're going to create new regulations in order for us to have more power. And that's what those things are that you've just described. They do nothing for the environment. They really do not. But they do give more power to government and they're part of a broader agenda. They're part of a broader agenda to expand the scope, the size, and the power of the federal government over our economy and ultimately over our lives.


And so who pays the price for these things? The clean power plant act. Utilities are guaranteed a profit under law. Not a big profit but they're guaranteed a profit, they're protected from competition. So you only have one electric company in a community. If you raise the price of generating power, the utilities still get to make a profit. So what are they going to do? They're going to take their additional cost and they're going to pass it through higher utility bills. A higher electric bill, a higher heating bill. Okay, that may not be a big deal for a billionaire environmentalist, activist in California. His mansion, a thousand dollar month increase in his electric bill, he won't even notice. It's a big deal for a mom raising two kids on her own. That her electric bill go up $30 or $40. Because you know, what $30 or $40 is? That's the difference between getting a new backpack this month or having to make the Spiderman backpack with a hole in it work for another couple of months. And if you're raising children, you know that those $30, $40, $50 a month is the difference between a new pair of shoes and not a new pair of shoes. And that's who's going to pay the price for this radical agenda that we're going to stop when I'm President of the United States.


Dr. Oran Smith:  One of our core principles at Palmetto Family, and they're represented by the stars around our palmetto tree here is the principle of creation and stewardship, stewardship of creation almost as if we're co-creators or we're those who sustain and look after creation. So natural resources, we consider be given by God. So, and you've addressed this somewhat already. But when it comes to energy, should Christians encourage clean alternative sources of energy? University of South Carolina has a hydrogen research facility. So hydrogen might be one. Hydrogen, solar, other forms of energy.


Sen. Marco Rubio: First of all, there is no doubt that stewardship is a biblical principle found right in Genesis from God gave man dominion over the animals in the earth and how to farm from it and how to create food and how to...there is no doubt that, that is a biblical principle. And the answer is true. I want America to lead the world in everything. Let's be number one in the world in solar and wind and biofuels and renewables. But let's also be number one in the use of clean coal. Let's also be number one, which we are and still continue to be, in nuclear energy. And the full utilization and responsible legislation of the natural gas that we've been blessed with. But how do you do that is the question? I think you do it for the American innovator, not through a big government mandate. If the American innovator does it, is it not going to be driven by exploration. It's going to be driven by innovation. It's going to be driven by advances in technology. It's not going to be driven by a government law that says you have to do it with today's technology, because if you do it that way, now you've become globally uncompetitive. Now you've made America a more expensive place to do business, to create jobs, and to live. That is the price of big government. And we're not doing it that way when I'm President of the United States. We will pursue all of these things, but we will allow the private market and free enterprise and innovation to do it. Not big government regulations handed down from Washington DC, or for that matter from the United Nations.


Dr. Oran Smith:  Our last question is actually not a question, it's a video. And it's a video you've seen, I'm sure. And we just like you to react to it. And I think you can see it straight ahead now. We've adjusted that.


(Plays Video) On the Right to Life


Sen. Marco Rubio: Well, I mean my reaction to it has been the same as it's horrifying. It's horrifying. They're talking about a human being. They're talking about the body parts of an unborn human being, being sold and being trafficked and's a horrifying practice. And that's why I believe, planned parenthood, we should take their money away and give it to federally qualified health centers that don't do what planned parenthood does but provides health care for women without these atrocious practices. I think the broader issue, I think the broader issue is the issue of life. And this is a difficult issue. Because I recognize that if you have the story of a 16-year-old girl who faces an unexpected crisis pregnancy, it's scary. The father of that child is never going to be around, you're on your own. It's scary. It's not easy. This is hard. That's why this is such a difficult issue. And I do believe that a human being has a right to control their body and what happens to it. I believe that's a real right. By the way, so do you. The problem isn't on the issue of abortion, there is another right at play. And that's the right of all human beings to live. And these two rights, the right to choose what to do with your body and the right to live are in conflict with one another. And as a policy maker, I have to choose when these two rights are in conflict which right wins out? And I have chosen to err on the side of life. I have chosen to say that in fact the right to live takes precedence over every other right. And I've committed myself to this principle so deeply that I've even been attacked in a Republican primary for being too pro-life. So let me just say this: I know this is a hard issue. But I can tell you this. And I know that maybe politically it's not the right thing to say but I would rather lose an election than be wrong on the issue of life.


Attorney General Alan Wilson:  Senator, I want to like to give you the next five to ten minutes to go ahead and...we got a little bit of time and you've got a good group of South Carolinians excited to hear from you.


Sen. Marco Rubio: I got through all your questions?


Attorney General Alan Wilson:  You did.


Sen. Marco Rubio: All right.


Attorney General Alan Wilson:  You did, you did. But we want to give you the balance of the time to go ahead and talk to the citizens of our state who are going to be going to the polls in a few short days.


Sen. Marco Rubio: Is it all right if I stand?


Attorney General Alan Wilson:  You can do whatever you want. It's your state, Senator.


Sen. Marco Rubio: Well, I really, first of all, I want to thank you and I appreciate you all coming this morning. You have a big decision to make a week from tomorrow if you haven't voted already. Hopefully for me. But you know, sometimes it's easy for someone who is always lived through their entire life like me. I've lived in America my entire life. So I have no idea what life is like in any other country other than what I hear. My parents knew what life was like in another country. My parents were born on the island of Cuba. My mom was one of seven girls, actually eight girls because one of them died in infancy. And she was raised by parents, her grandfather, her father, my grandfather was disabled by polio as a young child. He was one of 18 or 19 kids to a rural family. I know, that was their labor program. But they were, they lived, they were sugar croppers basically in rural Cuba. And when he was six years old, he had polio. So he lost the use of one of his legs and he struggled his whole life to provide for his family and for his children. My father didn't have it easy either. He was born in Havana, had a pretty nice childhood until about four days shy of his 9th birthday, his mother died. And he had to go work. At nine years of age, my father had to stop going to school and he went to work. He would work for the next 70 years of his life.


In 1956, my parents came to the United States with my brother, then only six years old in tow. They had nothing. They didn't have any money, they didn't know anyone. They barely spoke any English. The lore in our family, the story is, that the first words my father learned in English were spelled out on a little strip of paper phonetically. It said I'm looking for work. Or I'm looking for a job. And life in America was not an instant success. They struggled here too. But they persevered. You know that in less than ten years after my parents came here, my father at that point worked as a bartender at a hotel, my parents owned a home. It wasn't a big fancy home but it was a home in a safe neighborhood. Years later, my parents would retire with dignity and with security. And the most important thing of all was my parents lived to see all four of their children have a life better than their own. Why is that so important to me? Because that story would be not possible in any other nation in the history of mankind. There is only one place on earth where that would have been possible. Here, in this exceptional nation, the United States of America.


But we have to remember that America wasn't special by accident. That this unique country that we have, this exceptional society and this extraordinary place, was not an accident. It is the result of over two centuries of hard work and sacrifice and difficult decisions and powerful principles. America is the result of what the people who came before us did. America is the result of the sacrifices your parents made for you. And the sacrifices that your grandparents made for them. And so our future will be the result of what we do now. I always love coming onto a college campus and I always love seeing so many young Americans. I've been with my family for the last 13 days. I've four children. My wife and I've been married 17, 18 years this October and we've been blessed with four wonderful children. Two girls, Amanda who is 15. She will be 16 in April, she reminds me. And Daniela who is 13, and then Anthony and Dominic who are 10 and 8. And they've been traveling with me for the last two weeks. And every time I see them in the morning, it reminds me that this election is not just about the young people and this audience but about them. You see, every election is important. But 2016 is a turning point. Historians will write about this election and they will write that it was a turning point in the history of the most important and greatest country in the history of mankind. And what kind of turning point is what you have to decide.


Because the road we're on right now is the road of decline. As a society, as a nation, as a government, we are on the road to decline. If the next four years look anything like the last seven or eight years then I'm going to have to explain to my kids and you're going to have to explain to yours why we got to grow up in the greatest country in the world and they did not. Why we got to grow up and inherit a special country and they got something less. And if we do that, we'll be the first Americans that ever did that. We will become the first Americans in history that leave their kids worse off than themselves. That's what this election is about. And there are big differences between the other side and us. There are. Bernie Sanders is a socialist. Usually, when you say that in politics people deny it or they say you're attacking them. He admits it. So at least, he is honest about it. We don't want to be a socialist country. There are literally dozens of socialist countries in the world. If you want to live in a socialist country, move to a socialist country. We want to be America. Hilary Clinton, their other candidate is Hilary Clinton, who I believe is not qualified to be President. She put classified information on her email server because she thinks she is above the law. And she is not qualified to be commander in chief because anyone who lies to the families of people who have lost their lives in the service of this country like she lied to the families of the victims in Benghazi, anyone who does that can never be commander in chief of the United States.


So we have to win this election. We meaning those of us who want America to remain the greatest nation on earth. Because if we lose, it's not just that we lost an election, we've lost a future. If we lose Barack Obama's Obamacare becomes permanent. If we lose, the next president of the United States will appoint up to three or four Supreme Court justices who will continue to undermine the constitution. If we lose, all those unconstitutional executive orders become permanent. If we lose our relationship with Israel continues to erode. If we lose, our military keeps getting gutted. The price is too high, we cannot lose. We must win this election so that we can remain a special country, a special country morally, a special country internationally, and a special country here at home. There are a lot of things that make this country special. The one that I want to close with is this. And it's what I begin with. You know that every country in the world has rich people. You can go to the poorest country in the world and they have rich people. And there is nothing wrong with being rich. In America, we have 5% of the world's population. We have 40% of the world's millionaires. And the vast majority of them earn that money; they didn't inherit it. But that's not what makes us special. What makes us special is that here in America, we have millions of people that know that they're never going to get rich. When you decide that you're going to pastor a church, or you're going to be a firefighter or a police officer or a nurse or a schoolteacher, you know you're not going to make millions doing that work. You just want to make enough to be able to provide for your family, to be able to retire with dignity, to give your kids the chance to be even better off than yourself. And you want to have the freedom to live out every aspect of your life, your faith, and your teachings.


The fact that that's been possible here for millions of people, that is one of the things that makes us so special. And we're going to lose it if we keep doing what we're doing now. And so this election is critically important. You have a lot of good people running. I know people will say things about each other in this campaign. It happens. I don't dislike any of them. They're all good people. I'm just asking you to vote for me because no one running is more passionate about this. You see, we can't just manage our way out of this. It's not enough to just say over the next four years, we're going to do a better job of managing the American government. The damage that's been done is too extensive. Our next President must be someone that can inspire us to re-embrace the principles that made us special to begin with. Our next President must be someone that can grow the number of people who believe in these things, that take on message to people that today don't vote for people like me. Who can take the message of limited government, free enterprise, traditional values, and a strong national defense to people who for the last 20 years perhaps haven't voted for people like me. Because they don't think we care about them. Because the other side has convinced them that they we don't care about them. We can't, we have to unify those who agree but we have to grow it. Because if we don't, we lose elections. And if we lose elections, we lose the future.


It's not about electability. Electability is code for vote for someone who is wishy-washy on their policies because that's what we have to do in order to win. Not this time. This time, if you vote for me, you'll have a chance to elect someone who...that's conservative and is as committed to conservatism as anyone in this race. But someone who can grow this movement. Someone who can take our message to people that haven't listened to us before. And as a result, someone that can unify our country. Unifying our country does not mean we're going to agree on everything. Because we never will. Unify our country means having a President that doesn't pit us against each other, especially in order to win an election. Unify our country means a President that will be a President for all the American people, even the people that don't like him or her. I get protestors at my events. I get people that say nasty things about me. You know, what, I'm going to cut their taxes too.


Because this is not just a special country, this is a blessed country. America has been blessed. Protected on both sides by vast oceans, blessed with natural resources, fertile land that feeds our people and the world, God has blessed America because for over two centuries, America has been responsible with the power and the responsibility that God has given to us. To those who much has been given, much is expected. That doesn't just apply to people, that applies to nations. We are still a great people. We are still a great country. But we are in decline. I want you to understand that it is true, we are facing some very difficult times right now. But I also want you to understand that America is not a government. We have a government. America is our people. America are the people that wake up every morning and volunteer in the community and raise their children and run their businesses and go to work. That's America. America are the faith-based organizations that are helping people recover from addiction. America are the people that I ran into on Thanksgiving night, handing out Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless on their own. Not as part of any other organization. That's America. America and our people, we are a strong people. We just have a weak President. And we're going to change that in 2016. And I'm asking you for your vote because if you vote for me, I will unify this movement and I will grow it. And we will win this election and when our work is done, the 21st century has a chance to be the greatest era in our history. The American dream won't just survive. It has a chance to reach more people and change more lives than ever before. And history will say that we too did our part, that like the Americans that came before us, we confronted our challenges, we embraced our opportunities. And because we did, our children became the freest, the most prosperous Americans that ever lived. And the 21st century will forever be known also as a new American century. Thank you for having me. God bless you.


Attorney General Alan Wilson:  Great job.