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Transcript & Video: Marco Rubio’s Speech at the Republican National Convention (Aug. 30, 2012)

Posted by FactReal on August 30, 2012

Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s speech at the GOP Convention in Tampa:
Thank you. Thank so much. Thank so much for having me here today. Thank you so much for doing this convention here in Florida. Before I begin, this is such an important night for our country. I want to take just — with your permission — just a few seconds to talk about another country. A country located just a few hundred miles away from this city — a country of my parents birth. There is no freedom or liberty in Cuba. Tonight I asked for your prayers that soon liberty will be there as well.

This is a big honor for me. Not so long ago I was just an underdog candidate. The only people that thought I could win all lived in my house — four of them under the age ten. But this is incredible when I was asked to introduce Governor Romney who we will hear in just a moment — I promise he is backstage ready to go. So I called a few people and I asked them, “What should I say.” And they all had different opinions but the one thing they said was, “Don’t mess it up.” So, I thought the best way to introduce Mitt Romney tonight — the next president of the United States — is to talk about what this election is about. And I’m so honored to be able to do it here in Florida at the Republican National Convention in front of all your patriots.

I watched my first convention in 1980 with my grandfather. My grandfather was born to a farming family in rural Cuba. Childhood polio left him permanently disabled. Because he couldn’t work the farm, his family sent him to school. He was the only one in his family who knew how to read. He was a huge influence on me growing up. As a boy, I used to sit on the porch of our house and listen to his stories about history, politics and baseball as he’d puffed on one of his three daily Padron cigars. I don’t remember — it’s been three decades since we sat on that porch — I don’t remember all the things he talked to me about, but the one thing I remember, is the one thing he wanted me never to forget: That the dreams he had when he was young became impossible to achieve. But there was no limit to how far I could go, because I was an American.

For those of us — here is why I said that — because for those of us who were born and raised in this country, sometimes it becomes easy to forget how special America is. But my grandfather understood how different America was from the rest of the world, because he knew life outside America.

Tonight, you’ll hear from another man who understands what makes America exceptional. Mitt Romney knows America’s prosperity didn’t happen because our government simply spent more. It happened because our people used their own money to open a business. And when they succeed, they hire more people, who invest or spend their money in the economy, helping others start a business and create jobs. Now tonight we heard — for a long time now — about Mitt Romney’s success in business. It’s well known. But we also learned that he’s so much more than that. Mitt Romney is a devoted husband, a father, a grandfather, a generous member of his community and church, a role model for younger Americans like myself. Everywhere he’s been, he’s volunteered his time and talent to make things better for those around him. And we are blessed that a man like this will be soon the president of the United States.

Let me be clear so no one misunderstands. Our problem with President Obama isn’t that he’s a bad person. By all accounts, he too is a good husband, and a good father — and thanks to lots of practice, a good golfer. Our problem is not that he’s a bad person. Our problem is he’s a bad president.

You think he is watching tonight? Because his [Obama’s] new slogan for his campaign is “Forward.” Forward! A government that spends $1 trillion more than it takes in. An $800 billion stimulus that created more debt than jobs. A government intervention into health care paid for with higher taxes and cuts to Medicare. Scores of new rules and regulations. These ideas don’t move us “Forward,” they take us “Backwards.” These are tired and old big government ideas that have failed everytime and everywhere they’ve been tried. These are ideas that people come to America to get away from. These are ideas that threaten to make America more like the rest of the world, instead of helping the world become more like America.

As for his old slogan, under Barack Obama, the only “Change” is that “Hope” is hard to find. Now, sadly, millions of Americans are insecure about their future. But instead of inspiring us by reminding us of what makes us special, he divides us against each other. He tells Americans they’re worse off because others are better off. That rich people got rich by making other people poor. “Hope and Change” has become “Divide and Conquer.”

But in the end, this election, it doesn’t matter how you feel about President Obama, because this election is about your future, not about his. And it’s not simply a choice between a Democrat and a Republican. It’s a choice about what kind of country we want America to be. As we prepare to make this choice, we should remember what made us special. For most of human history almost everyone was poor. Power and wealth belonged to only a few. Your rights were whatever your rulers allowed you to have. Your future was determined by your past. If your parents were poor, so would you be. If you were born without opportunities, so were your children. But America was founded on the principle that every person has God-given rights. It was founded on the belief that power belongs to the people. That government exists to protect our rights and serve our interests. And that no one should be trapped in the circumstances of their birth. We should be free to go as far as our talents and our work can take us.

We are special because we are united not by a common race or a common ethnicity. We’re bound together by common values. That family is the most important institution in society. That Almighty God is the source of all we have. We are special, because we’ve never made the mistake of believing that we are so smart that we can rely solely on our leaders or our government. Our national motto is “In God we Trust,” reminding us that faith in our Creator is the most important American value of them all. And we are special, because we’ve always understood the scriptural admonition that “for everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required.” Well, my fellow Americans. We are a blessed people. And we have honored those blessings with the enduring example of an exceptional America.

I know that for many of you watching at home tonight, the last few years have tested your faith in the promise of America. Maybe you are at an age when you thought you would be entering retirement. But now, because your savings and investments are wiped out, your future is uncertain. Maybe, after years of hard work, this is the time you expected to be your prime earning years. But instead, you’ve been laid off, and your house is worth less than your mortgage. Maybe you did everything you were told you needed to do to get ahead. You studied hard and finished school. But now, you owe thousands of dollars in student loans. You can’t find a job in your field. And you’ve moved back in with your parents. You want to believe that we’re still that place where anything is possible. But things you just — things don’t seem to be getting better. And you wonder if things will ever be the same again.

Yes, we live in a troubled time. But the story of those who came before us reminds us that America has always been about new beginnings. And Mitt Romney is running for president because he knows that if we are willing to do for our children what our parents did for us, life in America can be better than it has ever been. My mother was one of seven girls whose parents often went to bed hungry so their children wouldn’t. My father lost his mother when he was nine. He had to leave school and go to work. And he’d work for the next 70 years of his life. They emigrated to America with little more than the hope of a better life. My dad was a bartender. My mom was a cashier, a hotel maid, a stock clerk at K-Mart. They never made it big. They were never rich. And yet they were successful. Because just a few decades removed from hopelessness, they made possible for us all the things that had been impossible for them. Many nights growing up I’d hear my father’s keys jingling at the door as he came home after another 16-hour day. Many mornings, I woke up just as my mother got home from the overnight shift at K-Mart. When you’re young and you’re in a hurry, the meaning of moments like these escapes you. But now, as my children get older, I understand it better.

My Dad used to tell us: [Spanish] “En este pais, ustedes van a poder lograr todas las cosas que nosotros no pudimos” “In this country, you gonna be able to accomplish all the things we never could.”

A few years ago during a speech, I noticed a bartender behind a portable bar at the back of the ballroom. I remembered my father who had worked for many years as a banquet bartender. He was grateful for the work he had, but that’s not the life he wanted for us. You see, he stood behind a bar in the back of the room all those years, so one day I could stand behind a podium in the front of a room. That journey, from behind that bar to behind this podium, goes to the essence of the American miracle — that we’re exceptional not because we have more rich people here. We’re special because dreams that are impossible anywhere else, they come true here. That’s not just my story. That’s your story. That’s our story. That’s the story of your mothers who struggled to give you what they never had. That’s the story of your fathers who worked two jobs so that the doors that have been closed for them would open for you. That’s the story of that teacher or that coach who taught you the lessons that made who you are today.

And it’s the story of a man who was born into an uncertain future in a foreign country. His family came to America to escape revolution. They struggled through poverty and the great depression. And yet he rose to be an admired businessman, and public servant.

And in November, his son, Mitt Romney, will be elected President of these United States.

In America, we are all just a generation or two removed from someone who made our future the purpose of their lives. America is the story of everyday people who did extraordinary things. A story woven deep into the fabric of our society. Their stories may never be famous, but in the lives they lived, you’ll find the essence of America’s greatness. And to make sure that America is still a place where tomorrow is always better than yesterday, that is what our politics should be about. And that is what we are deciding in this election.

We decide do we want our children to inherit our hopes and dreams, or do we want them to inherit our problems? Because Mitt Romney believes that if we succeed in changing the direction of our country, our children and grandchildren will be the most prosperous generation ever, and their achievements will astonish the world. The story of our time will be written by Americans who haven’t yet even been born. Let’s make sure they write that we did our part. That in the early years of this new century, we lived in an uncertain time. But we did not allow fear to cause us to abandon what made us special. We chose more government instead of more freedom. [The prepared speech said: We chose more freedom instead of more government.] We chose the principles of our founding to solve the challenges of our time. We chose a special man to lead us in a special time. We chose Mitt Romney to lead our nation. And because we did, the American Miracle lived on for another generation to inherit.

My fellow Republicans, my fellow Americans, I’m proud to introduce to you, the next president of the United States of America, Mitt Romney!

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