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Objection to Counting of Pennsylvania Electoral Votes

Floor Speech

Date: Jan. 6, 2021
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. RUBIO. Mr. President, over the last weeks and days leading up to this vote here today, I have heard from a lot of people about this vote, and I guess I want to address it as much to them as anybody else. These are people I know. These are friends. These are neighbors. These are longtime supporters, generally people on my side of the political aisle.

And they are upset. They are upset. They look at the media, and the media, they censored stories that might have been negative toward Joe Biden or were negative toward Joe Biden, and social media companies helped them out. And they saw how some States tinkered with and even mutilated State election laws, and they have doubts that the election was legitimate.

It gives this country this extraordinary crisis of confidence, which is very dangerous because democracy is very fragile, and it is not held together by elections. Democracy is held together by people's confidence in the election and their willingness to abide by its results.

So the notion was we need to do something; we need to fight. Several of my colleagues have adopted the idea--and I respect it--that they are going to object.

Now, listen, it is important to understand something. Even the people objecting in the Senate recognize that it is not going to pass. It is not going to change the outcome, but it is going to send a message, and it is going to make a point.

The problem is I think it is a terrible idea at this moment. Just hours ago, a young lady died in this Capitol. That means somebody, somewhere in this country, got a phone call that their daughter was dead. Their daughter was going to a political rally; she is dead--died in this Capitol, somewhere not far from where we are standing.

We had police officers--the men and women we walk by every single day, who guard the doors and we say hello to--out there with riot gear getting spit on and attacked today--not 10 weeks ago; just a few hours ago. I think it is important to think about all those things on a night like tonight with everything that has happened.

I wouldn't even be here today--I doubt very much whether I would have even been interested in politics--had it not been for my grandfather. He died when I was 14, but I grew up at his knee. He would sit on the porch and would smoke three cigars a day, and he loved history.

He was born in 1899 in rural Cuba. It was still governed by the United States. It was a protectorate. Three years later, it gained its independence and became a republic.

During my grandfather's first 60 years of life, he saw his country have an armed insurrection after a contested election, multiple Presidents go into exile, two military coups, and the rise of a Marxist dictator--a tyranny that stands to this day.

My entire life--my entire life I have lived with and next to people who came to America because their country was chaotic and their country was unsafe. What I saw today--what we have seen--looks more like those countries than the extraordinary Nation that I am privileged to call home, and I think about the mockery that it makes of our country.

A lot of people say: Oh, well, China, China. Let me just say something. In all modesty, no one here has worked harder on the issue of China. They hate my guts. I am sanctioned--I don't know what they are sanctioning--double sanctioned, and I can't travel there. I wasn't planning to anyway.

China is laughing. They are loving this tonight. In Beijing they are high-fiving because they point to this and they say: This is proof the future belongs to China. America is in decline.

Vladimir Putin--there is nothing Vladimir Putin could have come up with better than what happened here. It makes us look like we are in total chaos and collapse--not to mention the Ayatollah, who is probably bragging, if he has buddies, to his buddies: Look what is happening to the Great Satan.

I think politics has made us crazy. Everybody in this country has lost their minds on politics, and we have forgotten that America is not a government, America is not a President, America is not a Congress.

Let me tell you what America is. America is your family. America is your faith. America is your community. That is America. That is what our adversaries don't understand, and that is what we need to remember. That is how we are going to rebuild this country and turn the page and have a future even brighter than our past.

So that is why I feel so strongly about this and why I hope those who disagree with me will understand.