Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the brightest new stars in the Republican Party, has written an inspiring memoir he calls “an ode to this country,” the “single greatest nation in all of human history.”
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Rubio discussed his compelling book “An American Son: A Memoir,
” which chronicles for the first time the son of Cuban immigrants’ dramatic rise to a national prominence that some say has set him on a course for the White House.
Rubio’s autobiography offers an extraordinarily candid look at his “mistakes and successes,” and reveals that during his long-shot campaign for the Senate against Florida’s incumbent governor, the odds appeared so insurmountable Rubio actually contemplated withdrawing from the race so he wouldn’t be “embarrassed by losing,” but his wife convinced him to continue on.
Editor’s Note: Get Marco Rubio’s New Book for ONLY $4.95! That’s $22 Off!
Sen. Rubio, a charismatic tea party favorite and former speaker of the Florida House, sat down with Newsmax chief Washington correspondent Ronald Kessler several days before the June 19 publication of his book, and disclosed why he had decided to pen his memoir now.
“Two things happened. First, I got approached by people who asked me if I was interested in doing so,” he said.
“The second was when someone else announced they were writing a book about me. I felt it was important to have it as well in my own voice.
“That’s why I decided to do it, and I enjoyed it tremendously.
“In the process of writing a book you come to conclusions that maybe you didn’t have before you started the process. It forces you to stop for a second, reflect back on your life, and then try to share with readers the lessons that you’ve learned, how you’ve learned from your mistakes and from your successes, and hopefully inspire people not just for public service but hopefully to be conservatives too.
“So it was a good process for me.”
See Rubio's full interview with NewsmaxTV:
Asked about those lessons, Rubio said: “Number one, [about] my parents. That’s why I titled the book ‘An American Son,’ because the conclusion was that I’ve had the chance to do the things that my parents and my grandparents dreamt of doing but could not.
“It wasn’t because I was smarter than them, worked harder than them or God loved me more than He loved them. It was because I was born a citizen of the single greatest nation in all of human history. I had a chance to do the things that they didn’t because I’m an American.
“As much as anything else, this book is an ode to this country and a tribute to America and the exceptional values of our country.”
Writing the book enabled Rubio to “admit to some human frailties,” he said. “I talk about how in the campaign when I was running for the U.S. Senate I had doubts about whether I could win and on some occasions actually tried to figure out how I could get myself out of there so I wouldn’t be embarrassed by losing.
“I talk about how my friends and in particular my wife, even though she’s not a political person, really felt strongly that this was a race where we can make a difference. Without that I’m not sure I would have stayed in a race like that.
“I talk about the lessons you learn when you run a campaign of the magnitude we ran. People look at every decision you’ve ever made in the most critical way possible, especially your political opponents, and the lesson to be taken from that is when you’re in public office every decision you make is going to be viewed in the most negative way.
“One of the lessons you learn is you’ve got to live your life, you can’t walk on eggshells all day. But you certainly have to be careful that you never do anything that people can come back and use against you in the future.
“These are lessons that we share with people in the book, and hopefully it will inspire people and prevent people from making the mistakes I made and inspire people maybe to reach for some of the accomplishments I’ve been able to make as well.”
Kessler asked if it was difficult for Rubio to write a book that is so “genuine and candid.”
“I think there’s this false notion out there that somehow candidates are supposed to be perfect in everything they’ve ever done, and I don’t think that’s realistic,” Rubio responded.
“The truth is that I entered public service at a very young age. There are advantages to that and there are disadvantages to that, and so certainly there are decisions I make today at 41 that I wouldn’t have made at 21, or 31, because experience teaches us things.
“I didn’t plan to get into office early. It kind of just started happening and I found myself in situations were I had opportunities to continue in public service, and so we did. There are a lot of positives associated with that and there are a few negatives that you learn from.
“The second thing is, I think readers deserve that. If someone’s going to buy your book and spend time reading it, they deserve the truth. They deserve something that is candid, where you’re sharing with them your lessons and what you’ve learned from your life and you’re also sharing the lessons with them from your family’s life.
“I think if you put together a book that’s some sort of pamphlet on how great you are, people see through that. What’s important at the end of the day is the character of the person, which I think is revealed when it is tested.
“These are things I wanted to share in the book, and to do so effectively you’re going to have to be genuine about it.”
Rubio elaborated on the role his wife Jeannette played in his decision to stay in the Senate race against Democratic Gov. Charlie Crist, who eventually dropped out of the GOP primary race and ran unsuccessfully as an independent.
“The best way to understand Jeannette is that she doesn’t have any political ambitions for me or for her. She would be perfectly happy if I wasn’t in public office and had a 9 to 5 job and came home every evening and coached my kids’ flag football team. And by the way, I would be happy with that too.
“But we’ve been called and given the opportunity to do something different at this point in our lives, and she understands what that opportunity means.
“More than anything there were times in the campaign when perhaps I had doubts about whether I should be in the race because I couldn’t win. She analyzed it differently. For her it wasn’t whether you could win or not. For her it was whether this was the right thing, whether being a voice on behalf of the principles you believed in was the right thing for me to do or not.
“She was looking at it from the context of you’re not doing this to be somebody, you’re in this to do something and even if you don’t win, if you’re out there fighting for the principles and values you believe in you’ll advance that cause.
“I think that was very important for me. If she had not been around I’m not sure I would have continued in my candidacy and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have won.”
As for Rubio’s decision to seek the Senate seat and challenge Gov. Crist instead of running for Florida attorney general, he said: “The right decision to make from a political calculus of course was to run for the easier office.
“But what I felt strongly about was the issues happening at the federal level. [Jeanette] reminded me of that when I needed reminding, and I’m grateful for that.”
In his Newsmax interview Rubio discussed the “disconnect” between the Hispanic community and the Republican Party — and how it can be mended.
He also recalled his experience with the Mormon Church as a boy, and his faith today as a devout member of the Catholic Church.
Editor’s Note: Get Marco Rubio’s New Book for ONLY $4.95! That’s $22 Off!
See other exclusive excerpts from the Marco Rubio interview with Newsmax:
Rubio to Newsmax: My Faith Shapes Everything I Do
Rubio to Newsmax: GOP Must Reach Out to Hispanics
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.