Marco Rubio was also in good spirits this morning after the twitter frenzy surrounding his quick drink of water during his response to President Obama's State of the Union address last night. "I needed water, what am I going to do" Rubio told me this morning on "Good Morning America" while pulling out a bottle of water and taking a sip. "God has a funny way of reminding us we're human," he said.
The Florida senator took a more serious tone when responding to the president's call for Congress to keep the government open and uphold the full faith and credit of the United States.
"What really threatens to shut down our government is the $16.5 trillion debt and no serious plan to deal with it, including last night when the president seems to believe we're halfway to our goal of reducing our debt to an acceptable level," Rubio told me. "I mean no one is going to think that that is realistic when you start to look at the numbers. That's the real threat to shutting down our government. No one here is talking about shutting down the government."
Rubio had strong words for the president regarding the impending budget negotiations as lawmakers in Washington work to reach an agreement to avert the across the board spending cuts that are currently scheduled to go into effect on March 1 st.
"He actually came up with that," Rubio told me, referring to the upcoming cuts, known in Washington as the sequester. "It originated in the White House, the idea of these automatic cuts that specifically hit defense and the military and now he's going around saying that we have to get rid of them. We may but don't go around acting like you have nothing to do with it. It was your idea."
In our interview this morning Rubio also reiterated his commitment to passing a comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform deal that includes a path to citizenship, something both he and the president addressed last night in their respective speeches.
"I'm part of that work group and we laid out our principles and I remain committed to those principles. That's what we're working on," he told me. "We're working on turning those principles into a bill people can support."
"One of those principles is that ultimately it's not good for America to have 11 million people who will never have a chance to become fully invested in the American dream," Rubio said. "There's going to have to have be a process to get there. They're going to have to have a work permit first and the right to ultimately earn a green card and obviously once you have a green card you're five years away from being a citizen."
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