Is Rubio out of the VP conversation?
ABC News reported this morning that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a popular figure in the conservative movement, is not being vetted to serve as Mitt Romney’s running mate:
Even before the Republicans chose a presidential nominee it was widely assumed that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., would be at the top of anybody’s list of vice presidential candidates. The reasons are obvious: Not only is he young, charismatic and wildly popular with conservatives, but he could also help Republicans win a key state (Florida) and make inroads with Hispanics.
But knowledgeable Republican sources tell me that Rubio is not being vetted by Mitt Romney’s vice presidential search team. He has not been asked to complete any questionnaires or been asked to turn over any financial documents typically required of potential vice presidential candidates.
Although it is possible that Rubio may yet be asked to go through the vetting process, it has been nearly two months since Romney named his long-time aide Beth Myers to run his vice presidential search. The fact that Rubio has not been asked to turn over any documents by now is a strong indication that he is not on Romney’s short list of potential running mates.
This is sure to disappoint many conservatives and Tea Party-minded activists and sure to add to the skepticism of Romney, much of which is reasonable. Many feel that the former Massachusetts Governor needs to add a dynamic figure to his ticket, one that can appeal to conservatives and establishment Republicans alike. Rubio seems to fit that bill the best out of potential running mates that have been floated.
Those pushing Rubio are surprised, according to Zeke Miller:
Republican consultant Ana Navarro responded to this morning’s ABC News report that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is not being vetted by the Romney campaign, saying if the report is accurate, Rubio should stay close to his phone.
“You better believe if he wasn’t already being vetted he’s going to get a call this week,” she said.
“I think it’s interesting that the only person being singled out in this rumor is Marco,” said Navarro, a Rubio-backer and an adviser to one of Rubio’s strongest backers — former Gov. Jeb Bush.
“Either we’re being punked and he is being vetted and they are trying to create the element of surprise, or someone has an ax to grind with him, or he’s not being vetted and someone wants him to be,” she said.
Rubio would probably be a polarizing pick, not that he should be. He’s already been the target of either off-base media pieces or those that significantly stretch the truth. For example, there was the dust-up over whether or not his parents went back to Cuba after coming to the United States. There was also another blatant hit piece by Reuters about Rubio’s past financial issues.
Romney’s campaign is trying to avoid another Sarah Palin. You can’t really fault them for that, but it does seem odd that Rubio, who is certainly a dynamic figure — even though I don’t agree with him on several issues, hasn’t been vetted given what his presence on the ticket could mean.