Former AG Gonzales: Rubio not a wise VP pick
April 14th, 2012
03:25 PM ET
3 years ago

Former AG Gonzales: Rubio not a wise VP pick

Boston (CNN) - Florida Sen. Marco Rubio would not be a wise pick for number two on the GOP ticket this year, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told CNN Saturday.

Rubio is not ready to be president, Gonzales said, and the vice president "must be ready on day one."

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"Rubio's resume does not reflect someone prepared to confront serious and dangerous issues that our country faces as president," Gonzales said.

Gonzales, who was the nation’s first Latino attorney general in the George W. Bush administration and remains one of the highest-ranking Latinos in U.S. history, questioned the staying power of the Florida senator's popularity with Latino voters.

Rubio might generate interest among Latinos "for the first 12 hours if selected for the number two spot, but that won't last," Gonzales said.

The Republican Party should do more to court Latinos, Gonzales said.

"We haven't seen the GOP reach out to Latino voters (in the primaries). We've seen them alienate that vote," he said.

Gonzales made the comments at a Harvard Latino Law, Policy and Business Conference and elaborated in a subsequent interview with CNN.

Elected in 2010, Rubio is frequently mentioned as a potential vice presidential pick for the presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

He is a favorite among tea party voters, a charismatic speaker, a social and fiscal conservative and a senator from an electorate-rich battleground state.

It's believed putting Rubio on the ticket could help Romney make up ground among Latinos. A March Suffolk University poll shows Hispanics favor President Barack Obama over Romney 62% to 26%.

But Rubio has said more needs to be done to win over Latino voters.

"I'll tell you, the Hispanic vote has to be earned," Rubio said in an interview with CNN en Español Friday. "You can't just put somebody on there and say, 'This is gonna deliver it.' You've got to earn it, and primarily I think you earn it through economic policies."

The Florida senator Friday also reiterated his denial that he would be vice president.

"Marco has said repeatedly that he's not going to be vice president, and all of the speculation in the world isn't going to change that fact," said Todd Harris, a senior adviser to Rubio.

Rubio has said he would like the Republican Party to repair its image on immigration.

He recently suggested a Republican alternative to the DREAM Act, a stalled immigration bill that would give the children of illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.

Rubio's version would let the children earn non-immigrant visas that would allow them to stay in the United States without obtaining citizenship.

Some Latinos have criticized the plan, and a New York Times editorial described it as the "Dream Act without the Dream."

– CNN's Ismael Cala and Jim Acosta contributed to this report.

Also see:

Rubio: 'I'm not going to be the vice president'

Obama talks taxes, Republicans energy in weekly addresses

Romney responds to 'stay-at-home mom' comment against wife

West aims to raise money off 'communist' comments


Filed under: 2012 • 2012 VP Pick • Alberto Gonzales • Florida • Latinos • Marco Rubio
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Larry L

    He'd be another Sarah Palin – crazy enough for his ultra-red state but way too crazy for the general election. The bar is really low in Florida.

    April 14, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Why would Rubio kill his political future to sink with Mitt McCain? I'm sure that he likes the money that the GOBP takes with both hands from corporations by now.

    April 14, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. thomas

    For once I agree with Alberto Gonzales .

    Then again Alberto Gonzales was a very inexperienced Attorney General , a should never have been appointed the job.

    Sounds more like Mexican American , Cuban American rivalry.

    April 14, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. kat

    Neither is Biden , or BHO for a fact

    April 14, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    Hmmmmmm - is he "expecting" something to "happen" to Mittens?

    ha ha ha ha ha ha

    Think about THAT one you paranoid teapublicans.

    April 14, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    Guess they're not thru brain-washing -– errrrrrr -- grooming Rubio ----- maybe by the time Mitt submits his revised tax returns for 2011. ha ha ha ha ha

    April 14, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I think Obama and Biden are doing quite well as they have stopped the Bush republican near depression, ended the Bush war in Iraq, overseen the creation of 4 million jobs after the Bush job loss of 8 million jobs, lowered our annual deficit by $600 billion compared to Bush's last deficit, and all this without a single republican vote.

    April 14, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    @ kat.......

    I can also make the argument that neither is Mitt Romney and unlike you it has nothing to do with whether I like him or not.

    April 14, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. Sorensen

    Good job it is never going to be a problem. Romney will never win anything.

    April 14, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. GI Joe

    I really don't think the republicans (Rubio especially) should be talking about treating immigrant children like slaves by issuing "work visas".

    April 14, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    How can a pro personhood, anti woman, money launderer, who is a corporate raider, Wall Street lackey, big oil puppet, flip flopper, liar, who wages war on seniors and veterans, who has a track record as a job destroyer going to help us get out of the Bush/republican near depression?

    April 14, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. c s saenz

    After the glorious period of your time in office, I'm afraid you are not qualified to make any comments either way.

    April 14, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  13. WhereIsPalin

    Rubio is not ready to be president, Gonzales said, and the vice president "must be ready on day one."

    That just makes me tremble with fear when I think about the 2008 republican vp candidate.

    April 14, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Will anchor baby Rubio follow Mittens' rule and self deport?

    April 14, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. oldsoldierboy

    To think that Alberto "Me Know Nothing" Gonzales is now able to give advice is laughable. This guy was the king of stupid and absolutely the worst AG ever.

    April 14, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  16. Tracy

    Can't blame Rubio for not boarding a sinking ship.

    April 14, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  17. mk1

    He is as ready as Sarah Palin was or even is currently, which is not at all. He would be another stupid pick by the GOP.

    April 14, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. Jerry

    Mr. González, apparently you were NOT a wise choice either. You are probably just jealous of Mr. Rubio because your name has not been (and will not be) mentioned as a possible Republican VP candidate.

    Stay tuned...

    April 14, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  19. toadears

    Too bad Mel Martinez is an immigrant. He would be a good one.

    April 14, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. once upon a horse

    Romney is not going to win the Latino vote anyway and although a majority of Hispanics will vote Democrat, the Cuban-Americans still normally go Republican for some reason but that still won't be enough. Maybe Mitt needs to find a female, gay, part black part Latina right wing conservative to be on his ticket. That about covers the population that does not yet support him.

    April 14, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. Thomas

    Since Gonzales wasn't qualified to be Attorney General, he should know all about the world of unqualifieds...

    April 14, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  22. fiona

    your not exactly a prize yourself guys

    April 14, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  23. Bobbi

    Look, the Supreme Court defined "natural born citizen" (one of the qualifications to be POTUSA) as one born of two American parents, on American soil. Minor v. Happersett (1875)
    Rubio's parents were not naturalized until five years after he was born.
    He's ineligible. So isn't Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley.

    April 14, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  24. Patriotic Americans Vote

    Alberto Gonzales, is he considered an anchor baby, like Gov. Martinez (N.M.) whose some/all of their grandparents came to this country illegally and then are rewarded for their bad behavior by being educated with taxpayer money and then elected/appointed to higher office? Does Gov. Jindal and Gov. Haley qualify as anchor babies too if their parents are not U.S. citizens but are in the U.S. legally?

    Remember that their education and high salaries are paid for by hard working citizens who are constantly being disrespected by the 1%ers. Higher salaries and an education should be for law abiding citizens and their children and not by people who cut in line and push you and your children to the bottom of the totem pole.

    April 14, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. Chad%Biff

    Rubio is Hispanic? He's !00% white boy. As white as can be. Who's kidding who?

    April 14, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
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