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. Roy Ussery

    African American slaves were unwillingly brought to the United States and eventually given citizenship. Should others entering the country illegally be granted the same right?

    April 14, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  2. John in Brooklyn

    Very wise advice....since Gonzales himself was not qualified to be AG on day 1 either.

    April 14, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  3. Republicans are Neanderthals

    The one statement that Alberto has made that makes sense. Scary thought!

    April 14, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  4. scott

    Rubio all ready said he was not running. even thou he could beat any demo-craps.I see Old G.I Joe is talking trash again. He is good at it. to bad he does not get it.

    April 14, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. Tom

    The Tea Party mentality is at "zero point."

    April 14, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  6. AgrippaMT

    What a bargeload of bilge spews out of the mouth of one of the most corrupt Attornies General in American history. One wonders what he had to say when John MCCain picked Caribou Barby Palin as his running mate. This sounds like sour grapes from a failed lawyer who is jealous that a better qualified Latino than he might be offered the Vice President's job.

    April 14, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. Nobodies Pon

    Im sick of stupid comment like experience as president or vice president. There are no jobs that would give you experience.

    April 14, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  8. cnwilli

    happy liberal fool's day GI Joe.

    April 14, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Who cares? They're both major lying d-bags: Rubio for his selective memory of his lineage/history and Gonzalez for firing the US attorneys because of political reasons when he was AG.

    April 14, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  10. stars

    Rubio want get the vote from own ppl because he is a repug and they are waking up and seeing that they never gave damn about them only when election time just like they did the black but no more will this happen again.

    April 14, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  11. LtButRt

    AG Gonzales, Where do you get the nerve to talk about a resume...qualifications" ? You should be ashamed of yourself ! This country has given you much, because you had little. You have given nothing back ! Like you, Rubio, is nothing more than a self-hating Hispanic Demagogue!

    April 14, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. nolimits3333

    Romney is not ready to be president either.

    April 14, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  13. penguin

    No person is qualified to be President of the United States. Indeed anyone who suffered through our K-12 education system is fit to be in government. We, unfortunately, are a Nation of idiots made more stupid every year by the right wing evangelicals who have replaced thought with the King James version of the bible.

    April 14, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  14. Rocco

    Rubio has as much expierence as our current PRESIDENT had when elected. I don't think he should be chosen because it would clearly be pandering to the latino vote.

    April 14, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  15. bear

    Rubio would be perfect he lies like all of them Re. My parents were Cuban Refugees.

    April 14, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  16. ArizonaYankee

    Hey Gonzales, you may be right, but then again look at Obama.. Give me f v c k i n g break. Obama is a total disaster, and dividing the country.....

    April 14, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  17. tcaros

    Gonzalez is that piece of crapola and nincompoop that GW Bush brought with him from Texas.

    What a complete moronic piece of crapola.

    April 14, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  18. larry hernandez

    Hispanics from California, Texas(mexican-american) are usually Democrat, Hispanics from Florida(cuban-americans)
    usually Republicans. Both groups are hard working and have extreme loyality to this country but sadly those are
    the only similarities. I would welcome a post from a cuban-american on why his group worships the Republican party
    when they do not worship them or any other minority other than the Tea party.

    April 14, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  19. latina

    Hey, Demobrats any body but stupid Joe and Obozo. Mitt 2012.

    April 14, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  20. anon

    U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is an idiot if he's saying that Rubio isn't ready to be VEEP / POTUS. Obama didn't face any leadership or did anything worthwhile that "qualified" him for the spot, and he's in Office right now. This whole "not prepared" argument is lame. Actually, now that I think about it, we should probably not pick anyone that's "prepared" in the eyes of the political or media class. We need someone (and there is not a legitimate candidate out there) that will poop on everything our media and our federal government currently does. They are both out of control and complicit. They collude and conspire to tell people what they want them to hear. Our government and our media is no different that the North Korean media. That's why we're raked 47th on the Press Freedom Index.

    April 14, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  21. Name pat adeluyi

    presidential election year in usa always come with euphoria and phobia. Rubio and Romney will make a compatible match but how well they can wrestle power from Obama depends on convincing economic policies of the duo and oratorical cerebral supremacy as Obama administration can not be said to be a failure. frm Nigeria

    April 14, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  22. Carl

    He should be disbarred for what he did as AG, not given prominent status at a Harvard symposium.

    April 14, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  23. FubarObama

    LOL..Like our current president was ready. This clown has been way over his head since day one. He couldn't be elected as a community organizer on Sesame Street if the Muppets had a vote

    April 14, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  24. michael in houston

    The republican party needs to get a grip on the fact they are going to get slammed and slammed hard come general election. Besides..I feel with 8 years of Bush you repubs owe us another 4 of obama.

    April 14, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  25. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Ah, yes. Alberto Gonzalez If you take the integrity of Ed Meese, and subtract it from the integrity of John Mitchell, and then divide that by two you have the integrity of Al Gonzalez. While Meese and Mitchell were just crooks, Gonzalez was one of the architects of the Bush Administrations efforts to eliminate the civil liberties of America. Does anyone really think that the Patriot Act sprang whole from the mind of John Ashcroft shortly after 911? No way. Al Gonzalez started working on this as soon as he became part of the Bush Administration. Thanks to OBL, he was able to get this through Congress when they were at their most vulnerable.

    April 14, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
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