Former AG Gonzales: Rubio not a wise VP pick
April 14th, 2012
03:25 PM ET
2 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. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Hey Alberto, your boss was the worst president in history and his veep was a sociopath!

    April 14, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  2. martin

    All of his talk about not being ready to be President is just to throw off any discussion of the fact that Rubio was born in Cuba to Cuban parents. Gonzales still is in the loop, as are many former Bush appointees, and he knows this from his contacts. Where's the birth certificate, Marco?

    April 14, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  3. Ken

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

    And neither was Sarah!! What is up with this party???

    April 14, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  4. JJ

    Shut your piehole, Beto. You're a disgrace to your race.

    April 14, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  5. Redleg56

    At least Rubio is not fighting bar sanctions.

    April 14, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  6. patiat

    When are the republicans going to learn that you can't just court the "Latino" or "Hispanic" vote? Mexican-American voters are not likely to get any more excited about a Cuban-American VP candidate than they would about a German-American one, or anyone else.

    April 14, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  7. Nodack

    The GOP had a reputation of not being Hispanic friendly and it shows in the voting record of Hipanics, so I guess this is their attempt to woo the Hispanic vote by picking one for the VP spot hoping he never becomes President. Just like picking Palin was supposed to woo the female vote.

    He even makes note that he wouldn't be interested until the GOP fixes their stance on Hispanics and illegal immigration.

    April 14, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  8. bill

    Looking forward to see who our new Vice President will be. The end of the uhbama/biden disaster can't come soon enough.

    April 14, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  9. TM

    When one of the most the most corrupt and incompetent members of Bush's administration says you're not up to the job, that's saying something.

    April 14, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  10. julie

    Chris Christie would be a great pick.

    April 14, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  11. Walter

    I will use my stupendous ESP powers to predict that no matter who Romney picks, CNN will run numerous articles sayiny it was a bad choice.

    April 14, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  12. Pablo695

    Agree, he is about as qualified as Gonzales was – not at all!!

    April 14, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  13. Bushper

    The Democrats should hold Mitt Romney to his job record as governor of Massachusetts. Because if Romney could not create jobs running a state how in the world is he going to convince Americans he could create jobs running 50 states plus DC.

    April 14, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  14. James Taylor

    Ha Gonzales is more of a Native American Indian. He sure doesnt look like andy Garcia, Lorenzo Lamas, Eddie Cibrian or Cameron Diaz.

    April 14, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  15. CDragon

    As attractive as Senator Rubio undoubtedly is, to think of him solely for his appeal to the Hispanic vote is cynical and misses a huge point. That is the understandable gulf between Cubans and the rest of the Hispanic community of which Cuans are hardly either a majority or representative. Puerto Ricans are already "Americans" and are not immigrants. Mexican and Mexican-Americans far outnumber Cubans in the U. S. but their immigration experience is totally different. Successful and tremendous U.S. citizens, Cuban-Americans who can get to our shores – literally – are given a pass that even the benefiiciary of the most liberal interpretation of the Dream Act could, indeed, only dream of. And just because Republicans are the worst offenders does not mean Democrats should assume afree ride on this issue, either! generations of immigrants of all backgrounds have built the wealth of this nation and we are certainly not so secure now we can turn our backs on them, now!

    April 14, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  16. Dave, Central Illinois

    Obama still isn't ready. And crazy Joe is waiting in the wings. Shudder......

    April 14, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  17. bigfoot

    If Hispanics believe the fiscal policies of the Republican Party is in THEIR interests then frankly I must say they are as dumb as tha rest of us.

    April 14, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  18. jo an

    Maybe we bring back W....I thought he was the worst...until this slate of R came along. Didn't think it could get worse...IT DID.

    April 14, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  19. Bill Mitchell

    Sorry it took me so long to post but I had to pick myself up off the floor from laughing. So you are saying that Joe Biden was ready from day one to be POTUS? Even OBL was planning to kill Obama just so Biden could be POTUS. Is this the same reasoning that says Mrs Romney cannot relate to average women while Mrs Obama (who earned $350k a year and has spent 10's of millions of dollars taking exotic vacations) somehow CAN relate to average women? At least Mrs Romney spends her OWN money.

    April 14, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  20. greatnews

    Let's hear some more from the genius ex-AG. I swear you folks an CNN are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Hey, how about Rice/Wolfe/dummy/darth as well. Seriously, consider a fire sale to Ted Turner. There is nothing left but the flatulence of that guy new guy, what's his name. Hell, who knows.

    April 14, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  21. Sam

    Interesting comment from Rubio 'get in line like everyone else' ...this is coming from a Cuban – where Cuban's get the most preferential treatment than ANY other immigrants with the 'wet foot dry foot' rule. How come they don't have to stand in line like everyone else?

    April 14, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  22. ED FL

    Rubio is smart enough to know that the minute he says yes to VP ambitions,the NATIONAL PRESS[not the miami press] will have afield day with him Too many skeletons in his CLoset and life. He has covered those up with the CUBAN [MIAMI Press]It will not work against the National Press.Some people can hide their foibles in a closet,Rubio can't hide his in a warehouse. Wonder how much money he took under false pretenses for education, and family benefits as [FAKE exhiles] vice plain immigrants. Not to hard for the legitimate press to get the real information.

    April 14, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  23. brian in denver

    "The VP must be ready from day one..." Right. Like Sarah Palin was.

    April 14, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  24. bird

    Who cares what Gonzalez thinks? AG who was a criminal. Biden is ready to be President???? Really???? It never ceases to amaze me the lengths CNN will go to, to try and make Obama look good. My freaking labradoodle has more insight into politics than these fools.

    April 14, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  25. Randy, San Francisco

    Rubio is smart to take himself out of the running, especially when the main man at the top (Romney) is a loser.

    April 14, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
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