(CNN) – Mitt Romney said Tuesday that a report that Sen. Marco Rubio was not being vetted as a possible running mate is "entirely false."
"Marco Rubio is being thoroughly vetted as part of our process," Romney said in Holland, Michigan.
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An earlier ABC News report said that Rubio had not yet been asked for documents in connection with the vetting process, which presumably began approximately two months ago when Romney chose his former gubernatorial office chief of staff, Beth Myers, to lead his selection effort.
"There was a story that originated today, apparently at ABC, based on reports of supposedly outside, unnamed advisors of mine," Romney continued. "I can't imagine who such people are but I can tell you this. They know nothing about the vice presidential selection or evaluation process. There are only two people in this country who know who are being vetted and who are not, and that's Beth Myers and myself."
The story would not come from her, he said: "I know Beth well. She doesn't talk to anybody."
Rubio is a favourite of conservatives, and some might see it as a snub not to include him on a list of potential candidates. Some however note the 41-year-olds age and lack of experience having only just started his first term as Senator from Florida.
On CNN's "The Situation Room," Republican strategist Ana Navarro, a CNN contributor who was formerly national Hispanic chair for Jon Huntsman's presidential bid, said she thought he "should be vetted," and that the leak may be a result of someone who has "an axe to grind against Marco Rubio."
"Marco Rubio deserves to be taken seriously," she said.
On CNN's "John King, USA," she added: "I think that Marco Rubio is being vetted now," with an emphasis on "now."
Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Maria Cardona said that "As a Democrat and as a Latina, I actually took a little offense to that too, because he's been letting Marco Rubio hang out there as a possibility for a VP candidate, and then we hear he's not being vetted."
"I'm beginning to think that Mitt Romney did this so that Latino Democrats would actually come in defense of Marco Rubio," Navarro replied.
Earlier Tuesday afternoon, Rubio repeatedly refused to answer questions about the selection process and whether or not he was part of it.
"I just don't talk about this process at all. I just don't discuss the process in any way," he said in an interview conducted prior to Romney's announcement. "Governor Romney is going to make a great choice."
Romney has previously declined to put any names in play - or take them out of consideration - making Tuesday's statement particularly notable.
Also in the Tuesday interview, Rubio suggested that the Dream Act alternative he was working on had been sidelined by President Barack Obama's Friday announcement of an immigration policy change.
"That's what I was working on," he said in an interview.
Earlier in the day his spokesman said his Senate office was "re-evaulating our plans" for such legislation. Obama announced a plan to temporarily suspend the deportations of some young immigrants who were brought to the country as children, provided they were pursuing higher education or military service and had no criminal record.
In the Fox interview, Rubio echoed other Republicans in saying that Obama's directive has "poisoned the well" to passing legislation on the issue. Political analysts have pointed out that any major legislative action is unlikely in this election year.
Rubio turned that as a criticism of Obama.
"I got elected to be a serious policy maker not some guy who does press releases in an election year," he said.
– CNN's Rachel Streitfeld, Ashley Killough, and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report
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I watched Rubio on Sunday Morning.. a CBS interview– In that interview he claimed that he attends Catholic Mass EVERY Sunday but also is a member of the Southern Baptist Church–Evangelical...when does he start wearing the yarmulke? Is this what the right has come to? They have to pretend to be involved in every denomination.?..It's all about God? and yet Mitt is a member of cult from Albany NY....read " Under the Banner of Heaven"...these religous crackpots are no better than the Taliban...such a shame.... Remember the separation of Church and State ? The Founding fathers are cringing right now....
Is Romney aware of the inherent animosity that Latinos/Hispanics have towards Cubans? Largely due in part to what has always been perceived as "special" treatment afforded them as immigrants, and a certain propensity amongst lighter-skinned Cubans towards racism.
Yes. Rubio would definitely seal the deal for Romney in regards to the Hispanic vote.
Oh so that's why Obama wants to give all illegals amnesty. Everybody's pandering to the Latino vote now.
More GOP wisdom. Why don't they do a poll of Cubans in Florida to see what they think about Rubio. The only people who think Rubio is a real Hispanic are ignorant rich white Republicans.
Yesterday, Rob-money said that only he and the woman in charge of vetting knew who was being looked at. Apparently, Rob-money can't keep a secret for 24 hours, because now he states flatly that Rubio is on the list. Is that how he's going to treat all secrets, as a potential president?
Don't forget to verify his birth certificate, I'm pretty sure he came in the "canasta" that his mom was holding on the "balsa" his family came on.
I think he will be a perfect match for Rommey, Rubio is only a latino when he needs to, but the rest of the time he only try to make everything very difficult for immigrants, he attacks his own blood and heritage, is a shame and a traitor for his race
PLEASE run with Rubio so you will not win Florida, and especially won't become President. And then after you guys lose, Rubio will run to FoxNews and cry and whine again like he did when Obama legally made his new immigration rule policy.
It is a misdirection so that people keep bugging the wrong person : Rubio.
R&R ticket ... Rubio on the ticket makes Romney loose OHIO and many other states he needs, and GOP knows it .
A cuban VP cannot garner my support.
I dont think america is ready for Rubio, most all ready want illegals out of the country, cant see how they would put one in the White House. I just dont think i will be voting this year
Dear Governor Romney, we can't wait until you are elected president this November. Our current president should never have been elected due to his total lack of experience as a community organizer and serving only 2 years in the US Senate. Senator Rubio would make an great choice for Vice President! Liberals are running scared. Thank you!!
Another opinion piece falsely labeled as news. Good job MSM.
RUBIO is a no brainer!! All Hispanics will line up to vote for him and will give Romney an edge.