Rubio: Romney made the right choice
August 13th, 2012
08:43 PM ET
2 years ago

Rubio: Romney made the right choice

Miami, Florida (CNN) – He's the rising star in the Republican Party who won't be on the GOP ticket come November, but Sen. Marco Rubio said Monday he’s not disappointed in being passed over by Mitt Romney.

"No, he made the right choice. Paul Ryan is incredible," the Cuban-American Rubio told CNN in an exclusive interview outside a Romney rally in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood. "Let me tell you, he brings a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm."

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Rubio was ever the good soldier on Monday. He stood at Romney's side at two separate events in the crucial battleground state of Florida, just 48 hours after the vice presidential pick went to the Wisconsin congressman.

For months, Rubio has predicted Romney would choose somebody else as his running mate, frequently telling reporters, "I'm not going to be the vice president." He praised Romney's decision to select someone with what he called "policy gravitas" as proof of the GOP contender's administrative skills.

"I've been telling people for weeks Mitt Romney is an excellent decision-maker, and he proved it again," Rubio said.

After flying on Romney's press charter in between events in St. Augustine and Miami, Rubio joined the presumptive Republican nominee for a brief news conference with reporters. Nearly every question asked was about Ryan's past proposals to overhaul Medicare, with a plan that would partially privatize the program for future seniors.

Rubio dismissed any notion Ryan's proposals, endorsed by Romney, would damage the GOP ticket with Florida's crucial aging voters.

"Just like Paul Ryan's mom is on Medicare, so is mine. Both of our moms are on Medicare here in Florida. And I want to protect Medicare. I want to save it," Rubio told CNN.

"It's going bankrupt. And so the only way to save it is to come up with a solution that allows our parents and our grandparents to see absolutely no changes to their Medicare," Rubio added.

The Florida senator said GOP plans would restructure the program for future retirees, “for the people like me and Paul Ryan. I'm 41. He's 42. Our Medicare is going to look different."

Rubio would have been the nation's first Latino on a presidential ticket if he had been picked. He shrugged off recent revelations that Ryan once opposed the trade embargo on Cuba, an issue that's critical to the island's exile community in South Florida. Ryan has since changed his position and now supports the current U.S. trade restrictions on the communist nation.

Romney did not mention the embargo issue during his rally in Miami, sticking to his usual stump speech on the economy.

"A lot of people when they get to Congress and they're not from South Florida and not familiar with the issue, they're free trade folks and they don't understand the issue," Rubio said.

"There have been many of these colleagues in the House and the Senate who, after the issue has been explained to them from our perspective, change their mind, and Paul Ryan is one of them," the Florida Senator told CNN.

As for the GOP ticket's prospects in Florida, Rubio did not hesitate. "They will win Florida," Rubio said. "I am predicting it."


Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Marco Rubio • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. NameFrank

    Wrong again Senator Rubio. They won't win Florida.

    August 13, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  2. will never vote Republician again

    Yes, he did! Independents will be joining me RUNNING from the FASCIST!

    August 13, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    Little paunchy there beefcake (or not).
    I love how NOW they call it Medicare. They used to call "entitlements". We are NOT going to forget that money we have been putting in for our retirement since our first paycheck was seen as nothing by the party of NO!

    August 13, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  4. T'sah From Virginia

    Rubio says that now because that is the talking point the Republicans are going to run. Everyone says Romney made the right choice but Romney did not choose Ryan – Come on Now we're smarter than that – The Koch-TP Brothers, BIG CORPs and Million/Billionaires forced Romney to chose Ryan ...... PERIOD!!!

    WAKE UP AMERICA!!

    Obama/Biden 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    August 13, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  5. Woman In California

    "I've been telling people for weeks Mitt Romney is an excellent decision-maker, and he proved it again," Rubio said.

    Decision-maker are you kidding me – more like a coward with absoultely no morals and conscience and let's face it, the biggest reason Ryan was chosen is 1) white male (Mormons scorn anyone of color; and 2) the rest of you had too much baggage. Deny it all you want but it's the truth and you know it.

    August 13, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  6. Thomas

    True , he didn't pic you , of Jindil .

    He wanted a white guy that might turn a state.

    August 13, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  7. mario

    Why won't Pual Ryan canpain in Florida? Is it because he want to take medicare away from all seniors. It in the Ryan buget plan.

    August 13, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  8. greg

    It would have been interesting to have 2 revisionists. Romney with his residency 10 years ago, his Bain depaarture and when exactly Rubio's parents came to the United States. So sad :(

    August 13, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    ""A lot of people when they get to Congress and they're not from South Florida and not familiar with the issue, they're free trade folks and they don't understand the issue," Rubio said."

    Free trade folks? Yeah...OR we understand the issue perfectly and recognize ineffective, wasteful policy when we see it.

    August 13, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "As for the GOP ticket's prospects in Florida, Rubio did not hesitate. "They will win Florida," Rubio said. "I am predicting it."

    Certainly doing everything they can to suppress enough votes to make it a safe bet.

    August 13, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I can see Rubio wants to be happy for the new couple. He doesn't sound totally happy about it.

    August 13, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  12. Larry L

    You could hear the smooching noise all over the country as Rubio worked to protect his precarious position as a Republican darling. He also pretends Ryan is out to help Medicare – a blatant lie. Ryan is a lap-dog for the rich and will turn Medicare over to the same fat-cats who are funding the Romney campaign. Seniors aren't stupid enough to fall for their lies after they've already heard the specifics of the Ryan budget plan. They will rape Medicare! Why trust them? They won't even show us their tax returns... why?

    August 13, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  13. Common sense!

    You have all the time in the world to run for the president Senor Rubio just hang in there

    August 13, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  14. Lenny

    Rubio is just buying time and hogging up every chance he gets in the national limelight. If Romney loses the election in November, it will leave the door open for him to throw in his hat for President in 2016. However, he will have to face some rather stiff competition. It's also a sure bet that Jeb Bush, will run the next time around, which will be awkward, being that they seem to be so close. Add to the lineup, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Rick Santurom, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and of course, Paul Ryan. Will little Marco be able to survive these huge contenders? Unlikely.

    August 14, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  15. Af

    get out here Rubio, no one is so dump to vote Romney Ryan to pull off the medicare, student loan, police jos etc... You and Ryan's salary are over $175000 a year each .So you can take care of your moms, Hypocrite politicians

    August 14, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  16. AgeofInsanity

    Ryan's and Rubio's mothers will be long dead before the draconian plans Republicans have for Medicare ever kick in.

    August 14, 2012 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  17. helenecha

    Um, American people are good veritably and the issue from leaders’ perspective is always expected to be good enough. Let’s wait and see the campaign is going to be fun. Go Romney! Go Ryan! Go American people!

    August 14, 2012 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  18. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Same thing they said about Snooki Palin. Watch for the same result. Mitt the twit is not solution. He's the problem. That's why he hides those tax returns.

    August 14, 2012 05:30 am at 5:30 am |