Rubio not running for VP, pivots spotlight to Reagan legacy
August 24th, 2011
12:39 PM ET
10 years ago

Rubio not running for VP, pivots spotlight to Reagan legacy

(CNN) - While national Republicans suggest Sen. Marco Rubio would be well suited as the GOP vice presidential candidate in the next election, the Florida freshman did his best to dispel the rumors Tuesday night, instead focusing his attention on his state and the American dream.

In a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, his first major address out of Florida or Washington, D.C. since he was elected, Rubio said he has "no interest in serving as vice president."

"What happens in politics is the minute you start thinking there's something else out there for you, it starts affecting everything you do," Rubio said at the event in Simi Valley, California. "The reality of it is I'm not going to be the vice presidential nominee, but I look forward to working with whoever our nominee is."

Conservative writers and reporters have publicly lobbied for Rubio to run for president or serve in the No. 2 role in 2012, suggestions Rubio has repeatedly shot down.

Instead of concentrating on a national political run, Rubio said he is committed to making America prosperous and compassionate, principles he said Reagan understood.

With former first lady Nancy Reagan in attendance at the event, Rubio said his childhood was shaped by the Reagan presidency.

"He was elected when I was in 4th grade and he left, he left office when I was in high school," Rubio said. "Those are very important years … they were the years that formed so much of what today I know and believe to be true about the world and about our nation."

Rubio, who was elected in 2010 with backing from the tea party movement, said the current role of government "cannot be sustained," adding that a government provided safety net cannot be a way of life in the United States.

"If defining the proper role of government was one of the central issues of the Reagan era, it remains that now," Rubio said. "I know that it's popular in my party to blame the president, the current president but the truth is the only thing this president has done is accelerate policies that were already in place and were doomed to fail."


Filed under: 2012 • 2012 VP Pick • Marco Rubio
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. thomas

    Thats see at what point he changes his mind .

    August 24, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    Two words: yeah, right.

    August 24, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Rubio's Government funds are responsible for his education like many others, in fact, he's still paying it off. Rubio himself said he is the son of immigrant parents from Cuba who couldn't afford to pay his education but "the Government was his safety net". Then there's former President Reagan who earned his wealth by working, not using a "Government safety net".

    August 24, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. R

    Thomas, you clearly need to read over your comments before posting them. What you said makes no sense at all.

    August 24, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. Aaron

    Obviously being a revisionist, I doubt that Rubio mentioned that it was Reagan who started the huge deficit problem, operating the federal government on credit in a successful effort to cut out taxes for the rich.

    August 24, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. Sheryl in Fl

    Imagine that, out of the mouth of babes, "policies that were already in place and were doomed to fail" that is admitting prior/current congress are what exactly ? Doomed policy makers ????
    "If defining the proper role or government was one of the central issues of the Reagan era, it remains that now," Rubio said. "I know that it's popular in my party to blame the president, the current president but the truth is the only thing this president has done is accelerate policies that were already in place and were doomed to fail."

    August 24, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. Dave Harris

    ". . . the truth is the only thing this president has done is accelerate policies that were already in place and were doomed to fail."

    This is an astounding thing for a Republican to admit. If he were running for anything, it would earn the undying hatred of most of his party, which doesn't accept any sort of criticism. Makes you wonder what his future in the Republican party is. People who tell the truth don't do very well there.

    August 24, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    Just because you look the part doesn't make you presidential. That goes for Rubio, Romney and all the othe wannabes.

    August 24, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  9. Ryan

    Yes, let's go back to the era of Reagan, when the top tax bracket was 50% and the government debt balloon to never-before seen levels.

    What say you rethuglicans? Let's go back to that, huh? What is that I hear... silence from the hypocrites?

    August 24, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Democrats need to learn the difference between providing a "government safety net" and a "government HAMMOCK"!!

    August 24, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Rubio's day of Awakening is coming. Some day he is going to look back say to himelf, "What was I thining?"

    America has not bee the land of opportunity since Reagan took office and Grand Scam, Reaganomics, was forced upon the nation. The Day of Awakening will come when the shoe is on his foot. This man lacks compassion and empathy for his fellow human beings.

    August 24, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    People ALWAYS have to say they aren't interested in the VP position.

    Bu Marco will make a fine President of this country one day. He'll know when he's ready. Wish he was ready today. We need a REAL leader badly. This "leading from behind" stuff just isn't working out well.

    August 24, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. Al-NY,NY

    Rubio said. "I know that it's popular in my party to blame the president, the current president but the truth is the only thing this president has done is accelerate policies that were already in place and were doomed to fail."
    ---------------------------------------–

    Since he has not blamed Obama for everything and implied past presidents (including GOP'ers) have done as bad, he's toast with the zealots

    August 24, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  14. NVa Native

    Regan legacy – of intiating the decline of the US with "trcikle down (your leg) economics, Iran-contra w/USMC Col. Ollie North lying to Congress, 200 Marines dying in Lebanon which lead to Regan's "cut and run" (as the Repubs put it), his ignoring HIV/aids until the media wouldn't let him then he demonized their suffering, etc., .............that legacy??

    August 24, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    What has he done while in the Senate? What does he really stand for other than cutting everything from government other than the military? He sounds like tea party light.

    August 24, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  16. 2012liberal

    Got 2 love the hypocracy of all GOP congress and house reps that rail against the very government that supports their very job and has helped them through their lives. No government but 4 me and mine. 2 hell with the rest of u. Classic.

    August 24, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  17. The Elephant in The Room

    Look GOP –

    If you wanted to have a Latino on the Presidential ticket to pander to hispanic voters, you shouldn`t have spent the past 40 years calling them names, snickering behind their backs, and trying to exploit theme. You`d have reeled in the xenophobic members of your party and found some latino-specific interests to DEFEND. Alas, you didn`t do any of this and therefore, you don`t have experienced, qualified, highly credentialed, minority candidates that you can put forth.

    Meanwhile, the Democrats had NO PROBLEM finding a Latina that graduated from Princeton & Yale and nominating her to the Supreme Court. [Where even there, your party tried to vilify her.]

    Furthermore President Obama had no problem naming a latino as a top leader on his re-election team.

    Your party is trying its best to IMITATE an inclusive group but then you embrace someone like Trump latching onto birtherism or Perry claiming that Mr. Obama doesn`t "love the country". We are all sophisticated enough to know what these "dog-whistle" appeals mean and who they are targeted at.

    Please stop trying to fool those of us who observe, listen and think before we vote.

    August 24, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Elaine

    Yes.Republicans keep pushing the idea of a Rubio candidacy for 2 reasons:
    1They need the state of Florida to win the presidency
    and, equally as important
    2They want to woo Latinos into their camp because they need their votes;
    And seeing that Republicans have done everything in their power to to block a comprehensive immigration bill going all the way back to the Bush administration, and even more recently , the Dream Act, which was very limited in its provisions; it would be a mistake for Latinos to allow themselves to be duped by this scheme.

    August 24, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. Mr. Moderate

    How ironic someone who owes his position to the tea party speaks so fondly of Reagan, a man who would be villified by that very same tea party. Probably the kindest thing they would call him is a RINO and I'm sure woudl call him a socialist. After all Reagan raised taxes on more occasions than he cut them, expanded government spending. ran up record deficits, granted amnesty illegal aliens an in the kiss of death for a teabagger – compromised with the other side to move this country forward.

    August 24, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. MiddleOfTheRoad

    I read the quotes in this article................and then vomited.

    August 24, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. mgc florida

    Now that Rubio has gotten wealthy. and he has, now he doesn't see the need for government safety nets. Interesting that he didn't feel that way when his parents took food stamps and he took government loans. Florida alrready knows he is a fraud, the rest of the country will soon find out. Stay tuned.

    August 24, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  22. once upon a horse

    If Ronald Reagan were with us today the Tea Party would probably call him a RINO. That is just how far right the GOP has gone. Too bad, makes the races far less interesting.

    August 24, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. Larry L

    Is Regan's legacy about spending all of our money on Defense issues and growing the government? His sacred memory is yet another example of the false reality conservatives create to validate their ideology. The senior President Bush had to increase taxes to bail us out of the failed attempt of using trickle-down economics to stimulate the country's economy. The combination of Regan spending and Bush tax increases set us up for the strong economy of the Clinton years. Regan was not a fiscal conservative – but he could compromise and work the politics required to get his way.

    August 24, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. nagrom

    Gee. Can I see Rubio's birth certificate? I want to be sure he is a citizen before I consider voting for him. Maybe he got the free handout for immigrants to go to state schools.

    August 24, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. ART

    How dare this tea bagger even mention the name Ronald Reagan, and its funny how fast they are to say President Obamas policy has failed, I just don't see it, we are on the right track but miricles are what people want and they are just not gonna get that. No teabaggers for President.

    August 24, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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