Former AG Gonzales: Rubio not a wise VP pick
April 14th, 2012
03:25 PM ET
11 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. BCC

    Really? Taking career or job suitability guidance from Alberto Gonzalez? He was one of the worst Attorney Generals we have ever had. He was just a toady to the extremist forces in the Bush jr. administration. In fairness to Alberto it would be nice to read all of his comments in context.

    April 15, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  2. Casey

    I can't believe Mr. "I don't recall" can even remember who Rubio is. Come to think of it, why would Harvard bring in someone with such memory lapses for this conference. He must have to read through all of the material daily, lest he forget.

    April 15, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  3. Laura

    The GOP is never going to have a good Latino choice because no self-respecting Latino would ever be part of their party. Oh, unless they are self-hating.

    April 15, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  4. Mikki Hiiri

    How about Pesident Obama. Was he ready?

    April 15, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  5. Anonymous can he judge anyone?, the biggest looser to the mexican-american community ever!!! serving the WORST President ever!!!

    April 15, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  6. PotandKettle

    Gonzales is a jealous snake in the grass. Remember his forced failed bid for the SCOTUS? Denied for lack of brains. Who is he to judge Rubio. I despise Rubio for being a Cuban Twitt at the machinations of the tea baggers.

    April 15, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  7. iceaxdave

    Alberto Gonzales has no right to judge Mark Rubio....Gonzales is a certified liar under oath, and a coward for resigning his lauded position as AG without any explanation whatsoever. His firing of US attorneys was inept and ham-handed. In sum, Gonzales was a joke as Obama...he was so far over his head in the position that he couldn't tread water!

    April 15, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  8. denny

    Why would anyone listen to anything a left wing socialist liberal like Gonzales have to say. If the Bush Administration hadn't been full of liberals then maybe they would have caught the terrorist that attacked us on 9/11 instead of taking away our freedoms. WE, THE PEOPLE will make America a free country again.

    April 15, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  9. 16halo

    If the Republicans continue to treat and marginalize Latinos they way have have treated African Americans, women, etc... they will continue to loose ground. They can't say Latinos don't like us, but do nothing to change that. They need to stop looking at issues only through the eyes of the majority in the party(i.e white males evangelical christians) and understand they America is very divserse. It's very sad that given the fact that there are a lot of conversative African Americans and Latino's but the Republican cannot tap into because of their litmus test or version of conservatism.

    April 15, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  10. American

    In addition to not being ready, Rubio ran almost his entire campaign against Crist as a flip-flopper, and then he we would somehow join Romney as the biggest flip-flopper ever seen in politics.

    It would only feed a narrative, and Rubio's old commercials could be used to reveal glaring hypocrisy.

    April 15, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  11. Sid Prejean

    Hey, what do you know, "Fredo" Gonzales still has his law license! After his spin as Chief Counsel and Attorney General (how'd that turn out for you, America?) I'd have thought he'd be a paralegal at an Austin real-estate firm.

    April 15, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  12. hillery70

    The Republicans need to select someone for VP that has Character and Integrity.

    You know, someone like John(the John) Edwards.

    Or someone who is a clear thinker--Like Joe "Thanks Dr. Pepper," Biden

    April 15, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  13. tafugate

    i disagree rubio would be the worst choice. comparatively speaking, he's head and shoulders above romney, santorum, gingrich, or paul. during the senatorial campaign, he consistently appeared oblivious to the issues. so he's infinitely qualified for any republican position.

    April 15, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
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