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

    Palin didn't deliver the womens vote when Hillary was not given the nod so putting up Rubio won't automatically give the GOP the latino vote. it isn't putting up a minority or a woman that will get you the votes... it is a QUALIFIED person of whatever race or gender....

    April 14, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  2. James

    Gonzales was one of the members of one of the most incompetent and corrupt adminstirations in history and he dares makes a judgement on anyone else? Cheney, Wolfowizt, Bush, Rice were all clowns.

    April 14, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  3. Jackie

    Al knows Maco Rubio is lying about his birth and much much more and would be exposed. Al Gonzales his a dark history and was just used for show to get the Hispanic vote. Al is praying Obama wins so Spain wont hold the War Crimes trial. Bush drop kicked Al to the curb once he left office. Many of the GOP who included Al now don't know him and he's never invited. Hispanics see him as a turn court and even his drug kingpin sister Teresa Gonzales is no longer protected from drug sales.

    April 14, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    That didn't stop mccain and we know how well that turned out. The only difference would be that we have already heard about rubio and his made up story about his Cuban roots.

    April 14, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  5. Ross

    Really??? As if Gonzales had such a smooth tenure in office. Please, this guy needs to worry about himself...not others.

    April 14, 2012 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  6. Damon Bowman

    Wire Palladin, you're drinking way too much of the Donkey Kool-Aid. The Federal Budget deficits under George W. Bush never exceeded $460 billion in a single fiscal year. The Federal Budget deficits under Barack Obama haven't been any less than $1.29 trillion in a single fiscal year. Bush the Younger increased the deficit a total of $5.0 trillion over the course of eight years. Obama has boosted the deficit a total of $4.8 trillion in only three years. You can't write that Obama has done anything to lower deficits or total debt without lying through your teeth.

    April 14, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  7. Keith

    The Republicans will never get the Latino vote until they become Human, that isn't likely to happen soon.

    April 14, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  8. Keith

    The Republicans will never get the Republican vote until they find a Human Being to run for office.

    April 14, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  9. Richard

    Anyone who would take advice from Alberto Gonzales is clearly out of options. LOL.

    April 14, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  10. Floyd Lopez

    Mr. Gonzales needs to shut up. He wasn't qualified when he was appointed Attorney General.

    April 14, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  11. Luke Brown

    Interesting that Rubio's parents could not have become US citizens under his immigration plan. Were they even US citizens when he was born?

    PS .. they left Cuba several years BEFORE Castro came to power.

    April 14, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  12. Dick Hertz

    Who cares what someone disgraced has to say? We are tired of "Token" idiots. Americans don't feel the need to bow down to Hispanics. They now make up 15% of the population. Take away the illegal ones and it drops to 7%. No way they decide anything. Pass E-Verify and National work cards. Then most of them might decide to leave.

    April 14, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  13. Edgar

    So could it be that Obama ordered a special entertainment during his trip? Michelle wasnt there.... Oh well he will never do that could he?

    April 14, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  14. Kevin H

    This coming from former AG Alberto Gonzales. Really? Talk about bottom of the barrel. Who cares what this man thinks or rather doesn't. He makes what conservatives think is scandal under Obama look like a picnic. The DOJ under Gonzales was like Tammany Hall under boss Tweed.

    April 14, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  15. scot pederson

    Wire Palladin has fuzzy math in his quotes.

    Fact- Obama in the last 3 yrs has run up 3.9 Trillion in debts
    Bush in his last 3 yrs ran up 2.3 Trillion in debts
    The war ended in Iraq because it was a mop up job by the time Barry got in. There was not much of a war anymore.
    The jobs created since Obama came in have mostly been created by Market Forces in spite of his failed, miserable Stimulus bill.

    April 14, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  16. CNNNdependent

    This from a guy (Gonzales) who committed perjury before the U.S. Congress and resigned after two years? Gonzales wasn't ready and he has some call to say Rubio is not ready.

    The VP spot doesn't require experience or intelligence, as Biden has shown. Maybe Gonzales just wants Romney to pick him as VP.

    April 14, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  17. Bill in Florida

    I was not a fan of Alberto Gonzalez when he was AG, but he seems like a smart, sensible, and straight-talking guy - strange for a Republican. (You can tell he's not seeking political office because he's not sucking up to the TeaTards.)

    April 14, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  18. mochica

    I can't understand why right-wing Cuban Americans have so much political power when they are such a small minority. I guess they were all in with the right-wing U.S. puppet dictator Batista when the people of Cuba threw him out in 1959. Batista fled the country with 40 million U.S. dollars in 1959. Can you imagine how much that was at the time? Despite the fact that he, along with hundreds of his henchman had murdered thousands of people and keep Blacks in virtual slavery, they were given refuge and treated like kings in the United States. It's not whether you are democratic or abuse your own people, it's whether you're anti-Communist, anti-terrorist- in other words, Pro-U.S. Business.

    April 14, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  19. Barney Fife

    Hmmm....I don't think Gonzales would be saying that if Rubio was of Mexican descent.....just sayin'....

    April 14, 2012 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  20. ingot

    I think Rubio will not make a satisfactory vice president simply because he is a green horn in politics. He may popular in Florida but not anywhere else..

    April 14, 2012 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  21. sicktostomach

    I am so sick of reading ignorant comments on this site.I can not believe the hateful comments on here no wonder the country is in the shape it is in.

    April 14, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  22. BigRed

    Funny that former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is being relied on to say anything intelligent about any subject. His run as the AG under the Bush administration was anything but stellar. Consider that it was under his watch that waterboarding and government sanctioned torture were considered to be perfectly acceptable. Hardly the judgement one should rely on to make any intelligent statement.

    April 14, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  23. BigRed


    April 14, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  24. Cynthia

    Rubio might have the Cuban-American vote but that does not play with Mexican-Americans. Not the same in any way. The Republicans have played kissey- face with Cuban-Americans and stiffed the rest of our hispanic population.
    As for Gonzales, he pretty much blew it as Attorney General under Bush by firing good people in the justice department. And, giving bad advice or,...followed bad leadership to give bad advice. Still, Rubio is right to say no. He probably feels like a tool already. Didn't like the scrutiny that has already shown that his family left Cuba before Castro took over. Blew his little story of escaping the dictator's wrath. So what else might be a little white lie??

    April 15, 2012 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  25. A true american

    @ wire paladin LOL where did you pull those numbers?? Obama did create jobs.. But at too large of a price. Bush added 2.4 trillion to the deficit in 8 years while Obama has added 4.6 trillion in 3 1/2 years.. nice try bub. Can't wait for you to vote him in. Once the world stops lending money to us, you're screwed. I own guns and by respecting your opinions I won't protect you with them.

    April 15, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
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