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. AJ

    Rubio can't be President or even Vice President because he was born before his parents were citizens of this country. Wake up.

    April 15, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  2. hsiaobai

    I guess Rubio is OK as long as Cubans get to legally stay as soon as they touch land. Let him man-up and treat cuban economic refugees the same way he would treat them from Mexico. Fat chance, though.

    April 15, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  3. Dustie

    I see the author's point, but honestly, no one could be less prepared than Joe Bidden. Bidden is a bad joke. The idea of his ever being president is enough to make one pray five times a day for Obama's health. Bidden constantly makes goofs and he has a messy family life (daughter involved in drugs), but the mainstream media gives him a pass, while constantly attacking the Palin family. No great fan of the Palins, but the mainstream media has been extremely unfair.

    April 15, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  4. Bill Wright

    The fact that Dems brought AG Gonzales out to make this statement shows just how truly worried Dems really are over the idea of Rubio as a VP pick. It scares them because they know that if Rubio is the Republican VP, then come Nov., Obama is toast.

    April 15, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  5. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    Pretty much OBE since Rubio has said he does not want the job.

    April 15, 2012 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  6. Snoopz

    WirePalladin – that's amazing.. you typed a whole paragraph with 100% made up lies. Congratulations.

    April 15, 2012 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  7. valwayne

    Former AG Gonzales was one of the biggest mistakes President Bush ever made. Sen Rubio would be an excellent choice. I agree that just picking a Latino to reach out to the Latino community would be a mistake. The reason to choose Sen Rubio is because he is an experienced, smart, hard working, conservative, Spanish Speaking, Roman Catholic, that can reach out the the Latino community with a genuine and sincere vision of achieving the American dream through hard work, growth, and jobs. The last thing the Republican party needs this year is some tired old White Guy! The Republican party needs to reach out. Sen Rubio would be perfect!

    April 15, 2012 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  8. Aces Full

    As if Obama the community organizer was remotely close to qualified.

    April 15, 2012 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  9. dvr

    And Nobama is ?

    April 15, 2012 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  10. Controse

    First of all, just like Obama, or whoever he is, Rubio is not a natural born citizen and therefore is not eligible to ever be president. How many see not evil, hear no evil moneys does it take to destroy the U.S.A. as founded? We are a nation of laws only as long as we make sure no one, not even a ultra-smooth pathological liar can get away with breaking the law.

    April 15, 2012 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  11. Weasley

    I think some in the GOP were seriously rattled by McCain's choice for VP. There is not one intelligent person on this planet that could say Palin was prepared to be president–day one.

    It is encouraging that someone in the GOP is finally willing to put the needs of America over the needs of the party. Hopefully, others in the Republican Party will take Gonzales' lead and consider putting Country first, for once.

    April 15, 2012 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  12. Shades of Brown

    Did you know Romney has family in Mexico?
    Fact: Other than religion, Romney's  Mexican relatives don't identify with him in any other way.

    Did you know the rubio is also the Spanish word for blonde?
    Fact: White Republicans don't identify with Rubio.

    GOP: Grand Old Pendejos!

    April 15, 2012 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  13. josey

    Rubio can't even get his story straight about his family leaving Cuba - but he sure duped a lot of Teabaggers.

    April 15, 2012 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  14. Evil Hollywood Liberal

    It takes one unqualified guy to know another.

    April 15, 2012 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  15. josey

    Republicans are touting Sen. Rob Portman for VP -- he was Bush's budget director - LOL

    April 15, 2012 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  16. Tyler Durden

    gonzalez – jealous much?

    April 15, 2012 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  17. Mikey

    Just like he was not ready to be AG. LMAO @ the crazy loon repubs who cannot somehow stop from "eating their own" but, he is 100% right own. Last thing these loons need is another so called candidate who has lied about his life & background! Then again. Seems to fit with so called "conservative values"...

    April 15, 2012 05:35 am at 5:35 am |
  18. Bye Bye Republican Party

    I waterboard that!

    After all, West is VP material that represents real beliefs of the chosen in Republistan.

    He won't flinch, he will even give Bella a hand grenade for xmas.

    April 15, 2012 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  19. Bye Bye Republican Party

    Better yet Alberto Gonzales, throw West & Rubio under the republikan bus. Let Romney know you are the man ready for the VP position.

    Write those legal opinions Richard Nixon desired for him to stay in office: "when the president does it, it is not illegal."

    Have you been able to find any work since leaving government? heard nobody wanted to hire you, even the lobbyists. Back to parking tickets? You need a BIG republikan promotion, toeing the hard line, exonerating the guilty in government.

    They should name a coup after you.

    April 15, 2012 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  20. brown pride

    Rubio is not a latino he's a tool that they r trying to use to get suckers to vote for the republicans he's views on immigrations r as discriminatory as the ones proposed by the racist n facist members of the gop in congress f rubio it dosent make u smart or a good politician to repeat what the gop wants to hear

    April 15, 2012 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  21. Snakedog

    Rubio made the mistake of identifying with the TEA PARTY and now he is so far right that. he has lost his appeal to the general electrate.

    April 15, 2012 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  22. pray

    People think Rubio hasn't enough experiece? Excuse me, and Obama had how much? My goodness, democrats brains have been scrambled by drinking that koolaide for so long.

    April 15, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  23. helioz

    You people are completley delusional, Alberto Gonzalez isn't Mexican and the deficit has increased by trillions.

    April 15, 2012 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  24. BabyBoomer

    Rubio has far more experience, and is definitely more prepared for the job, than was Obama when he was elected president.

    April 15, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  25. Mi Poo

    Gonzales is one to talk. He was the most unqualified AG in American history. Go back to your room, Torture Boy!

    April 15, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
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