June 19th, 2012
06:06 PM ET
8 years ago

Romney: Rubio is being vetted as VP possibility

(CNN) - Mitt Romney said Tuesday that a report that Sen. Marco Rubio was not being vetted as a possible running mate is "entirely false."

"Marco Rubio is being thoroughly vetted as part of our process," Romney said in Holland, Michigan.

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An earlier ABC News report said that Rubio had not yet been asked for documents in connection with the vetting process, which presumably began approximately two months ago when Romney chose his former gubernatorial office chief of staff, Beth Myers, to lead his selection effort.

"There was a story that originated today, apparently at ABC, based on reports of supposedly outside, unnamed advisors of mine," Romney continued. "I can't imagine who such people are but I can tell you this. They know nothing about the vice presidential selection or evaluation process. There are only two people in this country who know who are being vetted and who are not, and that's Beth Myers and myself."

The story would not come from her, he said: "I know Beth well. She doesn't talk to anybody."

Rubio is a favourite of conservatives, and some might see it as a snub not to include him on a list of potential candidates. Some however note the 41-year-olds age and lack of experience having only just started his first term as Senator from Florida.

On CNN's "The Situation Room," Republican strategist Ana Navarro, a CNN contributor who was formerly national Hispanic chair for Jon Huntsman's presidential bid, said she thought he "should be vetted," and that the leak may be a result of someone who has "an axe to grind against Marco Rubio."

"Marco Rubio deserves to be taken seriously," she said.

On CNN's "John King, USA," she added: "I think that Marco Rubio is being vetted now," with an emphasis on "now."

Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Maria Cardona said that "As a Democrat and as a Latina, I actually took a little offense to that too, because he's been letting Marco Rubio hang out there as a possibility for a VP candidate, and then we hear he's not being vetted."

"I'm beginning to think that Mitt Romney did this so that Latino Democrats would actually come in defense of Marco Rubio," Navarro replied.

Earlier Tuesday afternoon, Rubio repeatedly refused to answer questions about the selection process and whether or not he was part of it.

"I just don't talk about this process at all. I just don't discuss the process in any way," he said in an interview conducted prior to Romney's announcement. "Governor Romney is going to make a great choice."

Romney has previously declined to put any names in play - or take them out of consideration - making Tuesday's statement particularly notable.

Also in the Tuesday interview, Rubio suggested that the Dream Act alternative he was working on had been sidelined by President Barack Obama's Friday announcement of an immigration policy change.

"That's what I was working on," he said in an interview.

Earlier in the day his spokesman said his Senate office was "re-evaulating our plans" for such legislation. Obama announced a plan to temporarily suspend the deportations of some young immigrants who were brought to the country as children, provided they were pursuing higher education or military service and had no criminal record.

In the Fox interview, Rubio echoed other Republicans in saying that Obama's directive has "poisoned the well" to passing legislation on the issue. Political analysts have pointed out that any major legislative action is unlikely in this election year.

Rubio turned that as a criticism of Obama.

"I got elected to be a serious policy maker not some guy who does press releases in an election year," he said.

- CNN's Rachel Streitfeld, Ashley Killough, and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

Also see:

Major GOP donor eyes $100 million in donations

Rubio to shelve GOP immigration plan

Romney credits governors with states' success

Sunny Romney predicts Wisconsin win

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Marco Rubio • Mitt Romney • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Luz

    Republicans need the Latino vote to win. However, if they are depending on Marco Rubio to be their savior, then they are in very big trouble. What has the Republican Party done for Latinos lately?


    June 19, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    RIGHT!!! I guess that his people don't know who is being vetted. However, i don't think that he was being vetted until it became news. Now, they have to rush to make it happen so as not to look out of touch.

    June 19, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  3. vic , nashville ,tn

    We know that now Rubio can’t help Romney , new polls show Obama getting more supports from Latinos , even Arizona polls shows Obama closing the gap
    So Romney will dump Rubio

    June 19, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  4. georgewashington

    Rubio will be vetted. The little worm dangled before the masses and someone other than he will be selected at the appropriate time.

    June 19, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  5. DENNA

    If you want a chance at winning, Rubio had better be your VP choice and he might consider agreeing with President Obama on immigration instead of taking the GOP line.

    June 19, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  6. Nam

    If Santorum is tapped as VP, Obama would surely be lost.

    June 19, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  7. Jaded

    Rubio is not ready to be one heartbeat away from the presidency. Therefore, he is being considered for the VP position not based on his merits, but merely as an act of tokenism. This is a symbolic effort to give the appearance of diversity within the Republican Party in hopes of luring Latino voters into voting for Romney.

    Latinos can see right through this contrived plot. It is both insulting and demeaning to think that people will vote for a candidate based upon his or her surname and not on their voting record.

    OBAMA 2012!

    June 19, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  8. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    He needs Rubio as a trick to pull away from Obama. Rubio who may well be a traitor to the Hispanics of America, would shore up Romney's apparent disinterest by the Latino communities. Politics has no class. Tricks of the trade.

    June 19, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  9. Rrp

    IF Rubio is VP....we will see he Palin effect all over again...Rubio is an American implant....He is not VP material....He is not even senate material for that matter...Judy saying...

    June 19, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  10. Matt

    If he does this, can we accuse him of "playing with politics" for Latino Americans as well?

    June 19, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  11. Indy

    Now that Romney knows he has no chance to win the Latino vote, Rubio is now a possibility to be a VP pick for Romney
    Who's playing politics now ?

    June 19, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  12. The GOP needs to pack up and leave

    Neither Rubio nor Romney have produced their birth certificates to prove their eligible to run for office.

    June 19, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  13. Jules

    Wait a minute – did he say this after he said he wasn't going to speak about it and that only he and Beth Meyers(i think he said was her name) knew who was being vetted. I guess we all know now – another flip flop. You think he is ever going to give his right answer first? You poor people on the far right – this guy is going to screw you over either way – he is going to lose to President Obama, and rightly so, or if he wins he is going to go against everything he is telling you all now. You are so screwed I almost feel sorry for you and I don't agree with you on anything.

    June 19, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  14. yogi

    Who cares who his VP is, Romney is a coward and would be a disaster if he were president, he has offered absolutely no ideas how to improve the economy simply because he has NO IDEA how to.
    Obama 2012!

    June 19, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  15. Mike Latorre

    Sen. Marco Rubio, does not represent the latino votes in general. He only represent and support the cuban community.
    PuertoRicans, and latinos in general will not vote for him.

    June 19, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  16. Gambi

    Let's be realistic a Vice President is only a heatbeat away from being President, Marco Rubio may be a young up and coming Senator and I'm sure he is sharp in many ways but very inexperienced to be that close to ruling the most powerful nation in the world.

    June 19, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  17. Larry L

    What a foolish, and obvious attempt to gain some of the Latino vote. He's a right-wing, "Palin-like", Cuban American anchor baby! The Hispanic community isn't that stupid! Trotting out a guy who speaks Spanish as a token coconut isn't going to work with Hispanics in the US. They know Republicans only see them as pool boys, maids, agricultural workers, and every few years... as potential voters. Again – they aren't stupid!

    June 19, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  18. Thomas

    No Way will he pick Rubio for his VP !

    The young inexperienced Cuban dropped the Ball on his immigration bill , Romney likes to fire people that don't do what there told .

    June 19, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  19. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Wait until they realize Rubio was born in Cuba... DOH!

    June 19, 2012 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  20. SafeJourney

    lol, please do pick Rubio. Latinos know exactly what Rubio is, a fake, an "impostor"

    June 19, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  21. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I said this before and will again. Rubio didn't offer his immigration plan because it counters the Romney feeling on immigration.

    June 19, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  22. Realitybites

    Two empty suits. Just like peas in a pod.

    June 19, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  23. 1Comment

    Rubio is to Romney as Palin is to McCain.

    June 19, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  24. Ins1te

    Don't ignore the rising tea party superstar! Only Rubio knows he is not being vetted. Way to strain a political relationship. Where's Palin?

    June 20, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  25. Carlos

    After President Obama beat them on immigration policy, Mitt has to show latinos he cares by bringing Rubio into the equation. What the Repubs don't understand is that the majority of latinos are Mexicans. Rubio is Cuban. Mexicans don't claimi him. Cubans have special privileges as they are treated as political refugees wnile Mexicans are not. Anything he has to say about immigration needs to be taken lightly.

    June 20, 2012 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
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