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. skarphace

    My prediction why Romney told one of his advisors to 'leak' this misinformation: he wants to feed the conspiracy theorists who still believe that Obama was not thoroughly vetted during his run for POTUS in 2008.

    Once again, Romney knows he cannot come right out and support the 'birther' conspiracy, but he also knows that he benefits from such propaganda. Therefore, he is once again giving fodder to the racist crazies on the right.

    June 20, 2012 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  2. jcm52

    Yep, "Obama poisoned the well" by supporting exactly the policy Rubio wanted.

    Just like every other time Obama has said he agrees with what a Republican wants, all of a sudden the Republican can't do that. Individual mandate? First proposed in bills Republicans offered to counter Clinton's healthcare attempts. What about the threat of govt shutdown a while ago? Obama said he supported a bipartisan plan. Several republicans went on the record as saying they like the plan, but couldn't support it because Obama had publicly supported it. When they killed that bill they whined that Obama wasn't showing leadership because he wouldn't go on the record about later plans...

    June 20, 2012 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  3. Salty Bob

    Why lie now MR you know the gop would deprt this guy back to cuba if they had it their way, Sosososososo sad.

    June 20, 2012 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  4. Massachusetts Resident

    A vote for Mittens the clown is a foolish vote for insanity.

    June 20, 2012 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  5. s

    Please pick this LOOSER, for a sure way to loose the election. Romney and Rubio, as bad as mcCain and Palin. rubio is a waste of space and a lair!!!!!

    June 20, 2012 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  6. Olderbutwiser

    "Some however note the 41-year-olds age and lack of experience having only just started his first term as Senator from Florida." Funny...Obama and Rubio have both spent 12 years in state and federal legislatures and both would be in their first term as Federal senators when they first sought Executive office. I guess the main difference is that Obama was seeking the top slot...

    June 20, 2012 05:47 am at 5:47 am |
  7. not our business

    he lied about his life...next.

    June 20, 2012 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  8. Donald in CA

    Rubio will only help romney in Florida. The mexican american community dont look at cubans as one of them. The cubans are for most part right wing conservatives who dont give a crap about the real mexican american folks.

    June 20, 2012 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  9. Marie MD

    Oh yes, the lying Cuban. He is not going to bring you any votes except for a few Cubans who still think his family suffered as much as some of them have had to since leaving their home country with a bag of clothes.
    The liffle beefcake has no idea what it means to be a senator how can he be vp. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. This numb nut has been in congress for two a half years?
    What did he do before? Probably nothing significant.

    June 20, 2012 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  10. Jebbb

    Rubio's job for the GOP is killing the Dream Act while pretending to be working on a better alternative. They want a Hispanic guy to do this. Now he says he's side-tracked by President Obama's two-year work permits for some young immigrants. Prediction: Next, he'll be side-tracked by something else. Wait for it. Looking for a little integrity, and a little humanity? Don't look for that in today's Republican Party. They brought America down. They blocked recovery efforts. They'll keep her down.

    June 20, 2012 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  11. Scott

    Can conservatives really afford two complete fakes on the ticket?

    June 20, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  12. Craig M

    Senator Rubio is one of the bright shinning lights that we have in this country.......smart, young, articulate, fair-minded to all Americans; idea oriented; and believes in this great Republic of ours. A future President of the United States!!

    June 20, 2012 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  13. Scott

    I think McCain picked Palin because he knew he couldn't win, and wanted to at least energize the base. Rubio you pick if you think you have a real chance, if you can afford him. He helps the party in the future. I don't think Romney has that luxury. Romney will fail the debates, lose Florida, and then the election. He needs a pick like Palin more than McCain did.

    June 20, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  14. Scott

    Romney Rubio.......The were not a white christian party party.

    June 20, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  15. liz

    Rubio himself has said the Romney campaign has not asked for any information from him so are they vetting Rubio the same way the McCain camping vetted Palin ?

    June 20, 2012 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  16. John

    Well aside from republicans shooting themselves in the foot with Romney as their candidate, selecting Rubio as his running mate will put effectively put them in last place. Good move, gentlemen.

    June 20, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  17. BEn275

    Mittens will say and do anything to follwo in Obama's footsteps. The only reason Rubio is beinc considered is to get the Hispanic vote.

    June 20, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  18. Anonymous

    People that are proven, and have the experience and credentials, are not the type of people who typically get the job, case in point, our current president. Typically people who are "yes" men and who can be tossed around, bent over, and manipulated whichever way the leader or the establishment wants, gets the job because they pose no threat!

    June 20, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  19. drp146

    Rubio has repeatedly lied about his early history, claiming his parents fled from Cuba because of Castro, because this gives you a certain extra status among many Cubans living in Florida, where he wanted to get their votes. But the truth is that they left several years earlier than Castro's revolution and Rubio was not above lying about it for political gain.

    June 20, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  20. lolol

    just like Bilderberg planned

    June 20, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  21. adam

    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."
    Okay Mr. Romney, are you doing the vetting yourself, or Beth is doing it. Obviously, you have a team or a committee who is doing the vetting and one of them leaked the info to the press.

    June 20, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  22. Mario

    Mark Rubio gets Punked by Romney. Romney will use him to get what ever he can out of him and the toss him aside or FIoRE HIM.

    June 20, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  23. stopthemadness

    Yeah we hear more criticism from the republicans but yet none has shown a plan for anything they blame Obama for.

    June 20, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  24. WillB

    Romney is right. It would be an insult to the Hispanic community in Florida if Rubio was not vetted. So he was and that's why he will not be offered a spot on the ticket. Seems the vetting did produce a lot of issues related to his personal financial history, that he has always refused to discuss publicly. People naturally question how someone who is a fiscal conservative could have a net worth of $8500 and debts totalling over $1million.

    June 20, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  25. DarthVaderMentor

    Romney needs Rubio much more than Rubio needs Romney. Romney is in trouble with the Latino community. Bringing in Rubio as VP creates too many similarities to the catastrophic McCain-Palin run, which destroyed the promising yet immature career of Palin. If Rubio is smart and has any common sense, he'll stay away from Romney's run and continue building his political career in Florida. He owes nothing to Romney or the Republicans, they've never done much for him in FL anyway. If he listens to the desperate GOP party calls to sign up for this run he'll be destroying his future.

    June 20, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
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