Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says he's not going to be the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2012 because he's focused on being a U.S. senator.

Speaking at a political forum in Washington, Rubio said flatly on Wednesday: "I'm not going to be the vice presidential nominee." He then repeated himself.

Rubio said he didn't run for the Senate "to have a launching pad for another job."

The Cuban-American Rubio, who has been mentioned frequently as a vice presidential prospect, had been seen as a potential draw for the critical Hispanic vote.

Asked if he would turn it down, if asked, Rubio said: "Yeah, I believe so." And he later said: "The answer's going to probably be no" then amended himself, laughing. "The answer's going to be no."

The Washington Ideas Forum was sponsored by The Atlantic magazine and the Aspen Institute.