Wait: Rubio Isn’t Being Vetted For VP?

Posted: Jun 19, 2012 9:05 AM


Even before the Republicans chose a presidential nominee it was widely assumed that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., would be at the top of anybody's list of vice presidential candidates. The reasons are obvious: Not only is he young, charismatic and wildly popular with conservatives, but he could also help Republicans win a key state (Florida) and make inroads with Hispanics.

But knowledgeable Republican sources tell me that Rubio is not being vetted by Mitt Romney's vice presidential search team. He has not been asked to complete any questionnaires or been asked to turn over any financial documents typically required of potential vice presidential candidates.

Although it is possible that Rubio may yet be asked to go through the vetting process, it has been nearly two months since Romney named his long-time aide Beth Myers to run his vice presidential search. The fact that Rubio has not been asked to turn over any documents by now is a strong indication that he is not on Romney's short list of potential running mates.

Officially the Romney campaign has no comment. And Rubio has refused to make any comment when it comes to vice presidential questions. As Rubio spokesman Alex Conant told me, "We have no comment on the vice presidential search process."

The news will be disappointing to prominent conservatives - including Sen. Jim DeMint and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush - who have been openly encouraging Romney to pick Rubio.

This took me completely by surprise. Sure, I realized it was exceedingly likely Romney would pick someone else as his running mate, but the fact Rubio isn’t even being considered is truly shocking. As mentioned above, the Florida Senator has all the characteristics of a solid vice presidential pick, thus I just assumed he was at least on Team Romney’s short list. That’s simply not true, apparently. In any event, since both parties are staying mum on the subject, it’s impossible to know with certainty if the information in the ABC News article excerpted above is 100 percent accurate. Still, given the evidence that’s surfaced -- and the Senator’s vocal opposition to leaving his job in the upper chamber of Congress -- it seems unlikely Marco Rubio will be the next Republican vice presidential nominee.

Update: Mitt Romney confirms he is in fact vetting Senator Marco Rubio for vice president.