WASHINGTON — Marco Rubio declined to reiterate previous denials that he might be Mitt Romney’s running mate and said Sunday he will “be respectful of the process,” a response sure to fuel speculation that Rubio is at least in contention for the No. 2 slot on the Republican ticket.
Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Rubio, as has been the case since Romney all but locked up the GOP presidential nomination, was asked about the vice presidency by host Candy Crowley.
“I’m not going to even discuss the process anymore,” the Republican senator from Florida said. “I’m going to be respectful of the process he’s [Romney] put in place.”
That answer differed from Rubio’s previous remarks. On April 15, he told CNN en Espanol’s Ismael Cala “I’m not going to be the vice president. I’m not,” and on April 4, Rubio said, “I’m not going to be the vice president.”
Crowley pressed Rubio, hinting that not repeating a denial would only feed speculation. But Rubio stuck with his message.
“I think it’d be wise for all Republicans to kind of respect that process, myself included, and say moving forward, we’re going to let his process play itself out,” Rubio said. “He’s [Romney] been a great decision-maker throughout his career in both the private sector and in politics, and he’s going to make a great choice.”
“I think it’s fair,” Rubio said. “I think the fairness in it is he has a real process in place … the last thing he needs is those of us in the peanut gallery to be saying what we would or would not do.”
Nonetheless, Rubio did show some favor to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
“I hope he’ll say ‘yes’ if future President Romney asks him,” Rubio said.
Romney’s search for a running mate is currently being led by Beth Meyers, a longtime Romney advisor and the campaign manager during the former Massachusetts governor’s 2008 bid for the presidency.
Original source: Rubio steps back from earlier denials of VP candidacy