WASHINGTON -- A few developments over the weekend muddied the waters of the Republican vice presidential search, particularly in regards to the chances of Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. Beginning on Friday, as he sat down with CNN en Espanol’s Ismael Cala, the tea party favorite denied that he would be riding shotgun on the Republican ticket.
“I’m not going to be the vice president. I’m not,” he said, the second such announcement this month.
“Marco has said repeatedly that he’s not going to be vice president, and all of the speculation in the world isn’t going to change that fact,” senior Rubio advisor Todd Harris added.
Regardless of his rejections, there’s a sense that Rubio is still under consideration, and his name still finds its way into the vice presidential conversation.
Former U.S. Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales, a prominent figure during President George W. Bush’s tenure, interviewed with CNN the next day, dismissing Rubio as unqualified for the vice presidency.
“Rubio’s resume does not reflect someone prepared to confront serious and dangerous issues that our country faces as president,” he said.
Gonzales also rejected the possibility that bringing Rubio onto the GOP ticket could bring sought-after Latino voters to the Republican Party, saying Rubio would help “for the first 12 hours if selected for the No. 2 spot, but that won’t last.”
But former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee countered Gonzales’ opinion, singling out Rubio as the best choice for Romney on “Fox News Sunday,” which comes as no surprise given Huckabee’s persistent support for the freshman senator since 2008.
Huckabee also advised that Republicans not hurry in choosing a vice presidential candidate, as it frees the eventual nominee from the critical gaze of the opposing campaign. Romney campaign advisor Ed Gillespie seconded Huckabee, and rejected a claim that he was leading the search for a vice president.
“As far as I know, it’s inaccurate,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“Gov. Romney himself really only emerged as what I think it’s now safe to say the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party about a week ago,” Gillespie said. “The focus has been rightly on trying to secure enough delegates.”
Original source: Marco Rubio: ‘I’m not going to be the vice president’