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Rubio Not Being Vetted For Veep Slot

ABC News’s Jonathan Karl is out this morning with a report that at least one prominent name is off of Mitt Romney’s list of potential running mates:

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.

National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar argues that this isn’t entirely surprising, because Romney’s real strategy for November appears to involve an entirely different demographic from the one Rubio appeals to:

[T]he conventional wisdom that Romney needs to cut his large deficit with Latino voters to prevail over Obama may also be missing the mark.  On his bus tour this week, Romney spent time in the white, working-class Rust Belt, hitting small towns without much of a Hispanic presence.  It’s becoming as important for Romney to win over white voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan andWisconsin as it is to appeal to Hispanics in Florida, Nevada and Colorado.  As Ron Brownstein noted last week, Romney could win the election even if he loses the vast majority of minorities, thanks to Obama’s Mondale-like standing among white voters.

That means Romney could badly use a running mate with working-class appeal.  Ohio Sen. Rob Portman is at the top of many pundits’ lists, but it is another Midwesterner who campaigned energetically for Romney over the weekend that is getting renewed attention in Boston: former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

The chatter about Pawlenty has picked up considerably in recent weeks, which seems odd given his poor performance in the Republican primary race and the fact that, to put it mildly, he is hardly the most engaging speaker on the planet. Do you really see the RNC faithful gathering in Tampa and cheering wildly for…… T-Paw? Stranger things have happened, I suppose. .

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. bluepen9uin says:

    I wonder if part of the focus on T.Paw is because his “personality” won’t overshadow Mitts?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  2. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Someone actually hit Ron Brownstein with a sentient stick. Wow.

    In any event, not picking Rubio only makes sense if Team Romney is 111% certain they’ll win Florida without him. Without Florida Romney’s chances of becoming president are as thin as an anorexia patient.

    Of course this whole it’s not Rubio schtick might be Team Romney’s way of bait and switching the media and setting up Rubio to be the “surprise” choice. Or perhaps they already did vet Rubio and there’s some sort of a problem, and they’re trying to let the air of the Rubio balloon without ticking off his supporters or destroying the guy. TIme will tell.

    The Rust Belt/Midwestern strategy certainly is cogent and sound. Not to be effectuated by Tim Pawlenty, however. You simply can’t pick Pawlenty when you have available the likes of Portman, Kasich, Toomey, Walker and Ron Johnson.

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  3. mattb says:

    That means Romney could badly use a running mate with working-class appeal.

    I mean, let’s be honest, we all see the implied “white” that goes before “working-class”. Because there are nooooo “working class” latinos, right?

    How about Romney/Superdestroyer 2012?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  4. DRS says:

    Any women on the short list? Yeah, yeah, I know, it worked so well last time but still, there must be some credible woman governor or senator who would qualify as well as Rubio.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. al-Ameda says:

    Come on, isn’t there anyone else out there with Equestrian Dressage experience?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  6. al-Ameda says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    The Rust Belt/Midwestern strategy certainly is cogent and sound. Not to be effectuated by Tim Pawlenty, however. You simply can’t pick Pawlenty when you have available the likes of Portman, Kasich, Toomey, Walker and Ron Johnson.

    As a Democrat I hope he selects Walker.

    By the way, setting my politics aside, If was truly my choice, I’d take Toomey.

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  7. rudderpedals says:

    Disappointing. Rubio is a very weak candidate and our GOP senators in Fla have a habit of not filling out their terms of office.

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  8. legion says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Or perhaps they already did vet Rubio and there’s some sort of a problem,

    That actually seems like the most plausible reason. Maybe they got sick of being burned by things like that last policy spokesman they hired & are actually vetting people themselves now, instead of letting the public & press do it after their own announcements…

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