Mitt Romney: Yes, Marco Rubio Is Being Vetted

Yesterday’s report that Marco Rubio was not being vetted by the Romney campaign ended up becoming a big enough story by the end of the day that Mitt Romney himself felt compelled to shoot it down:

“There was a story that originated today apparently at ABC based upon reports of supposedly outside unnamed advisers of mine,” Romney said in Holland, Michigan. “I can’t imagine who such people are. But I can tell you this: they know nothing about the vice presidential selection or evaluation process. There are only two people in this country who know who are being vetted and who are not: And that’s Beth myers and myself. And I know Beth well. She doesn’t talk to anybody. The story was entirely false. Marco Rubio is being thoroughly vetted as part of our process.”

Jonathan Karl, who ran the original ABC News report yesterday morning:

So, what happened?

First, my sources stand by what they told me: Before today, Rubio had not been asked by the Romney campaign to turn over any documents related to the vice presidential search and he had not been asked to fill out any questionnaires.

But a top Romney campaign official emphatically told me that Rubio was, in fact, asked for vetting materials before today.

“Your source is lying to you,” the Romney official said.

Now, Rubio is the only candidate that the Romney campaign has definitively said is being vetted.

I am told by several Republican sources that Romney came under intense pressure today from top Republicans who argued it was crazy to take Rubio out of consideration so early. Some argued for Rubio’s appeal as the party’s most effective and charismatic conservative voice. Some argued it is dumb politics to not consider the party’s top Hispanic conservative.

But senior officials of the Romney campaign said emphatically that they were not under pressure from conservatives and that Romney never changed his mind. They insisted that Rubio was always under consideration.

So, what’s the truth here? As with all things Veepstakes related its hard to tell. The criticism that the Romney campaign received from the right yesterday after news that Rubio was not being vetted came out was fairly loud and, given Rubio’s popularity with the base, it wouldn’t be too surprising that they received pressure from the right that essentially required them to at least make it appear that they weren’t dissing Rubio this far out from the expected date of the running mate announcement. I still don’t think Rubio will be the Romney’s choice, though. Instead, I’d keep my eye on the Midwest or someone like Bob McDonnell.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Phillip says:

    So, what’s the truth here?

    My shot in the dark: Rubio was not under consideration, but when it leaked out then Romney felt compelled to say he was being considered, if only to offer the illusion of the Romney campaign attempting to appeal to the Latino vote. He can’t possibly be under serious consideration given his inexperience, nor do I think adding him to the ticket boosts any Romney demographic with the possible exception of the Cuban vote. Rubio will not help him in the Rust Belt.

  2. PJ says:

    Latter-day Saint views of ex-Mormons:

    Depending on the circumstances of an ex-Mormon’s departure, Latter-day Saint views may range from considering them apostates to viewing them as individuals who have simply strayed from the path. The LDS church teaches that people leave for a variety of reasons, but that regardless of the reason the underlying cause is deception by Satan. Reasons range from trivial to serious (including doctrinal disagreements). Latter-day Saints view turning from the influence of the Holy Spirit as having potentially devastating spiritual consequences, and they generally hope ex-Mormons will “return to the fold.”

    Romney should be asked if Rubio’s family got deceived by Satan. That would be fun.

    But seriously.
    A Mormon and a ex-Mormon on the ticket? Voters who already are holding their noses voting for Romney would love that…
    Adding to that how Mormons view ex-Mormons.
    Rubio won’t be the VP.

    Ok, actually, someone ought to ask if the reason that Rubio isn’t being vetted is because he’s an ex-Mormon.

  3. DRS says:

    So how likely is it that after this week Romney can turn around and say “….yes, we vetted him and we’re picking someone else.” Someone-Else will spend the remaining weeks of the campaign being compared to Rubio who will automatically become the fresh-faced, articulate might-have-been. I’m guessing Rubio’s backers are playing a high-stakes game to get their man on the ticket.

    And what makes them think Mitt (“Can I carry your baggage, Mr. Trump?”) Romney is spineless enough to let them get away with it, hmm?

  4. Yesterday the WSJ’s James Taranto tweeted that if Romney named Obama as his running mate, Obama would finally get vetted.

  5. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Could have been a “fake but accurate” news report. How much of a liberal idiot is this Karl fellow? That would be a fairly decent indicator of the report’s truthfulness, I suppose.

    Could be a fake denial by Romney. For the reasons indicated.

    Could be that Rubio already has been vetted and been ruled out. Perhaps a financial snafu. Perhaps an ethics issue. Maybe a woman issue. Hard to say. Could be anything.

    Could be that internal, low MOE polling shows Romney substantially ahead in Florida and thus Team Romney justifiably is looking elsewhere, e.g., the Rust Belt or the Midwest.

    Could be that Team Romney already has decided to bet the entire farm on a Rust Belt/Midwestern strategy, in which case I suppose one could argue that there’s no need even to vet Rubio, in that the veep come hell or high water is going to be someone like Rob Portman.

  6. al-Ameda says:

    Your source is lying to you,” the Romney official said.

    I guess we can conclude that the source was Mitt Romney.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    . How much of a liberal idiot is this Karl fellow?

    He’s a conservative, that’s how much.

  8. Scott says:

    @Donald Sensing: Confirming that James Taranto is an idiot.