It had appeared that Florida Senator Marco Rubio would be one of the selected few on Romney’s short list of potential running mates. Rubio is seen as a young, energetic voice who could help Romney close his massive deficit among Latino voters, and maybe even swing Florida to the Republican column. ABC News’ Jonathan Karl has reported, however, that Rubio has not been asked to go through the vetting process of completing questionnaires and turning over financial documents to the campaign.
Karl reports that “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.”
According to Karl, neither the Rubio nor Romney camps have any comments on the report.
The news comes just a day after National Memo’s Henry Decker wrote about the potential downside of adding Rubio to the ticket. As Decker notes, there have been reports of Rubio using a Florida Republican Party credit card for over $100,000 worth of personal purchases as well as misusing money from his political fundraising organization. Romney, who has already been scrutinized for not releasing his own tax returns, does not seem willing to take on Rubio’s financial controversy in addition to his own.
Picking Rubio could have also served as an unwelcome distraction in regards to immigration. Romney has repeatedly dodged the question of whether he will or will not repeal President Obama’s executive order to stop the deportation of illegal immigrants under the age of 30 if they meet certain requirements. Rubio has been working on a revised DREAM Act legislation that has reportedly been dropped because of Obama’s announcement. It’s clear why Romney has refused to comment on Obama’s policy; according to a Bloomberg poll released today, independent voters support Obama’s decision by better than a two-to-one margin. This leaves Romney in a situation between alienating his political base or alienating the Hispanic and independent voters. Due to Rubio’s strong push for his immigration legislation, choosing Rubio would only highlight the divide between immigration reformers and restrictionists, and would most certainly force Romney to reluctantly reveal his position.