Bye-bye Rubio in Romney veepstakes?
Fox News’ Sean Hannity sounds beside himself. Reuters seems pretty sure. Same with NBC Nightly News.
They all appear to believe that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio isn’t at the top of the unofficial shortlist to be Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate. That is, Rubio isn’t on the shorter list of running mates.
“Why do I keep hearing they’re not going to pick Rubio?” Hannity asked with some sense of frustration Monday night on his show. “I want Rubio … with everybody else.”
Well, not quite.
Rubio hasn’t really endeared himself to Mitt Romney. Sure, Rubio helped scuttle Newt Gingrich’s campaign, which Gingrich was busily scuttling anyway this January, by chiding the Republican for sounding like a Democrat over immigration.
And Rubio gave a tepid and late endorsement of Romney on Hannity’s show well after the Florida primary.
Compare Rubio’s cool approach with the full-throated endorsement and help of former Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty,
who is a Romney campaign co-chair. An ounce of loyalty goes a long way in campaigns. Similarly, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman — who hails from a key swing state — has aggressively campaigned with Romney and, apparently, for a shot as the No. 2 Republican on the ticket.
Rubio hasn’t. He has spent more time recently plugging his top-selling political autobiography, An American Son, and less time talking about Romney.
Romney’s campaign says no decision has been made and that those who would know aren’t telling. Rubio has pointedly refused to discuss the job.
Also, Romney cares about Beltway groupthink. And many in the Beltway media have judged that Rubio’s a little too risky of a pick for his questionable spending with a Republican Party of Florida credit card years ago and his handling of the state budget as Florida House Speaker from 2007-2008.
Reuters’ Washington bureau reported Tuesday that Pawlenty, Portman and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal topped Romney’s list. NBC added South Dakota Sen. John Thune and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan to the mix.
The absence of Rubio follows stories last month by ABC News, The Washington Post and The New York Times that
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