Marco Rubio, the off-screen star of the Republican debate, won’t be Vice President


Does this simply mean he wants them to beg?

In an interview published in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine, Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican of Florida, said he would not be a running mate with this year’s GOP challenger for the US presidency.

Rubio told Andrew Goldman that he was flattered by speculation that he would be the vice-presidential nominee.

“Will you take it?” Goldman asked.

“I’m not going to be the vice-presidential nominee,” Rubio was quoted as saying. “There are many reasons, but one of them is because I’m focused on my job in the United States Senate.”

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The remarks come as speculation continues that Rubio will be chosen as the GOP nominee, both because he could in theory appeal to Hispanic voters and because he is from the battleground state of Florida, key to any US presidential election.

At yesterday’s Republican debate, the candidates vying for the GOP nomination spoke glowingly of Rubio, according to The Washington Post.

“I thought of Mr. Rubio in a slightly more dignified position,” former House speaker Newt Gingrich was quoted as saying, following remarks by Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum who had heaped praise on Rubio but had not gone as far as to suggest openly they would choose him for Veep.

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But Rubio’s appeal to Latino voters may not be as clear cut as some say. Rubio’s support for policies seen as anti-immigrant and his popularity with the Tea Party have hurt him in some quarters.

“I gotta say, some of our members on immigration specifically have expressed some frustration with what they believe to be his intransigence on this issue,” Mario Lopez, president of the conservative-leaning Hispanic Leadership Fund, was quoted as saying about Rubio’s stance on immigration. Rubio has supported, for example, a tough new law in Arizona allowing local police to enforce federal immigration laws.

A Rubio speech at the Hispanic Leadership Network conference today was met with protests from pro-immigration groups. HLN spokesman Robert Lovato said their message was: “Marco Rubio: Latino or Tea Partino?”

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