UPDATE: 6:15 P.M. ET — Mitt Romney refuted an ABC report late Tuesday, saying that Marco Rubio is “being thoroughly vetted” as part of our process.“Romney called the ABC report “entirely false,” according to USA Today.
“There was a story that originated today apparently at ABC based upon reports of supposedly outside unnamed advisers of mine. I can’t imagine who such people are,” Romney told reporters Tuesday. “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.”
Marco Rubio, long considered to be among the two favourites to be Mitt Romney’s running mate in the 2012 election, is seeing his InTrade odds falling sharply this morning.
Rubio now sits in third place, still with a 10 per cent chance but now behind former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman. His price is down more than 75 per cent this morning alone.
Why? It probably has something to do with this ABC report, which says that Rubio is not being vetted by Romney’s vice presidential search team. From Jon Karl’s report:
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.
At an foreign policy discussion at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York a few weeks ago, Rubio made it clear he wasn’t going to be an “attack dog” type of running mate, at least on foreign policy. He measured his criticism of President Barack Obama on foreign policy issues, prompting one questioner to ask if he was “out of sync” with the Republican Party.
“My debate is not just for the President. These issues in foreign policy aren’t always neatly Republican, Democrat, conservative or liberal,” Rubio said. “I have people in my own party that I’ve had to argue with — both on the Senate floor and privately — about the role of America in the world.”
The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis points out that Rubio turned down a vetting request from former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in 2006 in the Florida gubernatorial race. But Rubio said he didn’t view himself as a true contender for the spot, which is different than this race.
The ABC report comes as dueling Rubio books are released Tuesday — a memoir and an “unauthorised” biography.
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