June 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm
At the end of a day of campaigning Tuesday, Mitt Romney addressed reports Sen. Marco Rubio is not being seriously considered as a possible running mate, calling them “entirely false.”
“Marco Rubio is being thoroughly vetted as part of our process,” Romney told a small group of reporters.
Asked in a Fox News interview earlier Tuesday, Romney brushed off the question. However, late in the afternoon, he called in the traveling pool to tell them that reports of Rubio being taken out of contention were baseless.
“There was a story that originated today apparently at ABC based upon reports of supposedly outside unnamed advisers of mine,” Romney said. “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.”
Another Romney adviser who works directly on the campaign told the Post that Romney officials conducted a preliminary review of Rubio, mostly evaluating documents, statements and news reports that are publicly available. The team did a similar vetting with a large number of other candidates before whittling down to a short list for a more thorough investigation.
Romney, the Post reported, is gravitating “toward more experienced, less charismatic leaders” as potential running mates, all but ruling out the charming junior senator from Florida. This is, until Romney ruled him back in.