While pundits, politicians and prognosticators have tapped Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as one of the most likely GOP vice presidential picks, conservative commentator Ann Coulter warned today that such a choice would be a “mistake.”
“I think that would be a mistake because the same people who loved Rubio loved [former presidential candidate and Texas Gov.]Rick Perry,” Coulter told me Sunday during the “This Week” roundtable discussion. “I want someone who’s been a bit more tested.”
As the rising star of the Tea Party and a Hispanic from the delegate-rich state of Florida, Rubio would fix Romney’s two biggest problems: enthusiasm among the Republican base and lackluster support from Hispanics, argued conservative commentator George Will.
But Coulter, who is a firm Mitt Romney supporter, said the GOP frontrunner needs a running mate who is tried and tested, which, as a first-term Senator, Rubio is not.
Coulter suggested Romney pick someone like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.
“He’s been tested, he’s steady, he’s not frightening,” Coulter said of Kyl. “He could certainly step into the job.”
Van Jones, a former environmental advisor in the Obama White House, threw a brand new name into the realm of vice presidential speculation: former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who served under George W. Bush.
“She ticks off a lot of boxes as far as women, persons of color, but she’s actually tested, she’s a national figure and she has foreign policy experience” Jones said. “You want to do something bold, put Condoleezza Rice on the ticket and watch the Obama campaign go crazy.”
A “bold choice,” argued New York Times columnist Matt Bai, is not what Romney should be looking for when going up against an incumbent president at “a time of anxiety” in the country. Instead he needs someone “reliable,” Bai said.
But despite all the pondering and prediction-making, Will said at the end of the day the vice presidential pick won’t actually make much of a difference when voters go to the polls on Nov. 6.
“I’ve never met an American who said I voted for presidential candidate A because of running mate B,” Will said.