Marco Rubio Says He Would Turn Down VP Slot If Asked

Jae C. Hong/AP Photo

Sen. Marco Rubio said today he would decline any offer from Mitt Romney to be a part of the GOP ticket this fall.

"I don't want to be the vice president," the Florida Republican said during an interview with Major Garrett of the National Journal.

"So, if Mitt Romney asks, you will you say no?" Garrett asked.

"Yes. But you know he's not going to ask. That doesn't work.  He's watching this interview right now," Rubio, 40, said.

Rubio even went as far as recommending another U.S. senator for Romney to consider in his VP vetting: Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.

"The bigger point is we've got a lot of really talented people out there that Mitt Romney can get to pick from," Rubio said. "And I think a lot, Senator Rob Portman would be a phenomenal choice for vice president. That's where I would encourage him to look because I'm enjoying my service in the Senate."

Rubio's name is often floated in the top-tier list of potential vice presidential candidates, but he has not been shy about his disinterest in the position.  Rubio instead says he wants to focus on advancing policy in the Senate, implying that he's not particularly interested in answering a lot of questions about dogs, a topic that has consumed both parties in the past week.

"If I were running for vice president,  I would have to answer questions about my dog. Both candidates are answering questions about dog these days," Rubio joked.

Rubio told Garrett that he hopes to introduce an alternative to the DREAM Act this summer and would welcome Romney's support of the bill once it has been constructed, identifying Romney as the "leader of the Republican Party."

As his interview wound down, Rubio made a bit of a slip when he talked about his future after his career as a vice president, not a senator.

"Three, four, five, six, seven years from now, if I do a good job as vice president, I'm sorry," Rubio said as he caught himself. "If I do a good job as a senator instead of a vice president, I'll have a chance to do all sorts of things, including commissioner of the NFL, which is where the real power is."

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