Marco Rubio Avoids VP Questions, Hammers Obama for Losing his Spark

Jae C. Hong/AP Photo

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., deflected questions about the vice presidency in an interview Sunday morning and instead zeroed in on the failings of President Obama and the spark he's lost since 2008.

"All the things that made him different and special four years ago are gone," Rubio said of Obama during an interview with Chris Wallace on FOX News Sunday.

"Things keep getting worse under his watch. He's accountable for that and so obviously he doesn't want to run on that record so he wants this campaign to be about anything but his record on the economy," Rubio said.

Criticizing Obama for turning the raid on Osama Bin Laden into a campaign issue, Rubio argued the president is consumed by winning re-election, causing him to lose the qualities that set him apart in 2008.

"In his obsessive effort to get his win, his re-election, he has lost himself and he has lost what makes him different," he said.

Rubio, who is widely considered a lead contender for the Republican VP spot and sits on the Senate Foreign Relations committee, criticized Vice President Joe Biden's foreign policy decisions and also poked at him for some of his verbal mishaps.

"Joe Biden's record on foreign policy is one of being wrong on virtually everything he's ever advised or anything he's ever asked for," Rubio said. "He's a very nice person but Vice President Biden has a tendency to say some interesting things to say the least."

Rubio, who is of Cuban descent, said the Hispanic vote, which is currently polling in large favor of Obama, is not settled and voiced his belief that Romney could carry Hispanics in Florida.

"He's not going to lose Hispanics 2 to 1 in Florida. In fact, I think he has the opportunity to win Hispanics in Florida," Rubio said.

Asked if Romney had overreacted earlier in the week to the Obama administration's handling of the Chen Guangcheng case, Rubio said he did not think so and argued that the incident shows the administration's "unwillingness to forcefully assert America's values."

"This crisis is a reminder of what we're dealing with in China, and we hope that there are reformers in that government that are pushing for a more open system, but what we know for a fact we're dealing with now are people who are paranoid and are control freaks in a totalitarian system," he said.

Rubio discussed his support of foreign aid, a position on which he differs from Romney, who wants to see foreign aid cut by $100 million dollars.

Rubio said Romney crafted his position on the issue from a budgetary standpoint and said he would argue to Romney that foreign aid gives the United States "leverage" abroad.

While he was quick to praise Romney and criticize the president, Rubio refused to answer any questions about the vice presidency.

Asked if he would say yes to anything Romney asked him to do to help win against Obama in the fall, Rubio skirted around the question, saying he wouldn't discuss the position of the vice presidency, noting only, "There are multiple ways that someone can help our nominee, and I look forward to doing that."

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