ABC News Exclusive: Sen. Marco Rubio's First National Television Interview

The original Tea Party senator talks Libya, Obama's leadership and 2012.

ByABC News
March 28, 2011, 8:31 PM

March 29, 2011 -- Few new senators arrived in Washington this year with more fanfare than Marco Rubio, R-Fla. But he has kept a decidedly low profile since winning election in November, concentrating on Florida issues and turning down all national interview requests. That is, until now.

In a wide-ranging interview -- his first national interview since being elected -- Rubio discussed the military campaign in Libya, President Obama's leadership, the so-called birther movement and his political plans for 2012 and beyond.

ABC News spent several days with Rubio in Washington and Florida, getting exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to a 39-year-old Republican whom many conservatives would like to see run for president.

After persistent questioning, Rubio ruled ruled out a run for president; at least in 2012.

"I am not running for president in 2012," Rubio told me.

You can watch the full exchange HERE.

Rubio, however, was less definitive in his response to media speculation that he is the odds-on choice to be the GOP vice presidential nominee.

To hear what Rubio had to say about that and see the rest of my interview with the senator, be sure to tune into "Nightline" tonight and to "Good Morning America" on Wednesday when George Stephanopoulos will have the first live national television interview with Senator Rubio.