Marco Rubio Tells GOP to Let VP Process Play Out

Jae C. Hong/AP Photo

Days after he adamantly said he would turn down Mitt Romney if he offered him a spot on the GOP ticket this fall, Marco Rubio refused to comment any further about whether he would accept the vice presidential position, saying it is time for Republicans to let the vice presidential selection process play out.

"Up to now it's all been theoretical, we have a nominee now, and our nominee, Mitt Romney, the leader of the Republican Party, has a vice presidential process in place. And I think from this point moving forward, I think it'd be wise for all Republicans to kind of respect that process, myself included, and say moving forward, we're going to let his process play itself out," Rubio said in an interview that aired on CNN's State of the Union Sunday morning.

"The last thing he needs are those of us in the peanut gallery to be saying what we would or would not do," Rubio added. "I'm not going to discuss it any more. Because now there's a real process in place, and I want to be respectful of the process that he's working on."

While shrugging off questions about his desire to appear on the ticket, Rubio did praise former Florida Governor Jeb Bush as a "fantastic" prospect for the number two spot.

"I think he'd be a fantastic vice president," Rubio said.

Bush has repeatedly lauded Rubio as the most promising prospect for Romney to pick for vice president.

Rubio, who is drafting an alternative to the DREAM Act, stressed that his forthcoming plan is in line with what Romney has said he would be willing to support and differs from the DREAM Act because it does not provide a path to citizenship.

"All this does is award a non-immigrant visa to these kids who find themselves in this very difficult circumstance," Rubio said. "At some point in the future they would have no more or no less rights than anybody else in the world. They wouldn't be getting any preferential treatment; they'd be just like any other nonimmigrant visa holder who may decide to access the legal immigration system."

Rubio spoke of the importance of the Hispanic vote this election, saying the number one issue in the Hispanic community is "economic empowerment," and voiced his belief that Republicans will acquire more support from Hispanics in Florida than the party did in 2008.

"I expect him to do better than how we did in 2008," Rubio said. "Americans of Hispanic descent, especially in Florida, are swing voters that they're willing to vote for Republicans or Democrats on an election-by-election cycle."

Rubio waived off the suggestion that he is aspiring to be president one day, joking that people who point to him as a future president might mean they see him as president of a different group.

"Maybe they mean of a condominium association.  There's real power there," Rubio said.