Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the Spanish-speaking son of Cuban immigrants and a rising star in the Republican ranks, is generating more excitement and controversy — and potentially some hard feelings — inside the party than likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been able to create this year.
But while many in the party see Mr. Rubio as an ideal running mate for Mr. Romney in a year in which both the Hispanic vote and the senator’s home state could prove crucial, the dance between the two men on whether Mr. Rubio is or isn’t in the running has proven unusually awkward in the early stages. Rarely has such confusion and disagreement attended a potential vice presidential pick.
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“This has been handled clumsily enough to raise questions at a time when Romney doesn’t need it,” said John Zogby, who conducts polls for The Washington Times.
There are questions surrounding the first-term senator — including reports of personal financial troubles in the past — but the press leaks this week that the Romney camp wasn’t even vetting Mr. Rubio for the job — denied immediately by the candidate — and that the senator had been “excluded” from a Romney retreat in Utah this weekend only added to the image of confusion.
“The Romney camp is missing the point that whatever issues may come with Rubio — his personal financial debt in particular — they pale in comparison to the hit [the campaign] took this week with Hispanic voters and the fact that Rubio would lock down the extremely expensive TV multimedia market of Florida,” said GOP pollster Matt Towery.
Read More at The Washington Times. By Ralph Z. Hallow.