Rubio on the Race
He backs Romney, but seeks to quell veep rumors.

Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.)


Jim Geraghty

NRO: Did you vote for Romney?

Rubio: I always keep my primary votes a secret, unless I’m openly endorsing, because then it’s a cute way of saying I endorsed or I didn’t. Unless I’m endorsing in a primary, I never announce who I voted for.

NRO: Were you tempted, at any point, to formally endorse earlier?

Rubio: No, I thought primaries were good, and I think the primary has been exactly what I thought it would be, a way to make our party stronger in the long run. Like all primaries, it has forced our candidates to address the issues and take specific positions on the campaign trail. Voters have something to hold you accountable to [once you’re in office]. I think Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have a lot to be proud of, and they have made contributions to the Republican party and our chances of winning in November. To some, all the back-and-forth may seem painful in March and February, but I think in October it’s going to make us a stronger party. Both of these candidates have contributed greatly; they have nothing to be ashamed of, and a lot to be proud of. This is not anything personal about either of them. But I think once they both admitted that the only path to victory was a floor fight in August, I felt that it was time to get behind the winner of our primary, and that’s Mitt Romney.

NRO: So . . . you’re probably sick of being asked questions about being someone’s running mate.

Rubio: I guess I’m flattered that people ask about it — people don’t usually ask that about someone who they don’t think is credible.

But it’s not going to happen. My answer on that issue hasn’t changed.

NRO: When you say it’s not going to happen, do you mean you don’t expect to be asked, or that if offered, you would turn it down?

Rubio: When you say it’s not going to happen and you’re not interested, they’re not going to ask. You don’t ask somebody to be your vice president who has already said they’re not interested. It doesn’t work that way, as you well know. There’s a process to selecting a vice president. It’s not like asking someone to go to the prom. This is a very significant decision that involves a lengthy process. If you’re not involved in that process because you’ve made it clear you’re not interested, you’re not going to be asked.

NRO: So this is you sending a signal, “don’t ask.”

Rubio: I’m focused on some other things going on right now. Particularly some issues that I look forward to being involved with in a majority in the Senate, if, God willing, we’re able to win in November.

NRO: Have you followed the coverage of the oral arguments about Obamacare before the Supreme Court?

Rubio: I have.