Rubio: ‘I’m Not Running for President in 2012’

by Brian Bolduc

Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) tangoes with ABC News’ senior political correspondent, Jonathan Karl. (H/t: Christian Heinze)

RUBIO:The reality is that I ran for the United States Senate for a simple reason. The United States Senate is a pretty important job, too.

KARL: There’s no question the Senate is an important job, but are you not ready to be president?

RUBIO: I think the problem is: I just got elected three months ago, and so how can I be a full-time United Sates Senator if my eyes are already on running for something else?

KARL: Okay, so that’s a reason. Would you also say you’re not ready? I mean, you’ve only been in the Senate for 10, 11 weeks.

RUBIO: Well, that assumes being a U.S. Senator necessarily prepares you to be president. I think what prepares you to be president is to have a pretty clear vision of what America should be in the world.

KARL: But do you have that clear vision? Do you have those things you just articulated?

RUBIO: Well, I think a United States Senator needs the same things, as well.

KARL: But do you have that. If those considerations — are you qualified to be president?

RUBIO: Well, now what you’re asking me is something different. You’re asking me: do I have a clear vision for the role that America’s government should play in America? I do, and that’s what I ran on.

KARL: I’m just saying what you say a president needs to have.

RUBIO: Yeah, but a U.S. Senator needs to have it, too.

KARL: Do you categorically rule it out? Is there absolutely no way under any circumstances that you would run for president?

RUBIO: Even speculating about it is problematic, because when you speculate about it, what you’re basically saying is: I’m thinking about something other than the job right now.

KARL: Okay, I’m not asking you for speculation. Would you rule it out?

RUBIO: You are asking me to speculate.

KARL: We can end all speculation now.

RUBIO: I’m not running for president in 2012.

KARL: No way?

RUBIO: No, because I want to be a United States Senator. I want to be the best United States Senator that Florida’s ever had.

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