Jeb Bush: Make Rubio the VP nominee; Update: Perry: “I have a better gig”

posted at 9:15 am on March 22, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday’s endorsement of Mitt Romney by former Florida governor Jeb Bush sent the implicit message that the time had come to wrap up the nomination process and begin focusing on the general election.  Bush made that more explicit in an interview with Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Salena Zito — and Bush had an idea how to make the ticket even stronger:

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says Republican front-runner Mitt Romney has earned the right to take on President Obama in November.

“It is time to get behind the nominee,” Bush told the Tribune-Review on Wednesday during a visit to Pittsburgh. “And it is time for the country to focus on the most important thing, which is to elect a president who will create a climate for high growth and job-creating abilities for our country.”

Does he want to be VP?  No, but he knows the man for the job:

“Marco Rubio,” he said of the freshman Florida GOP senator, who served as a volunteer on Bush’s governor’s campaign. Bush described Rubio, 40, as “dynamic, joyful, disciplined and principled.”

“He is the best orator of American politics today, a good family man. He is not only a consistent conservative, but he has managed to find a way to communicate a conservative message full of hope and optimism,” Bush said.

No doubt, Rubio would be a popular choice for a running mate in the GOP.  He routinely wins the polls here at Hot Air for the slot, for example.  If Romney does win the nomination — and that seems just short of certain now — he’d need a popular figure like Rubio among conservatives, and I’m not sure there’s another choice that could help him consolidate the base as effectively.

However, I’m still not sold on this as an effective general-election choice.  Rubio has not had any executive-branch experience yet, and has been in the Senate for a mere 14 months.  He needs more time to garner broader experience before one can make the claim that he has a resumé that justifies him being one heartbeat away from the Presidency.  (Yes, I know Obama only had two years in the Senate before beginning his run for the top spot.  Look how well that’s working out.)  As talented as Rubio is, he has a brilliant career ahead of him if he shows some patience and builds a record of more than just fabulous oratory.  He needs a full term in the Senate with his name on significant legislation, then a term as governor in Florida.  With that kind of record, Rubio might be unbeatable in any cycle.  With four or eight years as VP after less than two in the Senate, Rubio could end up being a historical footnote.

Bobby Jindal makes more sense as a running mate in this cycle, or Nikki Haley, both of whom are governors outside of Washington with Southern draw.  Jindal probably would be better in getting conservatives to coalesce behind him, and he has a real track record of political reform in his second term in the top spot in Louisiana.

Update: Fox asked Rick Perry about rumors of his being on the shortlist, and Perry says that rumor is all it is:

“Texas governor versus VP? The balance on that one isn’t even close,” Perry said. “I would suggest to you that’s deep in the rumor category and I got a better gig where I am, thank you.”

Perry would make a pretty good running mate, though, and would help Romney get conservative backing.  I don’t see Perry in a #2 slot, however, and I doubt he sees himself there either.

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This VP is about Demographics.

Rubio is a twofer (Florida and the Hispanics)

Martinez is a twofer (Female and Hispanic)

If you’re not a woman or Hispanic the gop will NOT be calling you for the VEEP spot.

PappyD61 on March 22, 2012 at 1:11 PM

These “picks by demographics” method has been proven a fail with the Obama Presidency. Obama, chosen overwhelmingly by race and ethnicity. The country is waking up to that as a failed method and I dare add, “even Hispanics” “and women” are doing so.

It’s really insulting to people to think they’re going to be swayed so much by demographics such as “Hispanic” and/or “woman”…

I think both “demographics” have more sense than to assume that the gender and/or the ethnicity is going to make someone a V.P. “just because.”

Someone’s a woman. So, what’s she accomplished, what are her credentials, what’s on her resume as to what her skills and abilities are proven to be? Just because she’s got gender isn’t any reason to assume she then “entitled” to the V.P. and to the Presidency in some national emergency, heaven forbid.

Same goes for anyone who is Hispanic. What’s on their resume? What have they accomplished? What are their abilities, what’s their character? Just having ethnicity isn’t a qualification for much of anything except to be counted as ethnicity and I think most voters today are not so easily swayed as so many were about Obama for similar empty-boxes as to who he was because he was “black” and that made him, uhh, President!

Lourdes on March 23, 2012 at 7:09 AM

I’ll vote for Mitt.

Mitt/Ryan 2012!

annoyinglittletwerp on March 22, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Agreed, there. But I’m keen on either combination because of the V.P. character’s qualifications, not because of what his or anyone’s DNA is or might be.

But I also think quite strongly that the issue of just what “natural born” means in the context of how it was (and still is) required by the Constitution.

WE know what citizenship is and why, but that “also ran” of “natural born” requirement in there remains unresolved and it really needs to be. Until or unless it is, the difference of opinions will continue.

Lourdes on March 23, 2012 at 7:16 AM

Like Obama was not eligible, Rubio is not eligible; two wrongs do not make a right.

insidiator on March 23, 2012 at 8:07 AM

Rubio would be my first preference. Others might be good, but Rubio would be outstanding.

First and foremost, he articulates the conservative cause better than any other well-known politician, except maybe for Gingrich. That would be a huge advantage in the campaign. Moreover, his rhetoric seems to reflect his thinking, which would be a very good thing to have in a Vice President, assuming the President is wise enough to listen to him.

Then there are the demographic and geographic factors. They aren’t as important as the other factors, but they are important enough to be considered.

Rubio has said he’s not interested in being VP, but when push comes to shove, he could probably be persuaded.

JayDick on March 23, 2012 at 9:16 AM

For Pete’s sake! Bobby Jindal is a great guy, and a fine governor, but he is not NBC. He is not eligible to serve.

NTXLass on March 23, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Romney will go with McDonnell for a couple of reasons: Romney HAS to have Virginia, and Romney isn’t going to choose any running mate who’ll overshadow Mitt himself.

ddrintn on March 24, 2012 at 8:39 AM

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