Marco Rubio: I'm not going to be the vice president

In an interview with CNN today, Marco Rubio said in no uncertain terms that he’s not going to be the vice president.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, widely speculated to be a top pick for the Republican presidential running mate, once again firmly denied he would join the GOP ticket.

“I’m not going to be the vice president,” Rubio said Friday in an interview with CNN en Español’s Ismael Cala. “I’m not.”

We have two options. We can assume that Rubio meant to imply he wouldn’t join the 2012 GOP ticket under any circumstances — OR — we can parse his words. He didn’t say he wouldn’t join the 2012 GOP ticket, after all. He said he’s not going to be the vice president. Maybe that means he’s still open to run with Mitt Romney — but he doesn’t think they would win.

Please, for sanity’s sake, let’s go with the first one. Rubio’s a rational guy. He wouldn’t voluntarily join what he thinks will be a losing ticket. So, Rubio must be saying he won’t join the GOP ticket. That, though, might stem from the fact that he thinks Mitt Romney won’t win. As the conventional speculation goes, perhaps he has his eyes on 2016.

He said something else in the CNN interview, though, that was even more interesting than his repeated assertion that he won’t be vice president. He suggested that he thinks the idea that a politician can “deliver” the Hispanic vote is an overrated one.

“I’ll tell you, the Hispanic vote has to be earned,” he said. “You can’t just put somebody on there and say, ‘This is gonna deliver it.’ You’ve got to earn it, and primarily I think you earn it through economic policies.”

This is some of the most refreshing political wisdom I’ve read in some time. Voters aren’t necessarily looking for themselves in a presidential or vice presidential candidate; they’re looking for someone who can lead all Americans.

Republicans and Democrats alike fall into the trap of thinking that voters are reducible to a single characteristic — their gender, their race, their income. How long will it take pols to adopt the personalistic norm — to begin to see people not as a means to an end (i.e. a means to their own election) and instead as people, to whom the proper response is love in its fullest sense of wanting what is right and best?

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David Strom 8:41 PM on January 30, 2023