Well, this is strange.
Yesterday, someone presumably close to the Romney campaign leaked information to ABC News that Sen. Marco Rubio was not being vetted as a potential Romney running mate. It was a sloppy move that left both Romney and Rubio looking bad. Well, late yesterday Romney took the unusual step of publicly announcing that Rubio was indeed being "thoroughly vetted." Does this mean we should get ready for VP Rubio? Well, right now it's all just political theater.
Knowledgeable Republican sources tell me that Rubio is not being vetted by Mitt Romney's vice presidential search team. He has not been asked to complete any questionnaires or been asked to turn over any financial documents typically required of potential vice presidential candidates.
The timing was odd. Yesterday was also the release of Rubio's hotly anticipated memoir, An American Son
. His publishing company at least almost certainly was hoping that buzz Rubio could be chosen as the GOP running mate would goose book sales, and we doubt anyone in the Rubio campaign is pleased the Romney camp decided to time the leak with his book release.
But! Then Romney himself came to the rescue, and said flat out that Rubio is being "thoroughly vetted."
"I can't imagine who such people are, but I can tell you this: They know nothing about the vice presidential selection or evaluation process," Romney said from Michigan yesterday
. "The story was entirely false. Marco Rubio is being thoroughly vetted as part of our process."
It's quite odd for a candidate to talk so openly about their VP selection process, especially the usually tight lipped Romney.
Truth is, he wasn't given much of a choice. Rubio is a shining star among three groups that are key to his chances of being elected: Floridians, Hispanics and Tea Partiers. That doesn't mean he has to chose Rubio, that just means he shouldn't piss him off either group. And throwing cold water on someone the day their book is released certainly has a way of pissing people off.
Though, this isn't the first time a supposed source close to Romney has nixed Rubio's chances of being chosen.
Back in May, supposed Rubio insiders told BuzzFeed that Romney was likely to chose a "boring white guy."
Rubio is of course a boring white guy, but apparently not boring or white enough.