Appearing on America’s Morning News, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) took issue with a story that appeared in the Daily Caller today. That DC story centers on a retreat that presumed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is holding this weekend with a group that looks like a short list for vice president. Included in the group are major Republican names including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and South Dakota Sen. John Thune. The story says the retreat is called the “Romney Victory Founding Members Retreat” and takes place in Utah this weekend. But one person, according to the Daily Caller, has been “excluded” from the event who, like the other names mentioned, has been frequently mentioned as a possible Romney running mate: Sen. Marco Rubio.
Sen. Rubio said this morning that he was not excluded at all. Click to listen to the exclusive audio.
AMERICA’S MORNING NEWS HOST JOHN McCASLIN: It’s been a very very newsy week surrounding you sir…the exclusion comes after reports that your campaign was not being vetted, or the campaign of Mitt Romney was not vetting you as a potential vice presidential pick and now we’ve got word from the Daily Caller this morning that Mitt Romney is going to be holding a weekend retreat with vice presidential potentials and they’re excluding you. What’s your reaction to that?
SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Well, I don’t comment on the vice presidential process. I’ll be more than happy about this weekend’s issue, I can only say that that report’s not accurate. I’m not excluded, we were certainly invited to come. Unfortunately I have a speech tomorrow in Orlando, I have an appearance on Meet the Press Sunday, I have book events…and if you read my book, American Son, what I think people will take from it is I have four little kids and one of the things I talk about in the book is the balance between work and family. So, if I head out to Utah this weekend I won’t see my kids.
Sen. Rubio also previewed Mitt Romney’s speech to the National Coalition of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials today. Rubio took a direct shot at President Obama’s immigration policy shift announced on Friday. The senator said that it is clear that Mitt Romney is pro-legal immigration, as is the Republican Party. Saying that we have to be a nation of laws, Rubio asked a pointed question: “What do we say to these people that are abroad waiting to emigrate to the US legally, who are doing everything right, they’ve paid their fees, they waited in line, what do we say to them? Come here illegally because it’s cheaper and quicker? That can’t be our position. And no one talks about that.” Rubio accused President Obama of “injecting election year politics” into immigration after “seeing reports in poll after poll among Hispanic voters…because of how much Hispanics are suffering under this president’s economic policy, intensity of support for the president was down, and he was looking for something to change that.”
Rubio also said that “everything is political with this White House” including “our national security, that’s why they leak all kinds of stuff to make themselves look big and tough, to this immigration policy.” Sen. Rubio said that the president never tried to find a way to work with anyone on immigration before pulling “this election year stunt,” which will hurt the young illegal aliens in the process.