Over the last several days, Romney's been holding a kind of audition for several running mates -- Rob Portman, Kelly Ayotte, Tim Pawlenty, Paul Ryan -- during his bus tour through the Rust Belt, but Florida Sen. Marco Rubio did not make the trip. Maybe that's because he's not being vetted by the Romney campaign, ABC News' Jon Karl reports. Despite all the political hype around Rubio, he hasn't yet been asked for financial records or to fill out questionnaires, even though Romney's vetting process began two months ago.
That revelation comes one day after Rubio announced that he would not try to pass his version of the Dream Act -- which would allow the most sympathetic illegal immigrants to stay in America -- because President Obama "dealt with" the issue by issuing an executive order stopping the deportation of young illegal immigrants. That put Rubio back on-message with the Republican party's line on illegal immigration, even though Rubio hadn't yet drafted the legislation. So it's a funny parallel that Romney talked a lot about how Rubio embodied the American Dream, but according to ABC News, he was never serious about actually picking him to be VP. National Journal's Josh Kraushaar suggests that while Romney would like Latinos votes, he needs working-class whites even more.
In describing the try-outs for Romney's running mate Monday, The New York Times' Jeff Zeleny and Ashley Parker reported that Rubio's name was frequently mentioned by top campaign donors, and that he's "is increasingly being dispatched by the campaign to appear at fund-raisers across the country." He's headlining a fundraiser for Romney's Super PAC at the Waldorf Astoria in New York this week, The Wall Street Journal reports. So even if Rubio isn't vice presidential material, there's still at least one thing he can do for Romney.
Update: Republican consultant and Rubio-backer Ana Navarro insisted to BuzzFeed that Rubio is totally going to get vetted. But she's not entirely convincing: "There is nothing to gain for Mitt Romney from a leaked rumor that Marco Rubio is not being vetted... He has won two CPAC polls, he’s very beloved by the base, and he’s an effective surrogate and fundraiser. There is a lot more to gain from the perception that he’s being vetted than reports saying that he isn’t."