Mitt Romney has given Sen. Marco Rubio plenty of sleepless nights lately.
He taps me… He taps me not.
First, ABC News reports that Rubio is not being vetted by the Romney campaign as a possible running mate. Then, seemingly hours later, Romney declares that the Florida senator is being “thoroughly vetted.”
Through it all, the Tea Party darling has remained tight-lipped about whether or not he’s been in talks with Romney, though it’s unlikely that the two men haven’t discussed the issue yet. Two people can’t simply ignore the rumors about a possible relationship (I learned that with my sixth-grade girlfriend).
As everyone well knows, the argument favoring a Romney-Rubio ticket is that the GOP could gain some much-needed ground with Latinos, many of whom they lost with harsh rhetoric earlier in the election season (something about being fried by an electrified double-fence put off a lot of Latinos to the party’s message of a better America). The opportunity for a Rubio vice-presidency might also help the Republicans win Florida, a key battleground state where the senator remains popular.
In steps Barack Obama – a.k.a. “Black Jesus,” a.k.a. “the Ninja President.”
Through his recent move to end the deportation of tens of thousands of DREAMers – young men and women who… (you know the rest) – Pres. Obama has made Sen. Rubio’s “DREAM Act Lite” plan virtually irrelevant. Maybe that’s why, after the president’s weekend of celebration, Rubio quietly shelved his proposal (it’s like the president ninja-starred the proposal right out of Rubio’s hand).
Surprisingly, however, Rubio came up with a reasonable objection to the president’s move, claiming that the administration’s recent action will make passing legislation on immigration reform this year close to impossible.
“People are going to say to me, ‘Why are we going to need to do anything on this now? It has been dealt with. We can wait until after the election,’ ” Rubio said speaking with The Wall Street Journal. “And it is going to be hard to argue against that.”
The senator has a point, but his argument presumes that the GOP would have come to the table to pass immigration reform legislation in the first place. They wouldn’t have done that, not this year. (Republicans aren’t even willing to raise the debt ceiling to pay the bill for stuff America has already bought.)
In the end, the president did what he had to do – though he could’ve done it much sooner. (Shame on him, but in case we’ve forgotten, government is all politics.)
Now Romney’s openly flirting with the idea of tapping a Latino as his running mate. But who cares? The former Massachusetts governor still plans to reverse Obama’s two key moves on immigration and has even promised to veto the DREAM Act if it’s ever passed during his administration.
I do think Rubio wants to be vice president someday – if not president – but I don’t believe he wants to be Romney’s vice president.
In his new book, An American Son, Rubio says something that you never hear today’s Republican say:
“Many people who came here illegally are doing exactly what we would do if we lived in a country where we couldn’t feed our families. If my kids went to sleep hungry every night and my country didn’t give me an opportunity to feed them, there isn’t a law, no matter how restrictive, that would prevent me from coming here.”
I think Rubes understands Latino issues more than most Republicans; he just got mixed up with the wrong crowd.
It happens too often with promising young Latinos.