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GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney introduces his vice presidential running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) in Ashland, Virginia, Aug. 11, 2012
Romney announced this morning that he has chosen Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the chair of the House Budget Committee described by Reuters as a "conservative budget hawk," over the oft-mentioned Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, or the sometimes-mentioned Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico.
It wasn't an unexpected move. Critics had never quite warmed to the idea of Romney choosing a Latino candidate, and the conversation had always been surrounded by talk of how it could be perceived as pandering to win much-needed Latino votes.
Now that we know who Romney's running mate will be, here are a few early reactions to his not choosing a Latino veep candidate.
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Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, left, with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania, April 23, 2012
Now that Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney has said that Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is being vetted as a potential vice-presidential running mate pick, along with others, the debate over whether or not Rubio can help steer much-needed Latino voters toward Romney has resurfaced.
There's nothing set in stone, but Romney confirmed the vetting after ABC News reported that Rubio wasn't a contender, a story Romney denied. Rubio, who earlier this year said he wasn't interested, is keeping mum on the whole thing. Not that it's been an easy week for him, but that's another story.
Interestingly, on Monday, a Christian Science Monitor headline asked, "Did Obama's immigration move make Marco Rubio a more likely veep pick?" The move referred to, of course, is President Obama's announcement last Friday that he would not seek to deport some young undocumented immigrants, allowing them instead to apply for temporary legal status and work permits. Obama's plan more or less rendered moot a yet-to-be-filed proposal from Rubio that promised similar relief for undocumented youths attending college or joining the military. From the Monitor piece:
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Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida
Florida's Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has said a couple of times in the last week that he has no intention of running for vice president with GOP presidential nominee-apparent Mitt Romney, but that hasn't stopped the speculation that he still might.
His seeming Freudian slip this week during a meeting with press didn't help: "If in four, five, six, seven years from now, if I do a good job as vice president - I'm sorry, as senator - I'll have the chance to do all sorts of things." It prompted laughs and of yes, more speculation.
Rubio is one of a few potential veep picks, among them former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. But Bush, while he said he'd consider it, passed the buck back to Rubio in a recent interview, calling Rubio "possibly the best" choice.
The bulk of the nation's Latino voters might be harder to convince. In spite of a recent turnabout that has included developing a stripped-down version of the Development, Relief and Education for Immigrant Minors (DREAM) Act without a clear path to citizenship, Rubio is still remembered for his tough talk on immigration in 2010. He also belongs to specific subset of Latino voters, i.e. conservative Cuban American South Floridians, who have relatively little in common politically with most Latino voters in other parts of the country.