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Stumble over Rubio vetting highlights opportunity in VP selection process.
“Marco Rubio is being thoroughly vetted as part of our
— Mitt Romney in response to an ABC News report to the contrary
And so, a stumble.
The other day ABC News rushed out a story that startled. Said ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl, “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.”
“Rubio,” of course, is Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Senator Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, is a favorite of the GOP’s conservative base. Two recent polls at conservative gatherings in Chicago and Las Vegas vaulted the Floridian to first place in the veep sweepstakes. He is a rising political star, and the news that a potential candidate so universally favored was not even being vetted rippled through the political universe with the force of a small earthquake.
Mr. Karl of ABC is no slouch as a political reporter, and doubtless he did have it straight from “knowledgeable Republican sources” that “Rubio is not being vetted by Mitt Romney’s vice presidential search team.”
The problem? These “knowledgeable Republican sources” did not include — Mitt Romney. Who, upon hearing the story, was put in the surely annoyingly awkward position of having to spend time at a campaign rally in Michigan saying, “Marco Rubio is being thoroughly vetted as part of our process.”
Thus, a stumble for the Romney vice presidential process — and a decidedly unnecessary one.
By Tuesday night Mr. Romney, along with wife Ann, was on Sean Hannity’s TV show to explain:
I get a kick out of some of the speculation that goes on uh… and uh… I’m not going to comment on the process of course… But I can tell you this. Only Beth Myers and I know who’s being vetted.
Beth Myers is a longtime Romney aide who is in charge of the candidate’s vice-presidential selection process.
A process which, as this incident with the ABC story indicates, isn’t working well.
What is Romney communicating to his fellow countrymen when he says, “I’m not going to comment on the process of course…But I can tell you this. Only Beth Myers and I know who’s being vetted”?
Surely unintentionally the Governor is communicating that he has a thing for the game of secret squirrel, the childhood taunt of “I know something you don’t know.”
Is it a good idea that only Romney and Ms. Myers know Romney’s innermost thoughts on those being vetted as his potential vice president? It’s not just good, it’s excellent and necessary.
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