Here’s the Nonsense: Marco Rubio is clearly the best choice for the VP slot with Romney. He’ll bring the Hispanic vote, is a solid conservative who can bring the conservative base, and is a well-spoken and highly thought of politician to which people are drawn.
Here’s the Horse Sense: Marco Rubio is popular, likable, and has some positive traits, but he has a lot of baggage that could bring the Romney campaign down more than lift it up.
Marco Rubio appears to be the golden child to many Republicans. As they salivate over the chance that Mitt Romney can pull off an election victory against Obama, many are thinking Rubio could put the campaign over the top to win the election. But deeper examination of the facts show that Rubio actually may not be able to deliver what those supporters are hoping. In fact, he might just be a drag on the Romney campaign that would make success against Obama harder to achieve.
In Florida, where the Hispanic vote is huge and very important to either party, the election results can be determined entirely by that population. Recent polls have shown that Romney’s chances of winning in Florida against Obama go down if Rubio is the VP nominee. Further, Romney’s chances are better if he selects Jeb Bush, which is somewhat understandable because of Bush’s huge popularity and success as governor in Florida. Although a Bush choice would create a formidable problem elsewhere in the country where he is not as well known, let alone the impact of his family name that would be sure to be a difficult handicap to overcome. Plus, Bush has expressed no interest in a VP slot with Romney. But Rubio would also have to overcome a Florida approval rating among Hispanics of only 39%. Obama’s approval rating among Florida Hispanics is much higher at 52%.
At such a young age (40) which is even younger than Obama was when he ran as a totally unqualified candidate, Rubio also carries one of the problems that Obama did. He has absolutely no executive experience. And his young age should be a negative to older voters who will be even more wary of inexperience (both life and professional) after the debacle of the Obama presidency. Someone with more experience in leadership would be a more attractive choice. Mitt Romney touts executive experience as being important and uses that against Obama. But it would hurt him to put himself in a position where Obama could reply to that saying that if it’s so important, then why has Romney chosen someone for VP who has no experience, and, by Romney’s own formula would not be able to successfully step immediately into the president’s place should a tragedy occur? If Romney wants to choose someone with an Hispanic background and executive experience, considering someone like Susana Martinez, the governor of New Mexico may be a better consideration.
Romney has a lot of people to win over to win the general election. With Ron Paul having just said that he has no plans to exit the race and that he may not support Romney, this leaves the significant possibility that his followers may not vote for Romney whether Paul chooses a third party run or not. That is a virtual guarantee of an Obama re-election victory unless Romney can draw in a lot more people.
Romney’s choice of VP may be one of the most critical decisions of any Republican campaign in recent history. He better choose very carefully or he could be choosing a loss against Obama.