Marco Rubio on how he learned he wasn’t Romney’s VP pick; kind words for Nelson, harsh ones for Akinby George Bennett | August 22nd, 2012
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio told a Forum Club of the Palm Beaches luncheon crowd today about the phone conversation he had with Mitt Romney the day before Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate.
“Gov. Romney was gracious enough to call me on Friday evening that week,” Rubio told a crowd of 825 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. “I was out on boat with my kids. I came back and I had four missed calls from Mitt Romney. I go ‘Uh-oh.’ So I talked to him and he said we’re going to be announcing our VP tomorrow and you’re going to be excited about the pick I’ve made.
“And I said, ‘Well, that’s really good news because I just bought a four-day cruise,’ ” said Rubio, who devoted much of his remarks to Medicare.
Rubio was asked by an audience member which Democrats he talks with the most in Washington. He mentioned Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who faces a tough reelection challenge from Republican Rep. Connie Mack.
“Bill Nelson and I have created a pretty good working relationship. On a personal level I have nothing negative to say about him as a person. So I speak with him quite often,” Rubio said.
He also mentioned New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg and Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy.
“You guys see them as characters on television. These are real people. We don’t run into each other at the gym and start trash talking about politics,” said Rubio, who was elected in 2010.
“I haven’t had a bad experience with anybody in the United States Senate. On a person-to-person level, the longer you’re there, the more you like them as people and the more you’re convinced sometimes how bad their ideas are,” Rubio said.
Rubio also joined a chorus of Republicans calling Missouri Rep. Todd Akin to quit his U.S. Senate race after making comments Sunday about women rarely becoming pregnant as a result of “legitimate rape.”
Speaking to reporters after his Forum Club appearance, Rubio said: “I think his comments were distasteful and unfortunate and I think the decision he’s made (to stay in the Senate race) probably endangers the ability of Republicans to win that seat and Republicans to take the majority in the Senate. So I would join other voices out there from Sarah Palin to Mitch McConnell who have advised him to put his country ahead of his candidacy.