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Mitt Romney says Marco Rubio is being vetted for VP. What's going on? (+video)

First, news reports said Sen. Marco Rubio is not under consideration as a running mate for the GOP ticket. Then Mitt Romney himself said the Florida senator is 'being throughly vetted.' Either way, it wasn't the best day for Rubio.

By Staff writer / June 20, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, campaigning with Sen. Marco Rubio (R) of Florida, talks to reporters in Aston, Pa., on April 23.

Jae C. Hong/AP/File

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Washington

In the span of a day, Marco Rubio has gone from apparently being off the list of potential running mates for Mitt Romney to being back on.

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Sen. Marco Rubio appears on 'CBS This Morning' to discuss his new book, but not the Romney VP vetting process.

Tuesday evening, Mr. Romney told campaign reporters at an unscheduled stop in Michigan that Senator Rubio of Florida was “being thoroughly vetted as part of our process.”

Just that morning, ABC News had cited “knowledgeable Republican sources” saying that Romney’s vice presidential search team had not asked Rubio, one of the party’s rising stars, to complete any questionnaires or turn over any financial documents, the usual procedure for a possible running mate. The Washington Post confirmed the report with an “outside Romney adviser,” who nevertheless left open the possibility that Rubio could still be vetted.

So is Rubio under consideration or not? It never made sense for him not to be, or at least for the Romney campaign to appear to be considering him by asking for the usual documents. Rubio is a young, charismatic, Hispanic conservative from a top battleground state, Florida. In recent weeks, his star had waned as a possible running mate, as safer choices emerged as more likely – people like Sen. Rob Portman (R) of Ohio and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) of Minnesota.

Rubio, the new conventional wisdom went, is too young (early 40s) and untested. In short, he could have become another Sarah Palin, a choice that electrifies the conservative GOP base but isn’t widely perceived as being ready to be president on Day One if need be. Romney’s management style suggests that he’s not a gambler like 2008 GOP nominee John McCain, who selected Ms. Palin, the charismatic but (at the time) nationally untested governor of Alaska.

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