Why Marco Rubio Would Have Been Better Than Paul Ryan

ByJim Gallagher

As the presidential race heats up, the selection of Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee will be revealed this morning -- and the likely pick is Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.).

However, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who also was in the short list, would have been a better choice for Romney. 

With Florida being one of the key states in the national election, Rubio’s inclusion as VP would have helped Romney win the presidency.  

Rubio is a very well regarded figure in Florida political circles, and to most folks in the state. He seems to cross the boundaries between the ethnic Cuban population and the mainstream Republican base with a hint of Tea Party thrown in.  

Rubio's backers include Rush Limbaugh and George Will, so his Republican conservative credentials seem solid and he doesn’t seem to generate the negative press in this state the way most politicians do.  

His only faux pas to date seems to be a claim about when his parents actually arrived in the United States from Cuba. Some claim Rubio leaned on the anti-Castro sentiment with a claim that his parents left Cuba under Castro in 1959 when, in fact they left under the dictator Batista in 1956.  

While there was some consternation over the details, the fact that his parents left Cuba under a dictatorship seems to have been the overriding factor. In fact, the lack of a “downside” may be his most valuable trait. His one break with the Republican platform comes with his support for the “Dream Act” that has, so far, not gathered much support from Republicans but has turned the heads of many Democrats and Independents.

"Vice presidents don't win for the president, they lose for the president,” Rudy Giuliani.  If Romney had looking for a running mate that would have added to his campaign chances and not bring “baggage” to the process, Marco Rubio would have been the best choice.