Reporting Tim Kephart
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani knows who he’d pick to be Mitt Romney’s running mate if he was advising the presidential candidate.
“I kinda prefer Marco Rubio,” Giuliani on Thursday on “CBS This Morning.” “Marco Rubio is more qualified than President Obama was when President Obama ran for president,” he said, adding that the “most important” consideration when picking a vice president is making sure he or she is ready to be president.
“Vice presidents don’t win for the president, they lose for the president,” he added.
Giuliani is the latest to put their weight behind Rubio as the VP selection. It comes as speculation over who Romney will pick has escalated.
Senator Rubio’s appeal is obvious for Romney: he’s from the swing state of Florida, very charismatic, loved by the most conservative wings of the party, would help in Hispanic outreach, and has a history of leading as speaker of the Florida House.
“[H]e adds the element of outreach to the Hispanic vote and outreach to young people,” Romney said. “The party needs help in both of those areas.”
However, Rubio’s never been fully vetted on the national level and rumors of financial problems and ties to controversial members like Congressman David Rivera could prove too much for him to overcome as a vice-presidential selection.
NBC News reported late Wednesday that the final three candidates for the vice-presidency were Senator Rob Portman of Ohio; Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin; and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.
Portman has a history in Washington and served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget from May 2006 to June 2007. Portman has a solid voting record as a Republican and if his popularity in his home state holds could swing one of the biggest states available this November to Romney.
Representative Ryan has authored the Republican budget that has received complete support from Republicans in the House of Representatives and from Romney himself. He’s beloved by the right and cites Ayn Rand as one of the most influential figures in his political ideology.
Selecting Ryan could bring the most risk to Romney. Ryan’s budget was throttled by public opinion polls, independents, and Democrats for ending Medicare as it exists today and turning it into a block grant for the states.
Changing Medicare and turning it, along with the deficit, into the main campaign theme and away from the overall economy could be problematic for Romney’s campaign. Still, selecting Ryan or Rubio would give the Romney campaign a much-needed lift after a rough summer.
Pawlenty has executive experience as governor of Minnesota and was a former presidential candidate himself. He was also one of the first candidates to drop out and give full support to Romney and has never strayed from the message.
Pawlenty and Portman are considered by pundits to be the safest choices not likely to do any damage to Romney’s overall standing.