By Justin Sink
Despite widespread speculation that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is one of the top names under consideration for Mitt Romney's vice presidential nomination, the freshman senator has not been asked to complete any questionnaires or fill out any financial disclosure documents, according to a report by ABC News.
Rubio has long been considered a front-runner for the job, bringing conservative bona fides and high popularity in the crucial swing state of Florida to a potential ticket.
And so far, indications had been that Rubio was very much in the running. The senator has appeared multiple times on the campaign trail with Romney since the former governor clinched the GOP nomination, earning a warm reception from the assembled crowds. Ties are strong between Romney and Rubio staffers, with many top-level advisers having spent time working for both men. The Florida lawmaker is also slated to appear at a high-dollar fundraiser in New York City with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) for the super-PAC backing Romney's effort.
"He said something that will stay with me a long time,” Romney recalled at a recent rally in Iowa. “He said when I was a boy living poor in this country with my family, we saw some other homes, great big homes and fancy cars. He said, ‘I never heard my parents say, 'Why can’t we have what they have?' Instead my parents said, 'Aren’t we lucky to live in a country where with education and hard work, there’s a shot we have of earning that ourselves?’ That’s the nature of America. We’re the land of opportunity.”
That Rubio reportedly has not been asked to begin the disclosure process is a discouraging sign, especially since it has been nearly two months since Romney tapped adviser Beth Meyers to run his vice presidential vetting process.
While there remain more than two months before the Republican national convention, shortly before which running mates are traditionally debuted, reports are that the Romney campaign is looking to avoid a hasty vetting process after concerns over the handling of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's quick nomination in 2008.
The Romney campaign has routinely denied requests for comment on the vice presidential search.
Still, Rubio is not the only high-profile vice presidential possibility not to have yet been asked for disclosure documents. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell — another prominent Romney backer from a crucial swing state — said late last month that he had not been asked to turn over any vetting documents.