By Justin Sink - 03/28/12 06:29 PM EDT
"I'm not going to be the vice presidential nominee, but I'm always flattered when people bring it up, I think they mean it as a compliment," Rubio said on MSNBC.
Rubio added that there were "a few things I'd like to get done here first in the Senate," prompting host Andrea Mitchell to ask if he couldn't accomplish more as vice president.
Rubio has steadfastly denied interest in joining the ticket, although political observers in Washington largely believe the senator is playing coy. Recent decisions to move the release of an autobiography to summer and expenditures by his political action committee to vet his past have GOP insiders predicting that Rubio is reading himself for a run.
The Florida lawmaker, who is Cuban-American, spent the majority of the segment discussing Pope Benedict's visit to Cuba. Mitchell was broadcasting from Havana Wednesday.
Rubio praised the pope for a sermon he said "shown a light on Cuba, [and] on the fact there is no political space and no political liberty in that country."
"I think he's actually said some pretty powerful things when he talks about freedom, when he talks about liberty, when he specifically singles out Marxism," Rubio said.
Rubio also dismissed the notion that the trade embargo with the communist nation should be lifted in hope that economic exchanges would inspire a growth of freedom in the country.
"The Cuban economy, to the extent that exists, can buy products from all over the world, that's not the cause of the suffering of the Cuban people… the reason why the Cuban economy is in shambles is the people in charge of the country have no idea what they're doing," Rubio said.
Rubio also touched on the controversial shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, urging people to reserve judgment on the situation -- or Florida's "Stand Your Ground" gun laws -- until all the facts emerge.
"I would just caution people to wait until all the facts come out… we should all be clamoring for the truth," Rubio said.