The editors of the conservative Weekly Standard want Mitt Romney to "go for the gold" and pick Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioPhase-four virus relief hits a wall On The Money: Senate aims to quickly approve more small-business aid | Dems seek conditions on new funds for small-business loans | Pelosi says next round of relief will top T The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Debruyne Says Global Response Platform Needed; Navarro Saw It Coming MORE (R-Fla.) or Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? The Pelosi administration It's not populism that's killing America's democracy MORE (R-Wis.) as his running mate.

"It's not the first time we've said it, but it could well be the last: Go bold, Mitt! Pick Paul Ryan, the Republican party’s intellectual leader, the man who's laid out the core of the post-Obama policy agenda and gotten his colleagues in Congress to sign on to it. Or pick Marco Rubio, the GOP’s most gifted young politician, the man who embodies what is best about the Tea Party and a vision of a broad-based Republican governing majority of the future," editors Stephen F. Hayes and William Kristol write.


The two warn that Romney needs to vastly improve his standing with Hispanics, especially in Florida, where polling shows him running behind other Republicans who've won the state with that key voting bloc. They also say he's been more closely vetted than many realize.

"The moment he's picked, Rubio will become by far the most prominent Hispanic politician in the country," they write. "And in a contest largely about competing visions of the American dream, against a president who has minimized the importance of hard work as a road to success, Rubio's personal story, of a father who worked as a bartender and a mother as a maid to provide opportunities for their children, would provide a powerful counterargument."

They are as excited about Ryan, pointing out his ability to hold on to a swing district despite his conservative views and polling that shows if he's Romney's running mate Wisconsin's polls tighten to a toss-up.

"Like Rubio, Ryan has appeal beyond his home state. As Rubio would help with a key demographic group, Hispanics, Ryan would help in key states in the Midwest," they write. "And, of course, putting Ryan on the ticket would ensure that the presidential race is a contest of ideas, not just personalities... Of course Democrats will demagogue the entitlement reform proposals in Ryan's budget. But they're going to do that anyway."

If Ryan’s budget is going to be a central part of the debate over the next three months, who better to explain and defend it than Paul Ryan?"

The influential editors also suggest Romney avoid Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanPhase-four virus relief hits a wall GOP senator to donate 2 months of salary in coronavirus fight Senators pen op-ed calling for remote voting amid coronavirus pandemic MORE (R-Ohio) and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R).

"It's become conventional wisdom that Ryan and Rubio would be 'bold' picks, while other choices like Ohio senator Rob Portman and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty are 'safe.' Perhaps. But what looks safe can be risky. Portman, a good man and respected public servant, was George W. Bush's budget director. Pawlenty's presidential campaign was a disaster. The 2010 election was the best for Republicans in a long time. Ryan and Rubio embody the spirit of 2010. Pawlenty and Portman don't."

It's unclear how much Romney's campaign pays attention to Kristol — he's been highly critical of Romney from the start and even since Romney locked up the nomination has been a thorn in his side.