NOW with Alex Wagner | June 25, 2012
>>> i don't want to be the vice president of the united states . i want to be a senator. i want to be senator from florida.
>> under no circumstances would you serve on a ticket in 2012 ?
>> no, i'm not going to be on the ticket in 2012 .
>> under no circumstances?
>> under no circumstances.
>> senator, do you stand by that answer?
>> i thought you told me you would burn the tapes.
>> you stand by that?
>> i'm not discussing the vice presidential process anymore. i made the decision two months ago not to discuss it any further.
>> that was marco rubio on "meet the press" yesterday refusing to answer questions about whether he wants to be mitt romney 's running mate. also worth noting, weighing in on east coast versus west coast rap . in just two years, rubio has become one of the gop's most prominent voices but does he have what it takes to make it to the white house ? manuel roig-franzia is a staff writer at the " washington post " and author of "the rise of marco rubio ." thanks for joining us.
>> great to be here.
>> certainly a big day as far as immigration and latin and hispanic issues. marco rubio has been in the news much lately. this morning he was on fox talking about the arizona law before the ruling. i wonder what you think as far as how this immigration debate plays out in the long term which is to say until november for marco rubio .
>> it's a complicated situation for marco rubio , because he has been very busy of late saying that the republican party needs to change its tone on immigration, has to talk differently about immigration, but during his campaign, voters will be reminded about this if he's on the ticket, he said that he would have voted for the arizona papers please law and that will be weighed against his current statements.
>> i want to open this up to the panel in talking about veep-stakes which we will talk about ad nauseam until there actually is a veep. john heilemann, given the contours of this race, and the issues at hand, how likely do we think marco rubio is in terms of a potential nominee?
>> i sound like a broken record when i'm on this show.
>> you never sound like a broken record .
>> like a scratchy broken record .
>> scratchy, perhaps.
>> look, i have never thought marco rubio would be on the ticket and i still don't think he will be on the target. it has absolutely nothing to do with immigration. the romney campaign has internalized the notion you need to put someone on the ticket who immediately clears the bar of ready to be commander in chief on day one. marco rubio , who has an incredibly bright future in the republican party , does not pass that test. then if you think about all the additional elements of what romney is trying to make the election about is barack obama , his management of the economy, what you do not want as a running mate that will generate a lot of stories about various controversial aspects of their past, about their readiness, about the dueling biographies, all those things are just distractions from what they want the election to be about. i have always thought, i think the immigration thing has almost nothing to do with it. i don't think he was ever going to be on the ticket and i still don't.
>> despite much pontification and analysis.
>> not by me.
>> not by john heilemann. manuel , i want to ask you in terms of liabilities, in the book you talk about stories during marco rubio 's senate run that he charged thousands of dollars in personal items to party-issued credit cards , there is some questions about some home sales, you know, but you say his defenders promoted what would become a stock narrative that was wholly accepted by rubio friendly reporters and publications. rubio was simply sloppy but not corrupt. tell us more about that.
>> what you're referring to is a credit card that marco rubio was given by the republican party of florida and he used that credit card for a lot of personal things, and some of them were just plain silly, like movie tickets and wine at a wine shop near his house, and expensive salon bill of $130 or so. now, he went back and repaid those and said it was just a mixup, but it got to this question of what he is saying about fiscal responsibility , he really preaches fiscal responsibility for the government, and the way that he's living it in his own life. i'll tell you, there's another one and it will also be discussed if he was ever to be put on the ticket or in the final vetting stages, and that is that he owns a house in tallahassee with david rivera, a congressman from florida. that house was about to be put into foreclosure by a bank until they were able to scramble and pay the bill. so all of these things fit into the opposite narrative that he's trying to talk about that he's a person who is all about small government and fiscal responsibility .
>> veep-stakes or no, it is certainly not the last we will hear of marco rubio . the book is "the rise of marco rubio ." manuel roig-franzia, thanks for joining the program.