Jeb Bush says he'd consider vice presidency but Rubio 'best' choice

WEST PALM BEACH — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he’d consider running as vice president with Mitt Romney, but doubts he’ll ever be asked.

Bush tells the conservative website Newsmax that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is “probably the best” choice to share the ticket with Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Bush said he hopes the freshman senator is offered the No. 2 slot and accepts it.

Rubio has said repeatedly that he isn’t interested in leaving the Senate.

Bush said he’d consider running if Romney were to ask him. But the former governor added that he’s not sure running for vice president is the right thing for him and said he’s doubtful he’d even receive the call.

Romney is expected to put experience at the top of his list of qualities as he chooses a No. 2, according to senior advisers and GOP operatives familiar with his thinking. Romney has laid out only one other public criterion for his running mate: that he or she oppose abortion.

When asked about Rubio earlier this week, Romney hedged, as he has consistently in recent months.

“Well I think he’s one of the terrific leaders in our party, but I think it’s way too early to begin narrowing down who the potential vice presidential nominees might be,” Romney said in an interview with ABC News.

The junior Florida senator has little experience, in the midst of only his second year on Capitol Hill. Still, Rubio is a conservative favorite, a rising star within the Republican Party and potential bridge to the growing Hispanic voting bloc, which typically favors Democrats.

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