Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Rubio as VP: Is the Fix In or Is He Out?

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As is now being widely reported, Mitt Romney told reporters in Michigan on Tuesday that “Marco Rubio is being thoroughly vetted as part of our process.”

This announcement is a surprise to no one, as the young senator’s name has been bandied about as a possible VP since the beginning of the Romney campaign.

What is perhaps more newsworthy is the insinuation by some that the consideration of Rubio is less of a surprise to some than it is to others.

In an article published by Politico last month, Romney’s selection of Rubio is described as “all but a lock,” as some believe that the young Floridian was already tapped by the influential Bilderberger group to fill that role.

Politico writes:

The speculation holds, the Bilderberg Group is set to hold its annual meeting in the coming weeks at a Northern Virginia hotel where, among other things, they likely will select Rubio as Romney’s running mate.

This wouldn’t be the first time the Bilderberg group has played a role in that selection. In 2004, for example, John Edwards was invited to speak at the confab, an honor that resulted in his placement on the Democratic Party ticket with John Kerry. Then, in 2008, a similar scenario led to Barack Obama’s “choosing” of Joe Biden to be his VP.

This year, the smart money is on Rubio’s chances to get the nod to fill the second spot on the GOP’s 2012 presidential ticket. Just last month he jetted down to Colombia to hobnob with the hemisphere’s elite at the Summit of the Americas. This is certainly a smart move for someone who wants to attract the attention of the movers and shakers that might have had a seat on the unofficial selection committee that just wrapped up business in Chantilly, Virginia.

Politico identifies the spark that set off the firestorm:

The Rubio-Bilderberg rumors caught fire last month after veteran Washington Post columnist Al Kamen suggested that the Florida senator’s appearance before last month’s Summit of the Americas in Colombia could boost his veepstakes prospects, just as Edwards’s 2004 Bilderberg speech did.

That was enough for the popular anti-government website Infowars to conclude in a blaring headline: “Washington Post Suggests Bilderberg Group to Pick Romney’s Running Mate,” while a website called the Globalist Report also relied on Kamen’s column for a post asking: “will Mitt Romney be attending the next Bilderberg Group meeting?”

For his part, Governor Romney is denying that anyone other than himself and a couple of top advisers knows anything about who is being considered as a potential running mate:

“There are only two people in this country who know who are being vetted and who are not, and that’s Beth Myers and myself. And I know Beth well. She doesn’t talk to anybody,” Romney said.

A spokesman for the Romney campaign told the Washington Post that he wasn’t sure “when or whether Rubio submitted his vetting paperwork,” echoing his boss’s statement that the process is being kept under wraps by Myers, a “longtime Romney confidant” who for two months has been conducting the search for a VP.

This latest flurry of stories began when ABC News reported that Rubio had not been asked to submit a questionnaire or financial statements that would likely be required of any potential VP. Romney’s camp denied ABC’s allegations.

In fairness, it is impossible to know for sure whether or not the fix is in and Rubio’s nomination to the GOP presidential ticket is a foregone conclusion. What is known, however, is that when confronted by a reporter for We Are Change at the Faith and Freedom Coalition meeting, Senator Rubio refused to answer questions about his view of the Bilderberg Group.

Reports indicate that Rubio did not attend the Bilderberg Conference, although apparently Mitt Romney did. This would not be surprising given that Robert Kagan and Vin Weber, both key members of Romney’s staff, are members of the Bilderberg organization.

Although it appears that Senator Rubio did not attend the conference in Chantilly, he did give a speech that same weekend in New York at the equally influential Council on Foreign Relations.

To veep or not to veep, that is the question, and no one is quite sure when Romney will make his announcement. One senior Romney adviser is quoted in the Washington Post speculating that the decision will not be made public before July 4.

Photo: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) gestures during a speech at the Latino Coalition annual economic summit, May 23, 2012 in Washington, at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington: AP Images