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Rubio moves further from VP consideration

Back in January, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), in response to questions about possibly joining his party's 2012 ticket as vice president, told Ken Auletta, "I'm not going to accept it." This didn't generate much attention, though, and the far-right senator continues to face questions about his ambitions.

This morning, Rubio reiterated the point, which at least reinforces the appearance of sincerity.

"I don't want to be the vice president right now, or maybe ever," Rubio said at a National Journal forum in Washington on Thursday. [...]

Asked whether he would turn down a direct request from Romney to join the ticket, Rubio replied, "Yes."

"But you know he's not going to ask," Rubio said. "That's not how this works. He's watching this interview so he'll know."

It didn't help, however, that the senator slipped at one point, saying, "If in four to five years, if I do a good job as vice president -- I'm sorry, as senator -- I'll have the chance to do all sorts of things."

Assuming that was just a verbal slip-up, the list of contenders who don't want to be on the Republicans' VP short list appears to include some pretty high-profile names. In addition to Rubio, there's also South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

On the other hand, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) told reporters yesterday she's open to the possibility. Asked what she'd say if the offer were extended, Fallin, a former congresswoman, said, "Well that is, that is something that we would just have to wait and see," which is the kind of non-committal answer candidates are expected to make.

And as Rachel explained last night, there's always Virginia Gov. Bob "Ultrasound" McDonnell (R), who hasn't given up on his VP ambitions, and will air ads in the hopes of boosting his public standing.