U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told one of the smartest, politically connected audiences in the country that he would turn down a bid to run for vice president.
"I don't crave it. I didn't run for the Senate as an opportunity to have a launching pad for some other job," he said Wednesday afternoon, at the Washington Ideas Forum presented by The Atlantic magazine and the Aspen Institute.
The event is described as "two days of conversation with today's leading newsmakers at the Newseum in Washington D.C." Rubio was interviewed by National Journal’s Major Garrett, who asked about the VP buzz.
Rubio said he doesn't understand why some people have concluded the "Senate is not enough."
"The United States Senate is still a very important institution," Rubio said, particularly for those who take the time and are serious about learning its ways."You can accomplish significant public policy. Throughout the history of American politics and American policymaking, the United States Senate has provided the genesis for some of the greatest things this country has ever done."
Garrett asked whether Rubio would turn down a VP slot if it was offered by the GOP presidential candidate.
"Yeah, I believe so," Rubio said. "I'm not going to be the vice presidential nominee. I'm not focused on that. I'm focused on my job right now. The answer is going to probably be no."
Then, grinning, he added this, saying he was "closing the door" on the question: "The answer is going to be no."