Seems like someone in the Mitt Romney campaign just woke up. And his name is Mitt Romney.
Romney just told reporters following his campaign that Rubio "is being thoroughly vetted," according to his campaign, which just sent out the following transcript of his statement:
“There was a story that originated today apparently at ABC based upon reports of supposedly outside unnamed advisors of mine. I can’t imagine who such people are but I can tell you this: they know nothing about the vice presidential selection or evaluation process. 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. This story was entirely false. Marco Rubio is being thoroughly vetted as part of our process.”
So much for the anonymous folks who told ABC, The Washington Post and The New York Times the opposite. The leak and the aftermath of it all was bad bad bad for Romney's campaign. More here on that.
But it's not like Romney handled it with aplomb earlier. Here's what he said on Sean Hannity's radio show:
Hannity: "What did you make of the ABC News report this morning that said Marco Rubio was not being vetted but Governor Tim Pawlenty was being vetted? Any comment on that story?"
Mitt Romney: "I get a kick out of some of the speculation that goes on. I'm not going to comment on the process of course. But I can tell you this: only Beth Myers and I know who is being vetted." Hannity: "Does that mean Ann Romney doesn't know?"
Romney: "Even Ann doesn't know. We talk about the possible people that I might select. But in terms of actually who is being vetted, that is something only two people know. And Beth Myers doesn't talk." Hannity: "Is there a shortlist?"
Romney: "There are a number of people who are being vetted and that is obviously the group we are considering most seriously."