Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during the Atlantic Forum, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, at the Newseum in Washington. The Atlantic, the Aspen Institute, and the Newseum presented the third Annual Washington Ideas Forum, which drew together more than 60 policy makers, business leaders, and top journalists for a series of conversations and in-depth interviews about the direction of the country. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
A popular Republican politician said he does not want to be in the White House in 2013 because he's committed to the job that his state's constituents elected him to do.
No, this isn't about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who said this week that he would not seek to be the GOP presidential nominee because he wanted to focus on his current job.
It was Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, speaking at a political forum in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.
Rubio said flatly: "I'm not going to be the vice presidential nominee." He then repeated himself.
Rubio said he didn't run for the Senate "to have a launching pad for another job."
The Cuban-American Rubio, who has been mentioned frequently as a vice presidential prospect, had been seen as a potential draw for the critical Hispanic vote.
Asked if he would turn it down, if asked, Rubio said: "Yeah, I believe so." And he later said: "The answer's going to probably be no" then amended himself, laughing. "The answer's going to be no."
Rubio also cautioned the GOP not to give disproportionate attention to undocumented immigrants.
"We cannot be the anti-illegal immigration party," Reuters quoted Rubio as saying at the forum. "We have to be the pro-legal immigration party."
"We have to be a party that advocates for a legal immigration system that's good for Americans, good for America and honors our tradition both as a nation of immigrants and as a nation of law."
Illegal immigration has been a leading issue among GOP presidential candidates, cropping up in televised debates and in recent ads.
Several candidates have gone after Texas Gov. Rick Perry for his support of allowing undocumented immigrants in Texas to attend public colleges at the same tuition rate as other residents of the states.
Rubio, who had supported in-state tuition when it was proposed in Florida, has not weighed in on the candidates' positions on immigration, though he said that Florida's in-state tuition proposal was different than the law that Texas enacted a few years ago.
"There are instances of young people who have something to contribute to America's future, and I believe the vast majority of Americans would like to be able to accommodate them," Rubio is quoted as saying in a Reuters report.
"My greater point, which I hope wasn't missed, was that it's become harder and harder to do that as this issue's gone unresolved, and people have become less supportive of those measures."
This story contains material from The Associated Press.