Not Talking VP, But Marco Rubio Makes Case

In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) reiterated he would not talk about the Vice Presidential sweepstakes but then proceeded to lay out his qualifications.

In his appearance on Chris Wallace's Sunday talk show, Rubio laid out his qualifications to serve in the Senate -- the job he already holds. People, he said, "can take from that what they want."

"I certainly am not the most experienced person in Washington, D.C. But by the same token, I certainly have experience serving in government and particularly in the legislative branch in one of the largest states and more complex states in the country, in terms of public policy," Rubio said. The Florida Senator proceeded to describe his experience in state and local government, culminating in his election to the Senate in 2010.

"And the good news is that every day that goes by, I gain more experience on these things," he added.

Meanwhile, Rubio continued to back his own alternative to the DREAM Act, which would give visas to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children if they attend college or serve in the military  --but would not give them permanent residency, commonly referred to as a 'green card,' or a route to citizenship.

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Critics of the Florida Senator's plan believe it is dead on arrival.

Democrat leaders from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus who met with Rubio two weeks ago said they were concerned about the lack of details about the senator’s plan, and the odds against it being passed in Congress.

The GOP leadership in the House has not seemed receptive of the idea, and Rubio's efforts have drawn strong criticisms from the opponents of immigration reform.

Rubio insisted on Sunday that his plan was not a form of amnesty.

"No, because, first of all, we don't create any special pathways," he said. "We use the existing immigration system to deal with a humanitarian issue. And that is these children who entered this country illegally or have overstayed visas illegally, through no fault of their own. These are children, they follow their parents. The parents put them in this predicament."

The senator also went on to mention the case of Daniela Peláez, a Florida high school student who is graduating as valedictorian and has been accepted to some of the nation’s top schools, but who was facing deportation and who has won a two-year reprieve. 

Peláez has become somewhat of a poster child for his legislation.

"I think most Americans would say that's crazy to deport someone like that," Rubio told Wallace.

Likely GOP designee Mitt Romney, while campaigning with Rubio last month, passed on an opportunity to indicate support of Rubio's efforts.

Rubio downplayed this: "Well, it's impossible to ask him or anyone for that matter to take a firm position on a bill that hasn't been filed yet," he said. "We still -- we've only discussed this in concept. We still don't have a piece of legislation with the details on it.

Whether – or not -- he is tapped as a running mate by Romney, Rubio will arguably have an influential role in the campaign as the party pursues a Florida victory and the support of Hispanic voters nationwide.

"While, there is no such thing as the Hispanic vote, there are some things that unify the Hispanic community. Chief among them is an economic aspiration," Rubio said in response to whether or not Romney could win the presidency if he loses Hispanics to Obama by more than two-to-one.

"Every state is different," the Senator reiterated. "He's not going to lose Hispanic two-to-one in Florida. In fact, I think he has an opportunity to win Hispanics in Florida. I think he has the opportunity in other parts of the country to make a very compelling case."

"We have a good team of people that can go across this country and sell Governor Romney's message, he said. "And that's why I'm comfortable that he's going to win this election in November."

Get the full transcript of the interview and more from Fox News Sunday.

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