Marco Rubio: I want to be a senator, not president or vice president

Newly inaugurated Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says he has no interest in being the Republican vice presidential candidate in 2012.

“I’m flattered that people would ask that question, because I think they mean it in a complimentary way. But, by the same token, I recognize that this job — this one job that I wanted, I wanted to be a U.S. senator, not a vice presidential candidate, not a presidential candidate,” Rubio told 92.5 radio in Fort Myers when asked if he would consider the job. “I didn’t run to use it as a stepping stone, I ran to because I wanted to be a U.S. senator.”

“I’m not going to be able to do this job well unless I’m 100 percent committed to it,” Rubio added. “And even with 100 percent of my focus on it, it’s going to be a tough job. So I can’t afford any distractions, or any of these other things.”

There has been speculation that Rubio, who was elected in November, might be considering a White House run. After his election last November, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin told Fox News that Rubio, a Tea Party favorite, might be “a presidential candidate some day.”

“If someone like Marco who has the right values, great principles, right resume and the willingness to make the sacrifices and run and serve for the right reasons, I would be their biggest supporter. I would be out there helping them,” Palin added.

Rubio, however, has repeatedly ruled out a 2012 run. “It’s a circus. You guys are part of the circus,” Rubio said at a press conference last week. “This is stuff (running for president) they talk about. They’ll talk about somebody else next week. I’m here to be a United States senator from Florida and the best senator I can. I mean that. That’s what I ran for and that’s what I want to be.”