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              FILE - In this May 24, 2012, file photo, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks just off the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, during a series of votes. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is staying mum on whether Rubio, a rising star in Republican politics, has been eliminated from his short list of potential running mates. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee told Fox News on Tuesday, June 19, 2012, that "a number of people are being vetted," but that only two people, himself and a senior adviser, know who  FILE - In this May 24, 2012, file photo, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks just off the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, during a series of votes. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is staying mum on whether Rubio, a rising star in Republican politics, has been eliminated from his short list of potential running mates. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee told Fox News on Tuesday, June 19, 2012, that "a number of people are being vetted," but that only two people, himself and a senior adviser, know who's on the list. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)   

Marco Rubio: I chose my kids over going to Romney retreat

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said Thursday that he’s missing out on an exclusive Romney campaign retreat this weekend because he chose instead to spend the time with his children.

“It’s unfair to the Romney campaign to say I was excluded, because that’s not accurate,” Rubio told reporters on Thursday. “I was invited to go.”

The Daily Caller on Wednesday obtained an invitation for the “Romney Victory Founding Members Retreat” in Park City, Utah, and pointed out that while many top Republicans thought to be under consideration for vice president are attending, Rubio isn’t.

The Florida senator explained during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters in Washington, D.C., on Thursday that he chose not to go because he’s been busy on his book tour. He said that going to Utah would keep him from seeing his children.

“I’ve been on the road since Sunday on the book thing,” Rubio explained. “I have to go to Orlando tomorrow for a speech. I have to be back in D.C. on Sunday for Meet the Press. Then I have a whole another week here. If I had gone to Utah, I wouldn’t see my kids for 15 days. So I had a choice to make. And I chose my kids.”

Rubio just released his book, “Marco Rubio: An American Son,” this week.

Those going to the Romney retreat, according to the invitation, include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and South Dakota Sen. John Thune. All have been mentioned as possible running mates.

The retreat is for Romney’s top campaign donors — those who gave $50,000 as individuals or $150,000 as couples to the Romney campaign.

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