Romney holding weekend retreat with VP potentials but without Rubio

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney is holding an exclusive summer retreat this weekend that will include appearances by those most frequently mentioned as potential vice presidential choices, according to an invitation obtained by The Daily Caller.

But there’s one potential running mate noticeably absent from the event: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Special guests, according to the invitation, include 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.

Rubio spokesman Alex Conant told TheDC on Thursday that Rubio was invited to the retreat, but is unable to attend because of scheduling conflicts.

The invitation for the “Romney Victory Founding Members Retreat” says the event will take place at the Chateaux in Park City, Utah from Friday to Sunday. 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.

Romney and his wife, Ann, are hosting the event, which will include panels and meetings.

One such meeting includes the “media panel,” which will be moderated by lawyer Ben Ginsberg and will include the Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes and Bill Kristol, as well as Republican operatives Mary Matalin and Karl Rove.

Others speaking during meetings include former Secretary of State James Baker, Arizona Sen. John McCain, Alabama Rep. Spencer Bachus, former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker and former Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt.

Speakers from the business community include Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone and Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman.

Members of Romney’s campaign will give a campaign briefing. Those speaking include Beth Myers, who is leading Romney’s search for a running mate. Other top aides, including campaign manager Matt Rhoades and policy director Lanhee Chen, are also speaking, as is Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus.

Rubio is on a book tour, but his exclusion from this event comes after reports on Tuesday that Romney’s campaign is not vetting him to be a running mate. Following those reports and shock from Rubio’s supporters, Romney made a rare statement on the topic to say that Rubio is actually under consideration to be vice president.

“Founding Members” are those who gave $50,000 as individuals or $150,000 as couples to the Romney campaign.

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