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Jeb Bush Says Romney Should Choose Rubio as Running Mate

Paul Zimmerman/WireImage(WASHINGTON) -- Despite speculation that it could be Jeb Bush who ends up as running mate on Mitt Romney’s GOP ticket, the former two-term Florida governor said Romney should pick Sen. Marco Rubio.

Bush, Florida's former governor, said his fellow Floridian is “probably the best” candidate for vice president.

“Well I can’t speak for Gov. Romney, and I can’t speak for Sen. Rubio, but if I was on both sides of that conversation I would ask -- and I would hope that Marco would accept,” Bush said in an interview with Newsmax. ”There’s a lot of things in between that may not make that happen, but I am a great admirer of Mitt Romney’s and I’m a huge fan of Marco Rubio’s, and I think the combination would be extraordinary.”

On Thursday, Rubio said he would turn down the job if Romney offered it to him.

Bush, the son of former President George H.W. Bush, and the brother of former President George W. Bush, said he would “consider it” if Romney came calling.

“Well I’d consider it, but I doubt I’ll get a call, and I don’t know if it’s the right thing for me to do. I didn’t run for president for a similar kind of reason, so I’m all in to try to help him get elected,” Bush said.

In addition to Rubio, other names on Bush’s short list included Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

When asked about the possibility of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice being chosen, Bush said she “brings tremendous foreign policy experience” and called her “an extraordinary person.”

“So, as I said ... this is a problem of abundance for Gov. Romney, which is a good thing,” Bush said.

Bush also cautioned the presumptive GOP nominee to offer a positive message. He said he anticipates that the campaign will get even uglier.

“There will be so much negativity and so many personal attacks against Gov. Romney,” said Bush. “I think Mitt needs to stay above the fray a bit, and to offer a hopeful message that can lift people’s spirits up because after the end of this four or five months of really negative campaigning I think people are going to be motivated by a more positive message.”

Bush also spoke about the important Hispanic vote in his state and said Romney will have to move past just border issues in order to earn the support of Hispanic voters of Florida.

“You get beyond that to talk about aspirational things,” Bush said. “The newly arrived to our country don’t want a handout. They’re not looking to get in line. They’re not looking to get a free lunch.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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