(WASHINGTON) — Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush emphatically told reporters Friday he is not going to be a candidate for vice president.
“It’s not in the cards for me,” Bush said. “I don’t know how many times I have to repeat this. I have been repeating it for the last two years. I’ve been pretty consistent.”
Asked directly by ABC News what he would say if the call came from Mitt Romney asking him to be his running mate, Bush said, “It’s not going to come.”
But if the call comes, would he say no?
“I am not a candidate,” Bush responded. “I’m not going to be asked.”
In an April 19 interview with Newsmax, Bush offered a different answer when asked how he would respond if Romney asked him to be his running mate.
“I’d consider it,” Bush told Newsmax, “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.”
When asked Friday if he would be willing to turn over personal documents to the Romney campaign vice presidential vetting team, Bush offered a firm no.
“He won’t ask and I won’t do it,” Bush said. “He won’t ask me because me [for vetting documents] because I am not going to be considered.”
Bush does, however, have an opinion on who Romney should pick as his running mate: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
“That would be my choice,” Bush said about Rubio. “Marco would bring incredible energy. He’s the most articulate spokesman for conservative principles in America today and he’s my friend, so I am a little biased. I think he would be extraordinary.”
Rubio has also said that he is not going to be a vice presidential candidate.
Bush was in Washington to testify at a hearing on “Removing the Barriers to Free Enterprise and Economic Growth,” before the House Budget Committee chaired by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
At the hearing, Bush showed he has at least one significant disagreement with Mitt Romney on how to deal with the federal government’s debt problem. In an August 2011 Republican primary debate sponsored by Fox News, Romney and the other GOP candidates were asked if they would support a budget deal that included one dollar in tax increases for every ten dollars in spending cuts. Neither Romney nor the others candidates raised their hands. On Friday, Bush offered a different answer:
“This proves I am not running for anything, I could support that,” Bush said. “Ten dollars in spending cuts in exchange for one dollar in revenue enhancements? Put me in, Coach.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Scott Stuntz, Teton Valley News
Eugene Scott, CNN