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Inside the Boiler Room: The Veepstakes

Mark Murray and Domenico Montanaro weigh the possibility of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., or Gov. Bob McDonnell, R-Va. as a vice presidential candidate on the 2012 ticket.

NOTE: Since we taped this segment, Republicans won control of the state Senate in Virginia. Both Democrats and Republicans hold 20 seats in the Virginia Senate. Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling holds the tie-breaking vote, giving Republicans their one-vote advantage.

Thanks to Bob-1887910 for the question! Keep an eye out later in the week for our next Inside the Boiler Room segments!


DOMENICO MONTANARO: Welcome again to another edition of Inside the Boiler Room. Well, we have another question from Bob 1887910 we always love to be able to get comments from Bob and he says: “If my immensely popular Governor Bob McDonnell helps flips the State Senate to the GOP next week, giving Republicans unprecedented full control of Virginia government, will he then top Marco Rubio in the Veepstakes rankings?” A lot there.

MARK MURRAY: Well, right. Here’s how I kind of look at the GOP Veepstakes stakes right now. Marco Rubio had kind of a tough row with that Washington Post report about when his parents came to the United States. You can get into the particulars, but it came to the point that he hasn’t yet been vetted. You can almost look at him “1A,” Bob McDonnell “1B.” What McDonnell essentially ends up giving you is somebody who could, is a popular governor of a battleground state in Virginia, so automatically they might think, look you know we’re going to have a problem in Virginia. If you get Bob McDonnell. He could also end up helping if say, Mitt Romney is the nominee. Sure some of that evangelical, social conservative--

DOMENICO MONTANARO: -- Sure, a lot of people don’t know he takes a very moderate tone, he’s been a moderate governor, but he went to Liberty University and is a strong Evangelical.

MARK MURRAY: Yeah, absolutely. So, and one other thing to keep in mind about Bob McDonnell: his job runs out in 2013. And so when you’re looking at Marco Rubio’s world, he’s only been in the senate for one year, he has big ambitions. Chris Christie of course, he might end up running for re-election. Bob McDonnell is actually going to need a job, come pretty soon because he’s terminated, you only get one term as governor. And so, if you are the republican nominee, he ends up making a lot of sense.

DOMENICO MONTANARO: Yeah, that’s definitely true. Rubio, you’re right, took a hit because of that story. You know there are also some other issues with Rubio as to whether or not you know, he’s experienced enough, but Barak Obama had that issue. And you know, whether or not he actually appeals to, what demographic he appeals to, you know, who knows. But, picking him would be all about Florida. If Republicans felt that they couldn’t win Florida. His popularity there--

MARK MURRAY: And you know the Latino vote too, potentially--

DOMENICO MONTANARO: Well, in Florida. But, and then when you look at somebody else, Chris Christie, you know could be another person, you know, John McCain picked Sarah Palin, that most of us had taken her of the veep list because of issues back in Alaska that we thought, she’s under investigation, he’s not going to pick her. But he did because she could fire up the base. Nobody fires up the base like Chris Christie does. So you know, maybe there’s somebody like him. And McDonnell also, aside from the state senate stuff, which you mention would be a nice feather in his cap, just what he’s done with jobs in the state. You know, he beat out Maryland for these defense contractor jobs. He understands federal workers, and he can speak that way because they are a large constituency group in Northern Virginia. So, I think that he, because of that, is an attractive candidate because he’s not going to make too many mistakes.

MARK MURRAY: He is. The one thing that, to note about Virginia though, is that all of their recent governors have been very popular. You  have Mark Warner with his job growth, Tim Cain was very popular and now you have Bob McDonnell. One of the reasons Virginia is doing so well is it’s so close to Washington, DC. There’ve been a ton of jobs, the defense contractors, etc. and it doesn’t look like the rest of the nation just yet. But, I mean, I think that he, right now Bob McDonnell certainly looks like a 1A or 1B to me on whoever is on the veepstakes next.

DOMENICO MONTANARO: They’re real popular until you give them a second term, right. We’ll see.

Transcribed by NBC's Annie Emberland and Laura Olson.