WASHINGTON -- David Axelrod said Sunday that "it would be an insult to the Hispanic community" if Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney chose Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) as his running mate in an effort to obscure his record on immigration issues.
During an interview with Univision, Axelrod dismissed the idea that President Barack Obama could lose the Latino vote if Romney picks Rubio, the Cuban-born lawmaker, as his vice president.
"I think it would be an insult to the Hispanic community to choose Senator Rubio if ... Governor Romney thinks that's sort of a 'get out of jail free' card for all of the things and the positions that he's taken," said Axelrod, who is senior strategist for Obama's reelection campaign.
Axelrod knocked Romney for vetoing the DREAM Act when he was Massachusetts governor and pointed out that anti-illegal immigration activist Kris Kobach is part of Romney's campaign team. He also criticized Romney for wanting to roll back Obama's health care law, which provides nine million uninsured Latinos with insurance.
"So I think if people vote their self-interest, there's no question, no matter who's on the ticket with Governor Romney, that the choice is clearly to vote for President Obama," said Axelrod.
Pressed on whether a Romney-Rubio ticket would have any effect on the Latino vote, Axelrod said the combination still wouldn't be enough to exonerate Romney for "the very, very extreme positions he's taken on immigration."