Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio has climbed the top of the list of possible VP on Trump's ticket. But his quietness on the campaign is raising eyebrows among experts. AFP

As the Republican Convention nears and with it, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump's deadline approaches to choose his running mate, Senator Marco Rubio, one of the leading contestants for the role is raising eyebrows for his current strategy to get on the ticket— he is not willing to audition.

As the former president undergoes a historic hush money trial in NYC, often organizing campaign rallies in his Palm Beach home, Rubio has been missing in action. Instead, he has taken a low-key approach to become the next Republican vice-presidential nominee.

According to The New York Times, Trump aides and donors view the Florida senator as one of several who would pose little risk of creating unwanted distractions for a candidate already facing multiple legal threats. At the same time, he is also known to have a strong relationship with Susie Wiles, a fellow Floridian and Trump campaign senior adviser who is coordinating the search for a running mate.

Despite remaining mostly silent on his desire to join the ticket, Rubio recently backed Trump in his concerns regarding the integrity of the upcoming elections.

For instance, the senator voted to certify the 2020 elections despite Trump's pressure to overturn the results, at the time, describing democracy as being "held together by people's confidence in the election and their willingness to abide by its results." Last week, he raised doubts about whether the 2024 contest would be fair and blamed Democrats for undermining the credibility of elections.

"Hopefully, we'll have a fair election and it will be unquestionable," he said in an appearance on Nbc's "Meet the Press."

He has also joined Trump in other endeavors. Last month, Rubio joined several other potential vice-presidential contenders in voting against a $95 billion military aid package for Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine that Trump also opposed. Despite a record of strongly supporting military allies, the Senator argued that the money came at the expense of border enforcement and called it "moral extortion."

"I understand that in our republic, government compromise is necessary— we have to do it all the time," Rubio said on the Senate floor, adding that "this is not a compromise. This is legislative blackmail."

But a potential Trump-Rubio ticket may run into some issues, starting from within. Rubio's quietness on the campaign trail has perplexed Trump, who has privately wondered how much the senator actually wants the job, according to two people familiar with the subject.

Similarly, Trump has told advisers that Rubio would have to move out of the state, according to The Times, as the Constitution potentially bars two residents from the same state from sharing a presidential ticket.

Trump and Rubio have had a complex relationship. In 2016, they ran against each other for the Republican ticket, which Trump would eventually win. That race resulted in the two mocking each other's physical looks and intelligence. But as time has passed, the former president reportedly gained respect for the son of Cuban immigrants, as he could appeal to the Latino vote and a more moderate electorate.

"Marco Rubio would win Donald Trump the White House in November," said Representative David Jolly of Florida, who dropped his Republican affiliation because of Trump's influence on the party and described himself as "not a fan of Marco." "He's the perfect proxy for Haley voters, he speaks to Trumpism without trying to be Trump and he's been mature and sober. He's a star, he's just been a quiet star, lately."

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