The Washington Times - September 24, 2011, 03:21PM

ORLANDO — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich teased Republican loyalists Saturday with the idea that he would tap Sen. Marco Rubio as his running mate if elected president.

The remarks were a bit of a do-over from Thursday’s GOP presidential debate, where a moderator asked the nine participants who on the stage they would consider picking as their vice president.

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Mr. Gingrich told the Republican crowd in Florida that he missed an opportunity to respond, “I don’t want to choose anyone on this stage because Marco Rubio isn’t up here.”

“I’m not saying anything specific about a choice being made next summer, but when you imagine Marco Rubio debating Joe Biden, I mean the contrast between American commonsense and liberal nonsense will be so big,” he said, before adding, “I guarantee he will be on the shortlist of anyone who becomes our nominee because he is such a great guy.”