COLUMBIA — Marco Rubio drew a crowd of more than 100 excited book buyers Thursday night as he signed his book “An American Son: A Memoir” at a Columbia bookstore on the tail end of his tour.
Customers at Books-A-Million at the Village at Sandhill took numbers and stood in line to await the Florida senator’s signature.
Long-rumored a potential vice presidential candidate, Rubio has stated that he would not talk about the issue on this book tour, though most in the crowd seemed excited by the idea of Rubio getting the nomination.
“Because I am Cuban, I admire anybody who can come to this country like I did,” said Claris Soler. “I came to this country in 1961 - the church brought me over - and we’re very proud of [Rubio]. We’d like to see him as vice president.”
Soler said she came to the signing to show her support. The woman pointed to her daughter, Isa Cummings, and said she was with her own “American daughter.”
Elizabeth Livingston, dressed in red, white and blue, said her attendance at the signing was unexpected.
“I walked in here to get a present for a friend becoming an American citizen tomorrow, and I saw the book,” she said. “I saw him on The View - he’s fascinating.”
Livingston added: “It suits me for him to be vice president. He’s probably just like his book, a very real, great guy.”
One man, Malcolm Sharpe, bought 40 copies of Rubio’s book, which Rubio said was a record for one man in one store on the book tour. Sharpe said he planned to assign the books to his home-school students.
When asked about Rubio’s potential as vice president, Sharpe said he did not think it was likely.
“I would love it, but I don’t think it’s gonna happen.”
One Florida-native couple said they attended the book signing to support the senator because he "was a good person and was Conservative."
Thomas Black, who bought three copies of the book, said he would like to see Rubio as the vice presidential candidate.
“I think he’d be big in the Conservative votes that might be a little unsure,” Black said of Rubio’s effects on the Romney campaign. “He’d bring in a lot of energy.”
Ellie Lucittie, who was first in line with her husband, said she loves book signing and has books signed by Jimmy Carter and James Patterson.
“I just love him,” she said of Rubio. “I just want a good America. I like his answers.”
Lucittie said she wanted to see a change and although she liked Rubio, she did not think he would be the vice presidential nominee.
“He’ll be in that running eventually,” she said.
On the rumored vice presidency potential, Rubio said: “I made a decision a couple months ago not to talk about it anymore. I think Gov. Romney deserves the space to make that decision.”
“What I can tell you for sure is that Mitt Romney has been successful in everything he’s ever done. And the reason why he’s been successful is because he’s made good decisions, which by the way is the top qualification you need to be President,,” he added.
“I’m confident 100 percent that’s he’s gonna make a great decision when it comes to picking the vice president,” said Rubio.
Rubio said that his book is not so much a political book as much as it is as story of The American Dream.
“What [people] take from the book is that the story, our story, is very typical of the story they face,” he said.
“I think that’s a good reminder to us that that’s what we’re working for. To preserve that dream that anyone from anywhere can accomplish anything. That’s what makes us different from all these other countries around the world,” he said.