Rubio: Immigration not only issue for Hispanics

By the Associated Press | January 26, 2012 | 7:45 AM EST

FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2011 file photo, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks at the Newseum in Washington. As the GOP presidential race shifts to Florida, all eyes are on Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants and one of Florida's most popular officials. He's pledged to stay neutral, but that hasn't stopped a growing fervor over whether the tea party favorite might make an endorsement _ and whether he'll end up on the Republican ticket. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Hispanic-American U.S. senator from Florida who's considered a rising star in the Republican Party says too much is being made of the significance of immigration to his community.

Sen. Marco Rubio says that while immigration is of critical importance, economic security weighs more heavily on Hispanics' minds "on the vast majority of the days of the year."

Rubio appeared on "CBS This Morning" Thursday after harshly criticizing Newt Gingrich's campaign ad labeling Mitt Romney the most anti-immigration candidate. Rubio said "I wouldn't characterize it as a scolding," and said he was a Gingrich "admirer." The ad has been pulled off the air.

Rubio declined speculation about the GOP's vice presidential nomination, saying he didn't think it would be him. He's remained neutral in the closely fought Florida Republican primary.