Entries in Bob McDonnell (18)


Romney, McDonnell Praise Ryan’s Debate Performance During Virginia Rally

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(RICHMOND, Va.) -- Mitt Romney and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell praised Paul Ryan’s debate performance last night, telling a crowd in Virginia that there was only one person on stage who was “thoughtful, and respectful, steady, and poised.”

“Now did you get a chance to watch the debate last night?” Romney said nearly as soon as he got behind the microphone. “I think you might agree with me that there was one person on stage last night who was thoughtful and respectful, steady and poised.”

“The kind of person you might want to turn to in a crisis. And that was the next vice president of the United States, Paul Ryan,” said Romney as the crowd erupted in cheers. “There was also one person on the stage who actually, when asked what he’d do to get the economy going again, had an answer. He laid out our five-point plan to get this economy going, and the other candidate of course just attacked. But the American people are looking for answers, not attacks.”

McDonnell, who introduced Romney in Richmond, Va., Friday, couldn’t help but ding the Vice President for interrupting Ryan several times during the debate.

“You had one person who commanded the facts and the budget and the other that interrupted the other candidate 82 times,” said McDonnell. “My daughter watching said, ‘Hey dad, how come only one candidate has any manners?’”

“So there you go,” he said. “Paul’s going to be a great vice president because when our country’s biggest issue is getting us out of debt and back to work nobody knows more about the budget and reducing deficits than Paul Ryan. He’s going to be a great Vice President of the United States.”

Asked by reporters during a breakfast stop in Kentucky before heading to Ohio Friday morning, Ryan said he “felt great” about his debate performance Thursday night.

Next up: Romney’s second head-to-head match-up with President Obama this coming Tuesday in a town hall-style debate moderated by CNN’s Candy Crowley.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jindal Defends Romney over Olympics Security Criticism

Andrew Burton/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Mitt Romney’s recent Olympics flap may have caused a stir overseas, but two top Romney surrogates here in the U.S. -- Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Bob McDonnell of Virginia -- don’t think the comments will cause a major problem for the former Massachusetts governor.

“We’re not worried about overseas headlines. We’re worried about voters back here at home in America,”  Jindal said on a conference call Thursday afternoon.  “Gov. Romney has said that he expected the London Olympics to be a phenomenal success.  The reality is we’re all rooting for our American athletes. We hope they come back with a bunch of medals, and I’m sure they’re going to be very successful, but the reality is the focus needs to continue to be on the issues that are important to voters back home.”

McDonnell, who toured Iowa aboard a Romney campaign bus with Jindal Thursday, chimed in after the Louisiana governor’s response, saying, “I agree.”

Romney, who often touts his leadership of the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, ruffled some feathers in London when he said there were “disconcerting” signs about London’s preparedness for the Olympic games.

Some major British figures have responded to Romney’s doubts, saying the city is ably prepared to host this summer’s Olympics.

“We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere,” Prime Minister David Cameron told the Daily Telegraph.

Cameron later told reporters he “felt a vote of confidence” from a private conversation he held with Romney about the Olympic Games.

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, took to Hyde Park, where 60,000 people gathered to celebrate the end of the Olympic torch run, and made a dig at Romney as he asked the crowd whether the city was ready for the Olympics.

“There are some people coming from around the world who don’t yet know if we are ready,” Johnson said. “There’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we are ready. Are we ready? Yes we are!”

Gov. Romney's comments were made in response to, ironically, overseas headlines -- about a security company hired to keep watch over the Games; U.K. soldiers have been tapped to try to fill some of the gaps reportedly caused by the firm.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jindal, McDonnell Will Tour Iowa on Romney Bus Thursday

gov [dot] louisiana [dot] gov(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, two potential VP contenders, are being deployed to Iowa to campaign on behalf of Mitt Romney while he is on an overseas trip, ABC News has learned.

As first reported by the Des Moines Register, the two governors and high profile Romney surrogates will jump on the Romney campaign bus in Iowa on Thursday. McDonnell will hold an event in Davenport Thursday morning and will meet Jindal at an event at the Victory Center in Coralville in the early afternoon. Jindal then will campaign in Newton and Des Moines.

Jindal campaigned in Iowa last December ahead of the caucuses there, but for another GOP candidate -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whom the Louisiana governor initially endorsed in the Republican primaries. Jindal endorsed Romney in April and has hit the trail in recent weeks for him, including a rally last week in Columbus.

McDonnell, who endorsed Romney one day ahead of the South Carolina primary, has campaigned for the presumptive GOP nominee in Virginia, Florida, Michigan and South Carolina.

The Romney campaign is also utilizing another high profile surrogate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, this week while Romney is overseas on his first foreign trip of the campaign. Rubio will hold solo rallies Saturday in the swing states of Colorado and Nevada, including one at his old elementary school in Las Vegas.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Republican Governors’ Message To Mitt Romney: Don’t Let Obama Lead You Down The ‘Rabbit Hole’

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages(WILLIAMSBURG, Va.) — Fresh off his win in Wisconsin’s divisive recall election, GOP Gov. Scott Walker was full of advice for Mitt Romney.

“We had significant swing votes — independents, even some discerning Democrats voting for me because they like someone who was willing to take on the tough issues facing our state,” Walker said. “I think those same sorts of voters are voters that Governor Romney at least has a shot with.”

But Walker, who was among the dozens of governors who gathered at this weekend’s National Governors Association Conference in central Virginia, warned that a win in his Midwestern battleground would not be a slam dunk for Romney.

“Coming into Wisconsin, coming into Iowa, coming into other states like that, for him to do well the ‘R’ next to his name has to stand more than just for ‘Republican’ — it has to stand for reformer,” Walker said, adding: “If people view him as a reformer, willing to take on both the economic and fiscal crisis our nation faces, I think voters in swing states like Wisconsin will listen.”

When asked why voters in his state do not already view Romney as a reformer, Walker told reporters: “I think they don’t see a lot right now. I think they need to see more of him.”

“They’d also like to hear what he’s going to do to tackle the fiscal crisis our country’s facing,” the Wisconsin Republican said. “The more times he comes to Wisconsin, the more times he comes to swing states like ours and lays that message out the better off we’ll be.”

Walker was one of several Republican governors who dispensed advice for his party’s presidential standard-bearer this weekend. He encouraged Romney to “be most aggressive about” pointing out that President Obama “doesn’t have a record to run on.”

“If I’m Governor Romney,” Walker said, “I keep coming back to saying, ‘Mr. President, defend your record and lay out what you’re going to do for the future’ and keep coming back to what I think most people want to hear, which is, what are you going to do?”

But after a week when the vitriol of the presidential race spiked as both sides accused the other of peddling lies and distortions, another swing-state governor, Virginia’s Bob McDonnell, cautioned Romney not to let the Obama campaign set the terms of the debate.

“Mitt Romney can’t — he’s not going to — respond to every single lame attack that the Obama administration makes,” McDonnell said in interview with ABC News. “If he starts to run down every rabbit hole the Obama administration wants to take him, we’re going to be off the message.”

McDonnell, whose state is likely to see some of the most intense trench warfare of the campaign, predicted that “voters are going to vote — especially the independents – -they’re going to vote on jobs, on spending, on energy and leadership.”

In May, McDonnell conceded that Obama’s team had a better campaign infrastructure in place in Virginia than Romney.

“The ground game’s not there yet,” McDonnell said in an editorial board meeting with the Washington Examiner.

Two months later, McDonnell, who runs a state that then candidate Barack Obama won by about six percentage points four years ago, said he’s seen a vast improvement.

“We’re there,” McDonnell said of the Romney campaign’s organization in Virginia. “Mitt Romney’s personally made a commitment to come to Virginia on multiple occasions. You’ve seen him here on regular occasions. We’ve got great surrogates that are out there speaking for him, so we will not be outmatched on the ground or on the air.”

But in the part of the state where this weekend’s gathering of governors took place, television ads from both sides were already blanketing the airwaves. In new ads, the Obama campaign has been turning up the volume on their attacks on Romney’s record at Bain Capital as well as his offshore investments.

“All these attacks by the president and his campaign really, I think, speak volumes to the lack of leadership on the part of Obama,” Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said in an interview. ”I guess that is what I find amazing.”

In his state — another important battleground — Branstad said the Romney campaign was “doing really well considering the fact that Obama carried Iowa by a pretty substantial margin last time. The polls show they’re basically dead even.”

But at least one Republican governor expressed concern that Romney needed to do more to avoid the “distractions” caused by his opponent’s calls for him to release additional years of his tax returns.

In comments that drew instant attention, Gov. Robert Bentley, R-Ala., said on Saturday that Romney would be wise to “get them out and just get past that.”

“They’re doing everything they can to hurt Governor Romney and tax returns will be one of those things,” Bentley told ABC News. “So the best thing to do is just get everything out in the open and just say, ‘hey I have nothing to hide and I’m going to release my tax returns.’”

Branstad disagreed: “You’ll never quiet those people that are attacking,” he said.

So did Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who has emerged as one of country’s most controversial governors for her advocacy of the state’s tough immigration law.

“I think this is just a distraction that the Obama campaign is throwing out there,” she said. “I think Governor Romney has proven his worth. He is honest and he is upright and he has been successful.”

Gov. Mary Fallin, R-Okla., also dismissed this week’s attacks from the Obama campaign as “negative petty stuff” and advised Romney to offer voters “reassurance that he’s got the leadership talent” to be the next president.

“Campaigns can be very negative and ugly,” Fallin said in an interview with ABC News, and the key for Romney, she said, is “keeping focused on the main thing and that is families, their pocketbooks, economic issues.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Blasts Obama Ad: ‘Silly,’ ‘Predictable,’ ‘Not Accurate’

Kris Connor/Getty Images(WILLIAMSBURG, Va.) — Prominent GOP governor and top Romney surrogate, Bob McDonnell of Virginia, took a shot at the Obama campaign on Saturday for its new television ad featuring Mitt Romney’s off-key rendition of the song, “America the Beautiful.”

In an interview with ABC News on the second full day of the National Governors Association Conference here, McDonnell blasted the 30-second spot, which the Obama campaign plans to broadcast in Virginia and eight other states.

“It’s silly, it’s predictable, and it’s not accurate. Many of the things he’s claiming that he’s attributing to Mitt Romney about outsourcing has things to do with allegations about Bain investments after Mitt Romney went to run the Olympics,” McDonnell said. “Take it off the air. Let’s talk about the issues that people really care about in Virginia which is getting people back to work, getting people out of debt and having energy independence. Let’s focus on that.”

When asked if the new ad qualified as one he would call on President Obama to “pull” off the air — as he did at a news conference on Friday — McDonnell replied: “Sure, yeah.”

The latest salvo from the Obama campaign underscores several lines of attack: that Romney oversaw the off-shoring of jobs as head of Bain Capital, that he has stashed some of his vast fortune in foreign bank accounts and that he is refusing to release more of his tax returns.

In an interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl on Friday, Romney called on the president to apologize for some of his campaign’s recent assault on the former Massachusetts governor’s record at Bain.

The new ad is a clear sign that Team Obama is not only refusing to apologize to Romney, but rather, they are openly mocking him. In fact, the ad’s soundtrack is as damning as the charges leveled in it. The spot features Romney’s attempt to sing  ”America the Beautiful” a cappella at a Florida primary campaign appearance at the Villages retirement community in late January.

It also incorporates subtle sound effects and imagery: the white noise of a corporate boardroom as the ad notes: “Governor Romney outsourced jobs to India”; sound and video of a Swiss flag blowing in the wind: “He had millions in a Swiss bank account”; and waves lapping on a tropical beach: “Tax havens like Bermuda…And the Cayman Islands.”

As President Obama traveled around Virginia on the second day of a campaign swing through the state on Saturday, McDonnell said the Obama campaign’s fixation on Romney’s record at Bain “really undermines the political process.”

“I lived in the places the president went this weekend,” McDonnell told ABC News. “I lived in Green Run in Virginia Beach. I lived in Glen Allen in Henrico County.  I know the people in those neighborhoods. They don’t much care about Bain Capital or Mitt Romney’s tax returns. They care about getting people to work, getting people out of debt and having bold leadership on energy, so if the president wants to continue to talk about things that aren’t that important, he’ll have to make that decision, but for me, for the Romney campaign, I’m going to talk about things Virginians care about.”

A spokeswoman for the Obama campaign, Lis Smith, dismissed the Virginia governor’s criticism.

“It seems that Governor McDonnell’s problem isn’t with our new ad, it’s with the facts of Mitt Romney’s record,” Smith said in a statement to ABC News. “As the Washington Post reported, Mitt Romney’s firm owned companies that were ‘pioneers’ in outsourcing. And he repeatedly put his money in foreign tax havens and offshore accounts in Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, and Bermuda. Mitt Romney could clear up all the unanswered questions about whether he used these offshore accounts to avoid U.S. taxes or hedge against the dollar, but he’s refused to be transparent with the American people. He should take Governor McDonnell’s advice during the GOP primaries and release more of his returns.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Calls Mitt Romney’s Bain Record ‘Fair Game’

Kris Connor/Getty Images(WILLIAMSBURG, Va.) -- After a blistering assault from Democrats on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital over the last 24-hours, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell acknowledged that the presumptive Republican nominee’s time at the private equity firm was “clearly fair game.”

But at a news conference on Friday, McDonnell drew the line at Romney’s actions at the helm of Bain up until 1999 when his campaign says he took a leave of absence from the company to run the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games.

“What he did while he was the managing director certainly, certainly fair game and I tell you that record is about 120,000 new jobs, prudent investments in a lot of startup companies,” McDonnell said at a news conference opening a meeting of state governors in Virginia. “In America , you have the freedom to succeed or fail. Sometimes you do both when you’re in business. That’s the story of the American dream.”

McDonnell, however, declared any attacks on Romney’s record at the firm after 1999 off limits despite Thursday’s Boston Globe story reporting that Romney remained chief executive of Bain and owned a 100 percent stake in the company until 2002.

“What’s absolutely wrong and it should not be part of this and it’s tremendously disingenuous on the part of the administration and their team in this campaign is to say that things happened after Mitt Romney left Bain Capital as the executive and managing director when he went to rescue the Olympics,” McDonnell said.

The Virginia governor, who is a top campaign surrogate for Romney and is often mentioned as a potential vice presidential contender, said that attacks on Romney’s dealings with Bain post-1999 were “not fair.”

McDonnell called on the Obama campaign to take down any campaign ads leveling such attacks.

“That’s not honest and if he’s got those things on the ad, he needs to pull them,” the Virginia governor said.

McDonnell’s office disputed reports that he said Romney’s record at Bain was out of bounds at an event organized by the Romney campaign earlier in the day. Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith circulated a BuzzFeed story adding her own characterization: “McDonnell Declares Central Premise of Romney’s Candidacy Off Limits.”

“One of three things had to have happened here: Chicago only received half of the article, they have some reading comprehension struggles, or they just want another distraction from the President’s failed record,” McDonnell’s communications director Tucker Martin said in a statement. “Whatever the case may be, it was awkward to watch.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


VP Beat: Jeb Bush Rules Out VP, But Not Future White House Run

Paul Zimmerman/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- JEB BUSH WON’T BE VP, 2012 WAS ‘PROBABLY MY TIME’ TO RUN: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said on Thursday that “under no circumstances” will he be selected as vice president and admitted that 2012 was “probably my time” to run, ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe reports.  “I’m not going to do it and I’m not going to be asked and it’s not going to happen,” Bush told Charlie Rose on CBS News Thursday morning.

When asked whether he had ruled out a future run for the White House himself, Bush gave quite a frank response, answering he has “not made that decision” yet, adding he “probably” should have run this cycle.  “I’ve not made that decision,” Bush said.  ”Although I think there is a window of opportunity in life for all sorts of reasons and this was probably my time.  Although I don’t know, given kind of what I believe and how I believe it, I’m not sure I would have been successful as a candidate either.  These are different times than just six years ago when I last ran.”

: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal explaining why the fall of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria is in the interest of the United States and urged immediate action be taken by the United States to advance this cause.  “By not pursuing a policy that takes bolder steps to stop Assad and assist the more pro-Western opposition leaders, we prolong this conflict and allow Syria to hurtle toward becoming a radicalized, failed state whose violence will spill over and threaten its neighbors.  Such an outcome would damage American interests and delight Iran and Hezbollah,” Rubio said.

RED OR BLUE? DON’T ASK MARCO RUBIO: Sen. Marco Rubio revealed Tuesday that he’s colorblind when he was asked about his own fashion sense by The Hill’s Judy Kurtz.  Rubio admitted he has a secret weapon for navigating through the fashion world: his wife Jeanette.  “I depend on my wife to match things,” Rubio told The Hill.  “Like this blue tie I have on, for example,” Rubio joked as he pointed to the red tie he was wearing.

PAWLENTY SAYS ROMNEY TOPS OBAMA AS COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF: In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Wednesday, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Mitt Romney would be a better commander-in-chief than President Obama.  “His drone strikes and killing of Osama Bin Laden obviously are positives, but they don’t go far enough,” Pawlenty said on The Situation Room.

ROMNEY-McDONNELL TICKET DOESN’T AFFECT VA: A new Quinnipiac poll out Thursday shows that a Romney-Bob McDonnell ticket does not help in Virginia.  Solely based on an Obama-Romney matchup, Obama leads 47 to 42 percent.  Adding McDonnell to the ticket versus Vice President Joe Biden moves Obama to 48 percent and Romney to 43 percent.

VP PICKS NAMED TO ROMNEY’S HISPANIC STEERING COMMITTEE: Mitt Romney unveiled the leadership team comprising the campaign’s Hispanic Steering Committee, “Juntos Con Romney,” and several VP contenders made the list: Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Brian Sandoval, and Gov. Susana Martinez were all named honorary co-chairmen while former Gov. Jeb Bush was appointed to the National Advisory Board.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


VP Beat: GOP Govs Bask in Walker’s Wisconsin Win

Melina Mara/The Washington Post(WASHINGTON) -- WALKER WIN BOOSTS RGA AND McDONNELL: As head of the Republican Governors Association, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell led the RGA’s efforts to support Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in Tuesday’s recall election, dispatching governors, whose names have also been floated as potential VP contenders, to campaign with him in Wisconsin and pouring millions of dollars into the race.  As the Washington Examiner notes, Walker’s win in Wisconsin gave McDonnell “bragging rights” over his DGA counterpart, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, and served as a “a dress rehearsal for nearly a dozen gubernatorial contests this fall.”

JINDAL SAYS WALKER WIN IS BAD SIGN FOR DEMS: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who stumped for Walker last month, said Tuesday night that Walker’s win in a Democratic stronghold is a bad signal for President Obama’s chances in the fall and argued that Ohio and Michigan will now be tighter contests, the Washington Times reported. “A lot of the experts were predicting a late night in Milwaukee. Instead it looks like it’s going to be a late night in Chicago,” Jindal said on Fox News’ On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.

WILL ROMNEY PICK A COMBATIVE VP? Mitt Romney’s campaign has unleashed aggressive attacks on President Obama since the start of the general election, and as The Hill’s Christian Heinze noted, this combative style might push Romney to select a running mate with attack dog qualities. “Romney’s combative first month could hint that he’s looking to another archetype for vice president – the pugilistic warrior who can go one on one with Joe Biden in a shouting match” Heinze wrote. “The theory goes like this: A vice president is traditionally called upon to deliver the toughest attacks, while the nominee takes the relative high road. But if Romney himself is batting the president around like a piñata, why would he pick someone more discreet, safe and mellow for vice president? In short, a more aggressive campaign might warrant a more aggressive pick that complements, rather than contradicts, Romney’s confrontational style.”

N.J. SHORTFALL INCREASES UNDER CHRISTIE: reported revenues in New Jersey were down $50 million to $100 million after last month’s tax collections, according to the budget chief of the Office of Legal Services in New Jersey.  Gov. Chris Christie’s office claimed the shortfall was closer to $28.9 million.  But as described, “the latest revenue numbers are pushing hard against Gov. Chris Christie’s claims of a ‘Jersey Comeback.’”

OHIO DEMS LAY OUT ATTACKS ON PORTMAN:  ABC News’ Gregory Simmons reports the Ohio Democratic Party Tuesday “unleashed a series of ‘fact checks’ that might otherwise pass as potential attack lines against Portman should he become Romney’s #2.”  These attack lines include his involvement in the run-up to the financial crisis, his reliance on outsourcing, his inconsistency on the auto rescue, his “radical, ideological views towards women,” and the fact that Portman is not well known among Ohio voters.  More here from the Ohio Dems.

McDONNELL APPROVAL RATING: A Quinnipiac poll released this morning found Gov. Bob McDonnell’s approval rating in Virginia at 53 percent, a figure that matched his lowest approval rating in March.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


VP Beat: Two Contenders Boosting Foreign Policy Cred

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- PORTMAN TO MEET WITH ISRAELI LEADERS: Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who sits atop VP contender lists, will meet Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barack, ABC News’ Gregory Simmons and Alex Marquardt report.

RUBIO TOUCHED BY FIRST CUBA TRIP: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, whose parents emigrated to the United States from Cuba in 1956, made his first trip to the island Tuesday when he toured Guantanamo Bay.  “Certainly, it was touching to be able to fly over the island from a distance and see it and know that’s the land that saw your parents and your grandparents born,” Rubio said at a news conference in Miami after his return, the Miami Herald reported. “It’s a place I hope to visit one day soon; a free Cuba, one where the people of Cuba can chose their own leaders and chose their own future.”  Rubio dismissed suggestions that the trip was an attempt to boost his VP credentials, saying it was a routine stop as “a member of the Intelligence Committee.”

THUNE, A DARK HORSE VP? Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said last week he had not been asked to submit vetting documents, but as National Review’s Bob Costa reported, Thune might be a “dark horse” candidate for VP. “As Mitt Romney’s senior advisers consider their vice-presidential prospects, they’re keeping an eye on a dark horse: Senator John Thune, a lanky and telegenic South Dakota Republican.  ‘Even though he’s not from a battleground state, he’s seen as serious and credible,’ says John Sununu, a Romney confidant. ‘There’s no question, in my mind, that he’s on the list for consideration.’… According to sources close to the Romney campaign, the former Massachusetts governor may be inclined to tap a mild-mannered, business-friendly Midwestern senator.”

McDONNELL NOT ASKED FOR VP DOCUMENTS: Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Tuesday that he has yet to be asked to submit documents to the Romney team for vetting.  “Nope,” McDonnell said as he laughed.  “But I’m going to do everything I can to help him win Virginia.” Video here.


  • @robportman: Honored to lead effort to award Congressional Gold Medal to Golden Bear & OH native @jacknicklaus for his work both on & off the golf course
  • @govchristie: Making a quick stop to chat with patrons at the Irish Pub is how I ‪#DoAC‬.
  • @kellyayotte: Visiting @EASTERNMNTN Sports HQ in Peterborough
  • @GovMaryFallin: Looking forward to welcoming Charles Barkley to the great city of OKC on Thursday!

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gov. Bob McDonnell Shakes Off VP Talk

Kris Connor/Getty Images(ANNANDALE, Va.) -- Asked if he was hoping to play a supporting role on the GOP ticket with Mitt Romney this fall, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell widely grinned as he brushed off a reporter’s suggestion at a Virginia stop Tuesday afternoon.

“The biggest thing I care about right now is the presidential race this year. As long as we’ve got an 8-percent unemployment rate and we’re $15 trillion dollars in debt, I think we need a president, we need stronger leadership, and that’s why I’m supporting Mitt Romney,” McDonnell said to reporters in Annandale, Va., as he discussed the evolving governor’s race in the state.

“As his vice president?” a reporter asked.

“No,” McDonnell replied, grinning. “I’m supporting him because I’m a fellow American and fellow governor who thinks you need executive leadership that governors have in the White House, and we could do a lot better.”

McDonnell, who served 14 years in the Virginia House of Delegates and one term as Virginia Attorney General before assuming the governorship in 2010, refused to take the route of another potential vice presidential contender -- freshman Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., who said over the weekend that she had more experience than Barack Obama when he became president -- when he was asked if his experience is greater than Obama’s. Instead, he turned the question into an analysis of what he called the president’s failed policies.

“All I can say is it’s not as much experience, it’s what are your policies now and what’s best for America. Now let me just say, the president’s presided over 39 months of an unemployment rate over 8 percent. Unacceptable. It may be the best President Obama can do. It’s not the best that America can do. We have the worst fiscal situation in American history. 15 trillion dollars in debt,” McDonnell said outside Fredericksburg Machine & Steel in Fredericksburg Tuesday. “All I can say is, apart from experience is, his policies have not been good.”

McDonnell is conducting tour of Virginia throughout the week. On Tuesday, he signed legislation to protect victims of sexual and domestic violence.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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