Entries in Tim Pawlenty (93)


David Axelrod: Paul Ryan Pick Meant to ‘Thrill the Most Strident Voices’ in GOP

ABC News Radio(NEW YORK) -- “Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod claimed that Mitt Romney’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to join him on the GOP presidential ticket was meant to “thrill the most strident voices” in the GOP, and said Ryan’s selection should “trouble” the middle class.

“He (Ryan) is a right-wing ideologue, the intellectual energy behind the Republican caucus there in Congress,” said Sunday morning on “This Week.” “He constructed a budget that, like Romney, would lavish trillions of dollars of tax cuts, most of them on the wealthy, would raise the burden on the middle class, would cut back things deeply like student loans, and research and development, and things we need to grow the economy.”

Axelrod called Ryan “outside the mainstream,” adding that the new Republican ticket will give voters a stark choice on Election Day.

“It is a pick that is meant to thrill the most strident voices in the Republican Party, but it’s one that should trouble everybody else, the middle class, seniors, students, because of Ryan’s record,” Axelrod said. “He is outside the mainstream, but he — this was a defining choice for Mitt Romney, and now it’s also a clarifying choice for the American people.”

Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, appearing on “This Week” following Axelrod, called Ryan a “terrific pick,” and told me he was not disappointed about not being selected himself as Romney’s running mate.

Pawlenty was on the short list of top vice presidential contenders this summer, as well as in 2008 when Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., selected former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

“You know, I’m excited for the ticket. I’m excited for Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan,” Pawlenty said. “I didn’t support Governor Romney because I expected to be vice president, so I’m not disappointed. I didn’t get something I didn’t expect.”

“But it’s a great ticket, it’s a terrific pick by Governor Romney, and Congressman Ryan, as you’ve already seen, is bringing energy to the ticket, and he’s got a clear, specific vision, an adult approach to solving the nation’s problems, and you don’t see that from the president and his team,” Pawlenty added.

Axelrod went on to say that both Romney and Ryan “do not believe” in Medicare and went after Ryan for his controversial budget plan that would cut federal spending significantly.

“He’s the guy who’s the architect of a plan to end Medicare as we know it and turn it into a voucher program and ship thousands of dollars of costs onto senior citizens,” Axelrod said. “He’s someone who was the architect of a Social Security privatization scheme that was so out there that even George Bush called it irresponsible, and he believes that we should ban abortion even in cases of rape and incest.”

Pawlenty, rebutting Axelrod, praised Ryan for offering up a specific proposal for addressing the fiscal issues facing the United States.

“I think the American people are smart, and I think the American people respect people who have real solutions to big problems,” Pawlenty said. “And so Congressman Ryan and Governor Romney have put together a plan that actually tackles the problem in specific, preserves Medicare and other programs for people who are already on the program, but begins to change it in needed and realistic ways for the next generation. And it’s a big debate, it’s an important debate, but unlike the president, they are actually willing to lead.”

Ryan is the author of the “Path to Prosperity” budget plan that would, among other things, significantly cut federal spending and reform Medicare. Being associated with Ryan’s budget plan could prove politically risky for Romney in election swing states like Florida that have a large number of elderly voters.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pawlenty Meeting with Veep Vetter? He’s Not Telling

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(PORTAGE, Mich.) -- Tim Pawlenty is not meeting with Mitt Romney when he travels to New Hampshire Friday, just an hour's drive from the campaign’s Boston headquarters. But, is he meeting with veep vetter Beth Myers? He’s not telling.

“My schedule for this Friday and Saturday is in New Hampshire. I’m flying into Boston and then traveling immediately up to New Hampshire to start that schedule and I don’t think Gov. Romney is in Boston or around there on Friday or Saturday as I understand it,” Pawlenty told reporters.

When asked if he was meeting with Myers, Pawlenty said, “As it relates to VP questions and process we have a policy the campaign just doesn’t talk about the vice presidential vetting process, schedules, details, people involved all of that. I wish I had more for you.”

Pawlenty is holding four campaign and state party events in New Hampshire Saturday.

Pawlenty spoke to reporters at a campaign office, and when asked whether all the running mate speculation is “annoying” or “flattering” the former Minnesota governor didn’t skip a beat.

“All of it,” Pawlenty answered.

He’s at the top of possible vice presidential choices for Romney, but this is Pawlenty’s second time around. In 2008, if McCain didn’t go with Sarah Palin, Pawlenty would have been the next call.

He said Wednesday the process is giving him deja vu.

“I’ve been through this before,” Pawlenty said. “In 2008 I was on some speculators’ list as John McCain’s selection for VP. It’s an honor to be considered.”

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman are also thought to be at the top of the short list.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Tim Pawlenty’s Website: ‘Coming Soon,’ ‘Please Come Back Later’

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Tim Pawlenty’s website appears to be getting a curiously timed facelift, raising questions about why and when this revamp began as the veepstakes world is reaching a fever pitch.

When users head to, which Pawlenty has used since 2009, according to a Facebook post, any semblance of a homepage is gone and instead is replaced with the words, “Please come back later.”  The tab on the browser reads, “Coming Soon page.”  Pawlenty lists this website on both his Twitter and Facebook profiles.

Pawlenty told ABC News the site was taken down because there is no longer a campaign or a PAC, but he said he “doesn’t know who wrote” “coming soon” up there.

Some bloggers are suggesting otherwise, speculating that this could indicate Pawlenty is preparing to receive the vice presidential nod.  It’s unclear when this reboot began.

Typing in into the Wayback Machine, an Internet archive site, shows Pawlenty’s webpage when it was fully functional -- back in July of last year when he was still conducting his own presidential bid.

Other potential VP contenders’ websites still link back to their original pages: is still a site for Rob Portman’s 2010 senate campaign, and Marco Rubio’s website,, directs to a page for users to look through Rubio’s senate campaign site or his Reclaim America PAC site.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pawlenty to Obama: Leave Ann Romney’s Therapy Horse Alone

Scott Olson/Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Tim Pawlenty thinks the Obama campaign’s mocking ads featuring the Romneys’ expensive sport-horse is a bridge too far.

Though Pawlenty said in an interview with ABC News’s Jon Karl that he hadn’t seen the ad, he interpreted it as a swipe at Romney’s wife, Ann, who has said she used horse-riding to cope with her illness.

“Well, I haven’t seen the ad, but shame on them, really,” Pawlenty said. “I mean, this is something that she does as a hobby to help her condition as a therapy for having MS, and it gives her great relief and great joy. And I think by her own account and the account of her medical professionals, it helps her. That’s something she shared with others as a sport or hobby or therapy who are facing life challenges or disabilities, and to make light of that or to criticize that, I think, is really, really low. I wish they wouldn’t do that.”

In a statement, Melanie Roussell, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, which made the ads, said: “What Governor Pawlenty is alleging is inaccurate and distracts from the main point. One of Mitt Romney’s hobbies and investments is his dressage horse. And, like his horse, Mitt Romney continues to dance around the issues, from answering why he’s invested in known foreign tax havens or trying to rewrite his position on letting Detroit go bankrupt.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Tim Pawlenty Won’t Talk VP Timing, Sticks to Romney's Tax Returns

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- While VP short-lister and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty had nothing new to say about the timing of the VP selection on CBS Wednesday morning, he was vocal on one issue: Mitt Romney’s taxes.

Pawlenty continued the Romney campaign’s attempts to refocus discussion on the economy rather than “shiny objects” such as tax returns, saying that Romney’s release of two years of tax records is “standard.”

“Mitt Romney has released tax records for 2010 and 2011, and that’s the standard for Republican nominees two years worth, and look, we shouldn’t be debating tax returns from 10 or 15 years ago or college transcripts from 20 or more years ago,” Pawlenty said, referring to calls by some Republicans for President Obama to release his college transcripts.  “We should be debating the main issue in this race, which is jobs and the middle class.”

Romney has yet to release his full 2011 tax records, although he has released preliminary numbers.  The campaign has announced that it will release Romney’s 2011 records in October.

Pawlenty went on to criticize Obama from distracting voters from the main issues in the race.

“The president is hanging shiny objects before the public and the press, and the press is taking the bait,” Pawlenty said.  “There is no indication that Mitt Romney has done anything wrong with respect to his taxes and he’s trying to distract from the main issue, which should be his performance, the president’s poor performance on getting this economy moving again.”

When CBS’s Norah O’Donnell pointed out that Republicans’ history of standard tax releases has varied from 30 years to two years, Pawlenty said that “the practice has varied,” and that Romney is “within the range of past practice.”

When asked why Romney is hesitant to tout his successes in the private sector by releasing full data on his wealth, Pawlenty again redirected the conversation back to Obama’s mismanagement of the economy.

“I don’t think there is any secret that Mitt Romney has been successful, that he’s achieved success, that he’s paid a lot of taxes, but there’s also no indication that he’s done anything wrong,” Pawlenty said.

He then went on to slam the media for covering Romney’s reluctance to release his tax records rather than Obama’s line on the economy.

“Why aren’t they pursuing the issue of six million fewer jobs since he took office?  Twenty-three million Americans being unemployed, underemployed or having dropped out of the workforce?” he said.  “Forty months of over 8 percent unemployment, those are the big issues in this race, not issues of 20-year-old college transcripts or 15-year-old tax returns.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Tim Pawlenty Focused On ‘Yard Work’ as Veepstakes Speculation Heats Up

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Despite a flurry of speculation about whether Mitt Romney will name his running mate this week, one of the top contenders for the job insisted that politics was the furthest thing from his mind.

“I’m in contact with Governor Romney from time to time, but this week I’m focused on some yard work and some business things,” Pawlenty said in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday.

Pawlenty, who over the last year has transitioned from one of Romney’s fiercest rivals to one of his biggest advocates, offered few clues about the swirling rumors that his is one of just a few names at the top of Romney’s list of possible running mates.

“The process will unfold in due course,” Pawlenty said.  “I’m sure governor Romney and his team will let you all know when the announcement’s coming, but that’s not something that I can comment on.”

He acknowledged, however, that he was experiencing “a little bit of déjà vu,” recalling how he was the subject of similar speculation four years ago when Sen. John McCain was preparing to select his vice presidential nominee -- a spot that ultimately went to Sarah Palin.

Outside his home south of Minneapolis on Tuesday, Pawlenty was casually dressed in a white tee shirt and baseball cap. He did not look concerned about whether he will be tapped to be Romney’s running mate. Instead, he seemed more focused on walking his dog and going about his everyday business.

Some political observers have noted that Romney might be able to squash some of the negative headlines about his failure to commit to releasing more than two years of tax returns by naming his vice presidential candidate this week. But in his interview on Tuesday, Pawlenty declined to echo the calls of other prominent Republicans that Romney should release additional years of his returns, saying that two years was “reasonable.”

“That’s basically been the standard for Republican nominees for president,” Pawlenty said.

Pawlenty was unable to recall how many years of tax returns he handed over to the McCain campaign when he was being vetted for vice president in 2008.

“I don’t remember the specific number of years,” Pawlenty told Mitchell. “I know I provided some tax returns going back a number of years, but I don’t know if it was three or five. I don’t think it was probably more than that.”

Pawlenty was circumspect about his own views on who Romney should choose as his Number Two, saying that “geography is one of many factors [at which] a candidate might look.”

He also acknowledged that his Minnesota roots were unlikely to offer much of an electoral boost to Romney if historical voting patterns hold true. The state has not voted for a GOP presidential nominee since 1972.

“It’s the longest unbroken streak of voting for a Democrat of any state in the nation including Vermont, Massachusetts, Hawaii and California,” Pawlenty lamented. “I love my state. It’s filled with great people, but it unfortunately has the longest unbroken streak of voting for a Democratic candidate for president of any state in the nation.”

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


Pawlenty Opens Romney Veep Door a Crack

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As President Obama heads to Minnesota today, Tim Pawlenty, the state’s former governor and now a national co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s campaign, said he would be “honored” to serve as Romney’s running mate if asked.

“I think I can best serve Mitt in other ways, but obviously anybody would be honored to serve if asked,” Pawlenty told reporters on a conference call Friday.

Pawlenty then noted that as a national co-chairman of Romney’s campaign, “we just don’t talk about the VP process.”

Only three weeks ago, Pawlenty flatly stated that he should not be on any list of possible running mates for the GOP presidential hopeful.

“I’m encouraging you to remove my name from the list,” he said in Minneapolis in reference to speculation about Romney’s vice presidential choice.

Pawlenty will travel to North Carolina this weekend to stump for Romney at the Tar Heel state’s GOP convention Saturday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


VP Beat: The Latest Standings, Rubio Heads to GITMO

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- VEEP BEAT STANDINGS: In this week’s Spinners and Winners, ABC News’ Jonathan Karl takes a look at the latest happenings in the veepstakes world with Veep Beat, Karl’s analysis of where the contenders stand. Tim Pawlenty, Marco Rubio and Kelly Ayotte are rising while Mitch Daniels drops a few notches after saying he wouldn’t even answer the VP phone call.

RUBIO HEADS TO GITMO: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is traveling to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Tuesday to conduct oversight of the facility, tour the base, and meet with the commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, ABC News has learned. “This visit will allow Sen. Rubio an opportunity to better understand the role Guantanamo Bay plays in US detention operations, and examine how the military commission process for trying the terrorists housed there is proceeding,” Alex Conant, a spokesman for Rubio, e-mails.  Rubio, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, will tour the Expeditionary Legal Complex, the Joint Task Force Guantanamo headquarters to receive an intelligence overview, meet with the Joint Task Force Commander – Rear Admiral Jeffrey Harbeson, U.S. Navy, and tour CAMP VI, the building which houses detainees.  Rubio departed Tuesday morning and will return to Miami Tuesday evening.

If Mitt Romney is looking for a running mate to balance out the qualities he lacks, Mike Huckabee might be the right VP pick, according to supporters of the former Arkansas governor.  “Huckabee backers are quick to draw attention to the former Arkansas governor’s affable demeanor, lack of pretention, and his up-from-the-bootstraps personal story, all of which might soften Romney’s image and make the GOP ticket more relatable to blue-collar independents,” Real Clear Politics’ Scott Conroy reports. “But chief among the pro-Huckabee arguments made by many former aides and close confidants is that he could be an instant cure for the presumptive nominee’s lingering problems within his party’s base — a concern that his Boston-based campaign may be underestimating.”

RUBIO SLAMS WHITE HOUSE COOPERATION IN BIN LADEN MOVIE: Rubio criticized the Obama administration’s cooperation with a filmmaker on a movie about the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, calling it the latest example of the administration’s “chest thumping.” “I think it’s part of a troubling trend of chest thumping, showing how smart and good our intelligence services are. And they certainly are, but in the process trying to impress people by what this administration was able to do,” Rubio said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s Political Capital with Al Hunt. “I think there is a growing trend of leaks that threaten America’s operational capacity in the intelligence world. And I think if you look at some of the things that have found its way onto the screen, not just in the movie, but some of the specials around the anniversary of the Bin Laden raid, I think one has to be concerned that that’s going to impact the ability to carry out similar operations in the future.”

JEB BUSH ON GAY MARRIAGE: During a trip to Taiwan last week, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called the issue of gay marriage a “distraction” in the presidential campaign, arguing that instead the candidates should focus on the economy, ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe reports.

CHRIS CHRISTIE: THE MASTER OF YOUTUBE: We’ve all seen the bi-partisan spoof of the veepstakes produced by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Cory Booker, but as Melissa Hayes of The Record reports, “The self-produced satire highlighted a larger theme: Christie has removed the media filters, standing nearly alone among politicians in his vigorous use of Internet video, an effective and comfortable home for the Republican.”

CHRIS CHRISTIE & BEYONCE: Over the weekend, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie attended a Beyonce concert at the Revel Resort in Atlantic City with his family, ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe reports. Also in attendance were first lady Michelle Obama and her daughters, Sasha and Malia.

SANDOVAL & ROMNEY: Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval will campaign with Mitt Romney at an event at Somers Furniture in Las Vegas on Tuesday, ABC News’ Emily Friedman reports.  This is the first time they will campaign together.  Sandoval endorsed Romney in April after initially backing Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

McDONNELL HEADS TO WISCONSIN: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell heads to Wisconsin late Tuesday to attend a private event in Racine, Wis., for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who faces a recall vote next Tuesday.

MARK McKINNON PICKS PORTMAN: “Let’s just eliminate the drama and suspense right now. Romney is going to pick Rob Portman. He is as safe a bet as they come. Plenty of experience as a congressman, senator, budget director, and cabinet member. Perfect family. No apparent skeletons in the closet. And he’s from Ohio—the most important swing state. He’s a loyal soldier. Good political instincts and judgment. Solid character and a genuinely nice guy. Almost zero liabilities, which is really what Team Romney wants. Game. Set. Match,” Mark McKinnon wrote in the Daily Beast.

DNC CHAIR: RUBIO SHOULD NOT BE ON NATIONAL TICKET:  Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said in an interview with Newsmakers over the weekend that Marco Rubio shouldn’t be placed on the national ticket. “Marco Rubio is a nice guy, but not someone who, I think, belongs on a national ticket — for a lot of reasons,” Wasserman Schultz said in an interview which aired Sunday.  Wasserman Schultz pointed out that in Florida, “in the polling that I’ve seen recently [Rubio] doesn’t really make much difference; in fact in some cases [he] actually hurts Mitt Romney, or does very little.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Veep Beat: Rubio’s Family Life, Pawlenty Hush-Hush

US Government(WASHINGTON) -- ‘MEET THE RUBIOS’ In her first extended interview, Jeanette Rubio joined her husband Marco Rubio to discuss their family life with Politico and said that she is prepared for whatever scrutiny the couple may undergo as his national profile begins to rise. 

“I’m prepared for the idea that no matter what he does — especially when there’s talk of him being the VP candidate — that [there] are things that are going to come out,” Jeanette Rubio told Politico.  “And through the Senate campaign, we already went through a lot. … That really prepared us, or at least me.”

The interview shares the story of how they met, endured distance relationship in the age of no-Skype (Instead, Marco Rubio wrote long letters), and how they maintain a strong family in Florida while Marco Rubio works in D.C.

RUBIO WARNS OF ‘DAILY’ DEBT CEILING CRISIS: While Congress won’t have to vote on raising the debt ceiling until the end of the year, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., still warned that the country is facing a debt ceiling crisis “daily” and criticized Secretary Treasury Timothy Geithner’s suggestion that a debt ceiling crisis does not exist.  We are having a debt ceiling crisis on a daily basis, and here’s why,” Rubio said in a FOX News interview Thursday. “Because this government every year is spending $1.5 trillion more than it takes in.”

“I’m curious to see who it’s going to be.” (Your World with Neil Cavuto, 5.17.12)

PAWLENTY NOW MUM ON VP PROSPECTS: Just days after he told reporters to “remove my name from the list,” former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty didn’t rule out that his name could appear on the GOP ticket this fall, but refused to speak about the “process,” which he attributed to being a tight-lipped policy of the Romney campaign. “We don’t talk about the vice presidential policy in terms of timing, whether it relates to me or anyone else or the aspects of that,” Pawlenty told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “That’s just the campaign’s policy.  We don’t discuss the details of that process.”

RYAN AVOIDS VP TALK: During an editorial board meeting with the Washington Examiner, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., deflected questions about whether he is being vetted by the Romney campaign.  “I’m not gonna get into that. I’m not changing any of my answers. I get asked this every time I walk down the street. I’m not gonna give any new answers. I’ll let them comment about this.  If I’m not gonna get into any of that. I’m not here to talk about that,” Ryan said according to a transcript of the meeting.

CONDI: ‘I DON’T REALLY LOVE POLITICS’  Condoleezza Rice again said she will not be Mitt Romney’s running mate, saying she doesn’t really have that loving feeling for politics. “Not going to happen,” she said. “I love policy, I don’t really love politics,” Rice said at a speech in Chicago Thursday.  “One can do a lot with policy not in Washington.”

IS THUNE OUT? The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports Friday that Mitt Romney’s VP vetting team has started reaching out to potential VP candidates, according to a source close to the campaign. The Hill directly asked four potential contenders if they had been contacted by the campaign.  Sen.  Rob Portman, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Rep. Paul Ryan each declined to answer the question, but Sen. John Thune, who falls on some VP speculation lists, said the campaign had not reached out to him at all.

PORTMAN TALKS REV. WRIGHT ATTACK AD: ABC News’ Gregory Simmons directs us to the Ohio News Network, which reports Sen. Rob Portman warned the Romney campaign and supporters to stay clear of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright attack ad on Obama.  “I just think it’s a time for us to figure out how to come together as a country to solve these big problems,” Portman said, according to ONN.  “The person who can show leadership on the economy is the person who folks are going to support as the next president.”

McDONNELL WEIGHS IN ON N.C. RACE: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who also serves as the chairman of the RGA, stood beside Republican Pat McCrory, who is running for governor of North Carolina, Thursday as he talked about the importance of the N.C. race, the Charlotte Observer reports. “Whatever we need to do to help Pat win, we will do,” McDonnell said as the two toured a Coca-Cola plant in Charlotte. “We rank this as one of the absolute top races in the country.”


@robportman Let’s take time during National Police Week to thank the brave service of our policemen and women dedicated to keeping us safe

@bobmcdonnell I’m pleased to endorse @PatMcCroryNC for North Carolina governor today in Charlotte

@GovChristie .@GarySinise Great piece on @60Minutes showcasing all your inspiring work with our wounded warriors. When’s the Lt. Dan Band playing Jersey?

@KellyAyotte Talking w students from Iber Holmes Gove Middle School visiting DC from Raymond, #NH

@nikkihaley R.I.P. Donna Summer who died in Florida today of cancer. She was awesome! My favorite of hers was “On the Radio”.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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