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Entries in Vice President Running Mate (23)

Wednesday
Aug082012

Are RNC Speakers Off Veep List? Romney Says No

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Republican National Committee is slowly releasing a list of names of high-profile Republicans, such as Condoleezza Rice and Rick Santorum, who will headline the GOP convention in Tampa later this month.  But just because someone’s name appears on this rundown doesn’t mean they can be ruled out as candidates for vice president.  This, according to Mitt Romney himself, who suggested Tuesday that the list could be a ruse.

“You don’t think that we would be so silly as to not provide, from time to time, the capacity to throw people off, do you?  The fact that someone is speaking at the convention doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t necessarily find their speaking slot changed from one time to another,” Romney said in a Fox News interview with Carl Cameron.

This wouldn’t be the first time the Romney campaign has toyed with reporters over the veepstakes.  In July, Matt Rhoades, Romney’s campaign manager, sent an email to supporters with the subject line, “Mitt’s VP,” making reporters wonder if the name of Romney’s running mate was being announced.  The email was just for a fundraising contest to meet Romney and his eventual running mate.

In a similar vein, on the opening night of the Olympics, Beth Myers, who’s tasked with leading Romney’s VP search, gave a “Friday Follow” shout out to what at first appeared to be a short list of potential contenders.  It eventually turned out to be just a tease.

Romney and his campaign have mastered the veepstakes guessing and waiting game, even creating an iPhone app called “Mitt’s VP,” which asks users to enter their personal data so they can download the app and receive the first notification about Romney’s pick.  In an email Tuesday afternoon, the Romney campaign reminded users to enable push notifications on their phone to ensure they’ll receive the alert.

But no gadget or email holds the knowledge quite yet of who is on Romney’s final list or when the announcement will be made -- pieces of information Romney and his team have safely guarded for months.

“I am not going to give you anything on the VP front.  I am not going to give you anything, no clue.  All I can tell you is that by the third night of the Republican Convention I will have made a decision and be ready to communicate it,” Romney said in the Fox News interview.

But for the second time in a month, the Drudge Report added fuel to the VP fire, this time with a report that President Obama told a top donor he heard Romney is eyeing Gen. David Petraeus, who currently serves as the director of the CIA, for the number-two spot.  The Drudge Report also said Romney secretly met with Petraeus in New Hampshire.  

Last month, Drudge sparked a frenzy when it listed Condoleezza Rice, who many considered to be an unlikely candidate, as a leading contender in Romney’s veepstakes hunt.

As he posed for a picture with Dutchie Caray, the wife of the late Chicago baseball announcer Harry Caray, at Caray’s restaurant in Chicago, Romney ignored questions from reporters asking if he had met with Gen. Petraeus.

But a source close to Petraeus told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl no meeting occurred between the CIA director and Romney.  And White House Press Secretary Jay Carney shot down the report, saying the president has never suggested Romney would like Petraeus to join the GOP ticket.

“I can say with absolute confidence that such an assertion has never been uttered by the president,” Carney said Tuesday during the White House daily briefing, adding a bit of cautionary advice to reporters.   “And again, be mindful of your sources.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug072012

Dick Cheney Seeks to Clarify Sarah Palin ‘Mistake’ Remark

ABC/Taylor Glenn(WASHINGTON) -- In an interview that aired Monday night on Fox News, former Vice President Dick Cheney tried to clarify what he told ABC News 10 days ago about Sarah Palin.

In that interview, Cheney said John McCain’s decision to pick Palin as his running mate was “a mistake” because, he said, Palin did not pass the test of being ready to be president.

“I like Governor Palin.  I’ve met her.  I know her.  She is an attractive candidate.  But based on her background -- she’d only been governor for, what, two years -- I don’t think she passed that test,” Cheney told ABC News Senior Political Correspondent Jonathan Karl.

“Of being ready?” Karl asked.

“Of being ready to take over," Cheney replied.  "And I think that was a mistake.”

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Now, Cheney tells Sean Hannity he was talking about the “process” McCain went through in choosing a running mate.

“It wasn’t aimed so much at Gov. Palin as it was against the basic process that McCain used,” Cheney said.  “My point basically dealt with the process in terms of that basic requirement, is this person prepared to step in to be president of the United States when they’re picked?  And it was my judgment -- I was asked if I thought the McCain process in ’08 had been well done or was it a mistake, and I said I thought it was a mistake.  That’s not…meant so much as a criticism of Gov. Palin as it is that I just thought it was not -- the process didn’t meet the standards I would like to see our candidate pursue when they pick a -- a running mate.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul202012

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 www.timpawlenty.com, 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 www.timpawlenty.com 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: www.robportman.com is still a site for Rob Portman’s 2010 senate campaign, and Marco Rubio’s website, www.marcorubio.com, 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

Thursday
Jul192012

Marco Rubio: Romney VP Pick Will Show a ‘Good Decision Maker’

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Marco Rubio, Tea Party darling and U.S. senator from the largest electoral battleground state of Florida, holds his cards close when asked about his place on Mitt Romney’s vice presidential vet list.

“I don’t comment on the vice presidential process,” he said with a grin Wednesday in an interview with ABC News Radio White House correspondent Ann Compton inside his Capitol Hill offices.

But then, without missing a beat, Rubio did just that, insisting the running mate selection will reflect the type of president Romney could become.

“Gov. Romney’s a successful person.  He’s been successful at everything he’s done, whether it’s [as] a businessman, a father, a husband, as a member of his community or church, as a candidate,” Rubio said.

“I think that Gov. Romney is successful because he’s a good decision maker.  He’s always made good decisions,” he said.  “And what I have no doubt about is that he’ll make another great decision.  And being a good decision maker by the way is the number one quality you want in a president.”

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Romney is getting closer to making his decision but is not there yet, say sources, including his wife Ann Romney in an interview with Good Morning America.

Rumored to be among the top of the list of possible picks are Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.  Sen. Rubio is the only name Romney has publicly confirmed as being under consideration.

At a town hall meeting Wednesday in Bowling Green, Ohio, one member of the crowd exhorted Romney to have his “ear to the Tea Party” in selecting a VP nominee.

“I can assure you that even though I have not chosen the person who will be my vice president, that person will be a conservative,” Romney said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul182012

Mitt Romney Still Undecided on VP Pick, Wife Says

Ida Mae Astute/ABC(NEW YORK) -- Mitt Romney has yet to pick a running a mate, despite reports that he could announce his choice for vice president as early as this week, his wife, Ann Romney, told ABC News on Wednesday.

"We're not quite there yet," Ann Romney told ABC's Robin Roberts of her husband's thinking in an exclusive interview to air Thursday on Good Morning America.

"We are certainly talking a lot.  This last week, this last weekend, there was a lot of discussion," she said.  "There was a lot of talk.  We're not quite there yet.  And we're going to be there soon."

The comments followed similar remarks she made in an interview with ABCNews.com moments before she sat down with Roberts.

"I'll wait and see, too, what Mitt is going to decide," she said.  "I have no knowledge of what, when, or who is going to be coming down the road.  So, I'll stay tuned with you."

Romney, 63, told Roberts that she wants the presumptive Republican nominee to pick someone who shares her husband's values.

"I was thinking of passion for this country, being able to serve, being able to have experience, real experience, being able to be ready Day One," she said.  "Actually, if you think about it, there's a lot of people that fit under that umbrella."

Mitt Romney's reported short list includes Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.

The former Massachussetts governor leaves next week for an overseas trip that will include stops at the Olympic Games in London and a visit to Israel, fueling speculation that he will announce his pick prior to leaving the country.

The Republican National Convention, by which time a running mate is typically already announced, begins Aug. 27 in Tampa, Fla.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul182012

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

Friday
Jul132012

Report: Is Condoleezza Rice Romney's Top VP Candidate?

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The Drudge Report, the conservative website, reports Thursday night that there is a new front-runner to be Mitt Romney’s running mate: Condoleezza Rice.

The Romney campaign has not commented on the report.  Drudge has long appeared supportive of the Romney campaign and there are ties between the site’s founder, Matt Drudge, and Romney staffers.

Rice, who was secretary of state under President George W. Bush and is now a professor at Stanford University, is on vacation this weekend, according to her spokesperson.  But there has been more and more buzz about this on the blogosphere and at some news outlets.  

The Washington Post published an op-ed this weekend about how some conservatives view Rice favorably because she’s the “anti-Palin,” and then Bill Kristol predicted that she is a front-runner, because Ann Romney told CBS that they are considering a woman vice presidential candidate.

Rice has repeatedly, steadfastly maintained that she not only doesn’t want to be VP, she doesn’t want to run for any elected office.  But maybe she is changing her mind, or maybe she is being “drafted” into considering it?

A sample of her denials came in an interview with CBS News on June 26.

“There is no way I would do this,” Rice said.  “I didn’t run for student council president.  I don’t see myself in any way in elected office.  I love policy.  I’m not particularly fond of politics.”

Also, there’s the question of her policies.  While she has the foreign policy experience to complement Romney, some of her domestic positions could be an issue.

On immigration, Rice has given speeches over the last year, publicly lamenting that the Bush administration couldn’t get immigration reform passed.  Her favorite talking point?  “When did immigrants become the enemy?”

On abortion, she is well to the left of Romney, who in mid-life turned against abortion rights.  In a 2008 interview with CBS News’ 60 Minutes, Rice described herself as “mildly pro-choice.”

While she has previously endorsed Romney, Rice has not, like other potential vice presidential picks, campaigned with him.  She has been the featured speaker at a few fundraisers and has given rousing speeches at closed events, but she’s hardly been an attack dog against the Obama administration.  

Rice has focused more on why she likes Romney in interviews.  And her statements of public criticism of the president have been intellectual and thoughtful, rather than emotionally-charged like other potential VP picks.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul132012

Exclusive: Dems Dump Opposition Research on Top VP Contenders

Brendan Hoffman/Scott Olson/Getty Images/US Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Mitt Romney and his team in Boston aren’t the only ones feverishly vetting potential running mates.

In a non-descript Washington, D.C., office building within sight of the United States Capitol, a team of more than a dozen Democratic researchers have spent the last few months examining every nook and cranny of the records of several GOP vice presidential contenders.

The researchers work for the super PAC, American Bridge 21st Century, which is unveiling a new website on Friday called VeepMistakes.com.  The site features more than 1,300 pages of opposition research and scores of video clips.

Political prognosticators can only speculate who is on Romney’s short-list, but now we know who the Democrats are preparing to target.  The super PAC is shining their spotlight on three of the mostly likely contenders: former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.  

Their research files, which the group is making public for the first time, also offers a sneak peek at the attacks the Democrats are poised to use against whichever potential V.P. ultimately gets the nod from Romney.

The American Bridge file on Portman, who has been the subject of more speculation than just about anyone else, runs nearly 350 pages.  It includes sections on the Ohio senator’s legal career, his stints in prior presidential administrations and a rundown of his public statements on a raft of issues -- from education to gun control to gay and lesbian rights.

The image of Portman that emerges from the briefing book, which the super PAC has posted online in full, is of a Bush-loving, deficit-increasing, subsidy-hating lobbyist.

The Portman file, like the 492-page document for Pawlenty and the 555-page one for Rubio, includes an executive summary of “Top Hits” -- the information that American Bridge considers most troublesome for each of the potential running mates.  Among Portman’s “Top Hits,” the group details where the Ohio senator “diverges with Romney on key budget and tax issues.”

American Bridge decided to release the information before Romney picks his running mate in order to give fellow Democrats, as well as the press, a head-start on examining the major vulnerabilities of each of the contenders.

“In 2008 nobody was prepared for the disaster that was vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.  And while even Mitt Romney couldn’t top that pick, the front runners he’s considering are all deeply flawed in their own right,” said Rodell Mollineau, president of American Bridge.  “This year we are going to make sure that the public has as much information as possible, as early as possible, on the extreme and out of touch positions of the candidates Mitt Romney would put a heartbeat away from the presidency.”

In addition to the written material, the super PAC, which was formed primarily as a tracking and research organization, is making public large amounts of video footage of the three vice presidential hopefuls.  American Bridge trackers have been following Pawlenty since May 2011, Rubio since this February and Portman since May.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun192012

Marco Rubio Not Being Vetted to Be Mitt Romney’s Running Mate

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- Even before the Republicans chose a presidential nominee it was widely assumed that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., would be at the top of anybody’s list of vice presidential candidates.  The reasons are obvious: Not only is he young, charismatic and wildly popular with conservatives, but he could also help Republicans win a key state (Florida) and make inroads with Hispanics.

But knowledgeable Republican sources tell ABC News that Rubio is not being vetted by Mitt Romney’s vice presidential search team.  He has not been asked to complete any questionnaires or been asked to turn over any financial documents typically required of potential vice presidential candidates.

Although it is possible that Rubio may yet be asked to go through the vetting process, it has been nearly two months since Romney named his long-time aide Beth Myers to run his vice presidential search.  The fact that Rubio has not been asked to turn over any documents by now is a strong indication that he is not on Romney’s short list of potential running mates.

Officially, the Romney campaign has no comment.  And Rubio has refused to make any comment when it comes to vice presidential questions.  

As Rubio spokesman Alex Conant told ABC News, “We have no comment on the vice presidential search process.”

The news will be disappointing to prominent conservatives -- including Sen. Jim DeMint and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush -- who have been openly encouraging Romney to pick Rubio.

“Marco would bring incredible energy,” Bush told ABC News on June 1.  “He’s the most articulate spokesman for conservative principles in American today, and he is my friend, so I am a little biased.  I think he would be extraordinary.”

Whether or not he is on Romney’s short list, Rubio has already been an asset to the Romney campaign.  In virtually every interview he has done recently, Rubio has praised Romney and defended him on issues ranging from taxes to immigration.  And on Tuesday night, Rubio plans to take part in a fundraiser for Restore Our Future, the Super PAC supporting Romney.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun182012

Potential VP Pick Sen. Portman Still Unknown to Many in His Own State

Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press(NEWARK, Ohio) -- Among Washington, D.C. political insiders, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman is considered one of the most likely to be picked as Mitt Romney’s running mate.

But, in northeastern and central Ohio, even among the GOP faithful, his name draws more question marks than exclamation points.

Theresa, Tami and Tim Clark, siblings from Lancaster, Ohio, stood in a sunny town square in Newark on Sunday waiting for Romney to arrive and address the assembled crowd.  All three were supportive of Romney, though Tim said he drove the 26 miles to see what Romney has to say “straight on” instead of relying on what he gets from TV ads and news reports.

When asked what they thought about Portman as a potential VP pick, Theresa admitted she didn’t know much about him.

“What state is he from?” she asked.

Her brother Tim, replied that “he’s a senator or a representative” from Ohio.

But, while she knew nothing of Portman, Theresa had heard of one potential VP candidate that intrigued her.

“I like [Florida Sen. Marco] Rubio,” she said.

Cathy Ford and Cynthia Johnson were also on hand for Romney’s Newark speech.  Both are strong Romney supporters.  Neither knew much about Portman either.  

If Romney picked Portman, Cathy said, “it wouldn’t influence their vote.”  Even so, they said that they “trust Romney will make the right choice,” in his running mate.

Portman represented Cincinnati from 1993 until 2005 when he was picked as U.S. Trade Representative.  He was elected to the Senate in 2010.  A poll taken by Quinnipiac University in May found that 59 percent of Ohio voters hadn’t heard enough about the freshman senator to give an opinion on him.

Perhaps the most telling example of Portman’s anonymity came from an event earlier Sunday morning in Brunswick, Ohio.  Romney, his wife Ann, and two of their sons were doling out hotcakes for rain-soaked supporters.  Portman stood close by cooking up some of the pancakes.

Standing with a crowd of Romney supporters, ABC News' political director Amy Walter overheard a man asked if the “gray haired” guy flipping the pancakes was Romney’s son Tagg.

No, replied another person in the crowd, “that’s Senator Portman.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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