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Entries in VP (10)

Wednesday
Aug222012

Romney to Rubio on VP Pick: ‘You’re Going to Be Excited’

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- It was just hours before Mitt Romney would unveil Paul Ryan as his running mate, but Florida Senator Marco Rubio didn’t know anything about it. Rubio spent the evening out on a boat with his children, away from his phone, which showed four missed calls from Romney when the group returned.

When Rubio finally did get in touch with the candidate, Romney said -- according to remarks Rubio made Wednesday, first reported by the Palm Beach Post’s George Bennett -- “We’re going to be announcing our VP tomorrow and you’re going to be excited about the pick I’ve made.”

That pick, of course, was Ryan. But Rubio took the decision in stride, telling Romney, “Well, that’s really good news because I just bought a four-day cruise. ”

Rubio is the second vice presidential also-ran to tell his story this week. On Monday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gathered reporters on the Asbury Park boardwalk to recount his exchange with Romney.

Christie was headed home after raising money for the ticket out west, he said, when Romney emailed, asking to speak when the governor’s plane landed.

When they finally connected over the phone, "[Romney] told me that he decided to go in a different direction for vice president, asked me if I would be willing to do the keynote address [at the Republican convention]. I told him that I would be.”

Christie had flirted with a primary run of his own, but eventually demurred. Once Romney emerged as the presumptive nominee, he denied having any interest in joining the ballot.

But even then, Christie admitted the decision stung a bit.

“It’s like being asked out on a date. If you’re asked, you don’t have to say yes,” he said. “I don’t know what I would have done if he had asked me.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Aug112012

Mitt Romney Selects Rep. Paul Ryan as VP Running Mate

Win McNamee/Getty Images(NORFOLK, Va.) -- Mitt Romney rolled out his vice presidential running mate for the first time in the critical swing state of Virginia on Saturday.

Early Saturday morning, Romney's campaign announced the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the House Budget Committee chairman who has energized fiscal conservatives with his budget proposals and sweeping plans for entitlement reform.

Romney and Ryan appeared together as running mates for the first time in Norfolk, Va., at a morning rally in front of the battleship U.S.S. Wisconsin.

WATCH: Mitt Romney Selects Paul Ryan as Running Mate
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"I am deeply excited and honored to join you as your running mate," Ryan said.

"Mitt Romney is a leader with the skills, the background and the character that our country needs at a crucial time in its history. Following four years of failed leadership, the hopes of our country, which have inspired the world, are growing dim; and they need someone to revive them. Governor Romney is the man for this moment; and he and I share one commitment: we will restore the dreams and greatness of this country," Ryan said.

WATCH: Paul Ryan 'Deeply Honored' to Join Mitt Romney as Running Mate
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Ryan is already viewed as a high-risk, high-reward pick for Romney, who had also considered former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, for the ticket. Romney notified Portman personally on Friday that he was not the choice for VP, ABC's Gregory Simmons reported. Pawlenty spent time with Romney's son Tagg on Friday, ABC's Shushannah Walsh reported, and had learned by early Saturday morning that Ryan had been selected.

The Wisconsin congressman has made waves in national politics with his proposal to drastically alter the federal Medicare program--a suggestion that has been roundly attacked by Democrats including President Obama. Ryan's plan would nearly voucherize the program, ending Medicare's fee-for-service model and replacing payments to doctors with "premium-support payments" made directly to Medicare beneficiaries, with more money given to beneficiaries who can afford less.

The changes are projected to reduce Medicare spending significantly compared to projections of what taxpayers will have to pay for under current law, and the Congressional Budget Office initially estimated that beneficiaries will be saddled with a greater cost burden over time.

The Norfolk rally kicks off a bus tour for Romney through the swing state of Virginia, which Obama carried in 2008. On Saturday, Romney (and presumably Ryan) will continue on to Ashland and Manassas for a day of rallies that will last into the evening.

WATCH: Why Did Mitt Romney Choose Paul Ryan?
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http://abcn.ws/NpItKB

For months, Ryan, a seven-term Republican from Janesville, Wis., has danced around the VP question, refusing to comment on the vetting process and insisting that his focus is on his responsibilities in the House of Representatives.

Ryan has appeared publicly on the campaign trail alongside Romney multiple times, including an event in Janesville on June 18. He also attended a Romney fundraising weekend retreat in Utah last month and stumped on Romney's behalf more recently in Normal, Ill., on July 13.

"What I see in Mitt Romney are the kinds of skills, tools, character attributes that you need in a leader. He makes decisions. He doesn't pander," Ryan said at the Reagan Library in May.

Ryan is a popular pick inside the Republican Party, where he's often praised as an ideas man after drafting the GOP's budget known as the Path to Prosperity, which overhauls entitlements and cuts spending in an effort to reduce the deficit.

But across the aisle, Democrats have been sizing up Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, as an easy target for his controversial ideas to address the deficit. Still, Ryan has not shied away from his budget blueprint. He recently told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that the election will turn on the economy and health care.

"This election is a choice of two futures: Do you want a government-centered society and a government-driven economy and government-rationed health care? Or do you want the American opportunity society with a safety net, a free economy, economic freedom, personal liberty?" Ryan said on This Week July 1. "That's what we want. That's the American idea. We have one more chance as a people to get that back, and that chance is going to come on November the 6th."

Ryan and his wife Janna have three children, Elizabeth, Charles and Samuel. He earned a degree in economics and political science from Miami University in Ohio. Before running for Congress, he was an aide to Republican senators Robert Kasten Jr. and Sam Brownback, as well as to former U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp, and was also a speechwriter for education secretary William Bennett.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug082012

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

Monday
Aug062012

Chris Christie Illustrates Worth of VP Role with Biden Joke

Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg via Getty Images(MIDDLESEX, N.J.) -- With speculation resuming about just who will be Mitt Romney’s running mate, one potential veep pick says it doesn’t really matter.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told reporters Monday it’s a battle between the top of the two tickets.

“In the end nobody votes for vice president, they vote for president,” Christie told reporters at a news conference day in Middlesex, N.J.

And he joked the same goes for the other ticket.

“No one’s saying, ‘I’m not sure about this Obama guy but, boy, I love Biden,’” Christie quipped, according to video of the news conference. “No matter who Governor Romney picks, if the people of the United States are not convinced that he is the right man to be president of the United States right now, no matter who he picks for vice president, they’re not voting for him and by the same token that went for President Obama four years ago.”

Christie said Romney has been clear that the, “most important quality is that the vice president be ready to be president on day one.”

“It’s the summer, it’s a slow news time,” Christie said. “This is what occupies people’s attention. But in the end, he will make a choice. …He or she will have one debate against Vice President Biden and that’s all you’ll hear [of the running mate]…and the people will vote for either President Obama or Mitt Romney and I don’t think Joe Biden played any role four years ago, and I don’t think he’ll play any significant role now and I don’t think that whoever is selected as vice president will play any significant political electoral role.”

Christie added that the vice president could be, “significant in the White House if either President Obama or President-Elect Romney gives them the opportunity to be significant; then I think it’s much more important.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug062012

Portman Isn't Thinking About Being Picked As VP

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(ASHLAND, Ohio) -- There are few moments that change a politician’s life as dramatically as being picked to be a presidential running mate.

The scenario goes something like this: The call comes asking you to join the ticket. If you accept, your world as you once knew it changes in an instant. You are descended upon by a robust Secret Service detail and almost entirely new staffers who work together to seal you off from a life you once considered “normal.”

You are now an integral part of a sprawling national campaign. The press core you know by name expands exponentially to include dozens of people you’ve probably never seen in your life. And with that new group comes the searing glare of the national news media. From the moment you are announced until Election Day, you life is a sprint through swing states, a blur of speeches, and baby kissing.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, however, says he hasn’t spent any time thinking about the way his life might change if that call comes from Mitt Romney.

“The truth is we live our lives as if it will never happen. We really do,” Portman said when asked whether he and his family were ready if the call comes. “In our Senate office, we’re continuing to work for Ohio and promote legislation as if we’re going to stay in the Senate. We really don’t think about that and we’re not planning on that.”

Portman, 56, held a volunteer appreciation event Monday in Ashland, Ohio, with Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, where he rallied a crowd of about 40 supporters around Romney and other Republicans on the Ohio ticket in November.

Portman said all the stumping he has done in recent months on behalf of Romney was an “honor” and an opportunity to get “get the message out.” He campaigns for Romney, he says, because he thinks the former Massachusetts governor has “the right answers,” not because he wants to be his running mate.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul172012

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

Monday
Jul162012

Who is Rob Portman? The ‘Anti-Palin’ of VP Picks, ‘Confident Enough to Be Humble’

ABC News Correspondent Ann Compton with Rob Portman on July 16 (ABC News)(CINCINNATI) -- Ask Rob Portman, the soft-spoken Republican senator from Ohio, about the significance of Mitt Romney’s looming running-mate decision, and he insists the pick won’t change the arc of the 2012 general election.

“I don’t think that it’s that important,” Portman said in an exclusive interview with ABC News at his new offices on the 30th floor of a downtown Cincinnati skyscraper.

“People vote for the president, not the vice president,” he said.  “I think sometimes people that are in the veepstakes talk too much about this and certainly the media does…I don’t think that it’s that important.”

Still, Portman, 56, remains atop the short list for Romney’s vice presidential nod and has been a leading voice prosecuting the case against a second Obama term.

“It’s time to give the ball to someone else. [Obama] fumbled the ball; he’s failed in his economic policies,” Portman said. “Mitt Romney has got good ideas, he’s got the experience, he’s got the record and I think it’s time for us to give the ball to him and help get the economy moving again.”

A veteran of Republican presidential administrations and a small business owner, Portman is eyed as a counterweight to Romney with strong Washington instincts, solid economic chops and popular appeal across the electorally-important Buckeye State.

Some observers have called him the “anti-Palin” of potential VP picks, referring to Sen. John McCain’s colorful surprise choice in 2008, possessing a personality that may not sizzle but packing plenty of substance.

“Rob is confident enough to be humble,” said Jane Portman, the senator’s wife of more than 25 years, in what she said was her first joint interview of the 2012 campaign. “I like that about him, and I think the American people need to know that he’s not a show-off. He’s a doer, a go-getter. And that’s what I think the American people look for in a leader and I’m happy to be by his side.”

“I am who I am,” the senator interjected with a grin.

For now, Sen. Portman says he’s content as a loyal, leading surrogate for Romney, pitching Ohioans on the case for why they need to put a Republican back in the White House.

“My concern about Barack Obama is he ran a campaign in 2008 where he said we’re going to bring people together and solve big problems. And he specifically talked about the need to reach across the aisle and deal with issues like the economy, which was obviously the top issue in 2008. It has not happened. He has not succeeded in doing what he said he was going to do,” he said.

Mrs. Portman conceded she’s a bit of a “novice” in the media limelight but nonetheless an enthusiastic partner in the escalating presidential campaign -- even keeping an open mind about possibly joining the Romney ticket.

“It doesn’t scare me, I’m just not used to it,” she said about all the attention. “We live here in Ohio, we’ve kept our home here, our kids have been raised here. We like our life the way it is. It’s very easy and comfortable. We’re here with friends and family. We lead a pretty normal existence.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May152012

Veep Beat: Portman ‘Better Suited’ for Senate; Rubio Anticipates ‘Years’ Ahead There

Marco Rubio (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)(WASHINGTON) -- PORTMAN ‘BETTER SUITED’ FOR SENATE: Sen. Rob Portman waved off questions about the VP spot Monday, saying he’s “better suited” for a job in the Senate. “I was just elected,” Portman said, according to Yahoo! News’ Holly Bailey. “Ohio voters expect me to serve out my term.” Portman additionally defended Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital as Democrats turned his record there into a critical ad Monday.

At the same Bloomberg View event, Portman poked at Elizabeth Warren, who has been scrutinized for her claims of Native-American ancestry, by saying in response to a question about his being characterized as a boring white man, “I am white, my Native American background notwithstanding,” Politico reported.

RUBIO LOOKS AHEAD TO ‘YEARS’ IN SENATE: In the latest denial he’s seeking the vice presidential spot, Sen. Marco Rubio told a group of small business leaders Monday that he’s looking forward to the “years” he has left in the Senate as he talked about helping to reform regulations and cut taxes for small business owners, Yahoo! News’ Chris Moody reports. http://abcn.ws/JXDSMo

RUBIO’S HEADING TO THE PALMETTO STATE: He spoke last week to a group of Iowa business leaders in an address that had all the trappings of a stump speech, but Rubio will speak this weekend to another key constituency in all presidential elections: South Carolina Republicans.  The South Carolina GOP released its speaking schedule for the annual Silver Elephant GOP Dinner Saturday, which Rubio will keynote and other South Carolina leaders, including Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Jim DeMint, will speak.

‘SELF-DEPORT’? WHAT? New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez countered Romney’s stance on immigration, questioning what the Republican nominee means by “self-deportation” in a Newsweek article highlighted by ABC News’ Joanna Suarez.  “‘Self-deport?’ What the heck does that mean?’ Martinez snaps. “I have no doubt Hispanics have been alienated during this campaign. But now there’s an opportunity for Governor Romney to have a sincere conversation about what we can do and why,’” Newsweek reported.

McDONNELL: SEXUAL ORIENTATION SHOULD NOT BE ISSUE IN SELECTING JUDGE: ABC News’ Jonathan Karl points out that the Washington Post reported Tuesday that “Virginia’s General Assembly rejected a gay man for a Richmond judgeship after conservatives argued that his support for gay marriage and challenge to the military’s now-defunct ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy made him unfit for the bench,” and noted that a spokesman for McDonnell said hours before the decision that sexual orientation should not be an issue. ”The Governor believes candidates for judicial vacancies must be considered based solely on their merit, record, aptitude and skill,” McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said. “No other factors should ever be considered and the governor has long made clear that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is not acceptable in state government. ”

McDONNELL: ABORTION BILL RECEIVED ‘DISPROPORTIONATE ATTENTION’ Gov. Bob McDonnell, who has drawn heat over a controversial bill he signed requiring the performance of an ultrasound prior to having an abortion, said in an InsideNoVa.com interview that the bill received “disproportionate attention” in a year when he tried to focus on fiscal issues over social issues.

LESSONS TO LEARN FROM CHRISTIE: Joe Scarborough writes in Politico that Republicans have three things to learn from Gov. Chris Christie, whose popularity keeps rising in a traditionally Democratic state. “1. Focus on math, not ideology.” “2. Think big.” and “3. Be yourself.”

BARBOUR’S ADVICE TO ROMNEY: Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Romney doesn’t need to select a “game changer” to be his VP. USA Today reported that Barbour told CBS News Monday that Romney should follow the “Hippocratic oath” when choosing his running mate and select someone who will “do no harm” to his campaign.

VEEP TWEETS

@robportman Natl Association of Manufacturers supports our energy efficiency bill to lower biz costs & create jobs @ShopfloorNAM

@bobmcdonnell DMV “Troops to Trucks” program to provide training & career opportunities for military personnel and jobs for veterans

@GovMaryFallin Leading a great group of state employees on a walk around the north plaza

@GovMikeHuckabee Nebraska: I encourage you to vote for @jonbruning tomorrow. A strong conservative. Pls RT to spread the word!

@BrianSandoval NV is the nation’s fastest growing state for exports & our international connections are expected to grow

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr302012

Christie Says Romney Might Convince Him to Be Veep

Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg via Getty Images(PLAINSBORO, N.J.) -- Chris Christie has said he’s “not looking to become vice president,” but the New Jersey governor said Monday  presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney might be able to convince him otherwise.

“He might be able to convince me. He’s a convincing guy,” Christie said during a visit to a high school AP history class, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Christie is a much-talked-about veepstakes contender and has said that he would “listen” to Romney if he came calling. But in Plainsboro, N.J., Monday he seemed to open the door a bit more than it has been when a student asked him if he would consider being Romney’s running mate.

Over the weekend, Christie was ABC News’ guest at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner and found himself the butt of several of comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s jokes.

“Gov. Christie, I think you might be misunderstanding New Jersey’s slogan. It’s not the Olive Garden state,” Kimmel said.

At the press conference following meeting with students, Christie noted that he had ABC’s Modern Family star Sofia Vergara next to him during the dinner.

“Luckily, for me, I had Sofia Vergara next to me to console me,” Christie told reporters. “And when you have her next to you to console you, let me tell you don’t care what Jimmy Kimmel says…The fact of the matter is when you’re overweight there are those who are going to make awful comments about you and people who are going to make jokes about you. And you’ve got to live with it.”

“What Jimmy Kimmel said to me is moderate compared to what people call me on Twitter daily,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr202012

Jeb Bush Says Romney Should Choose Rubio as Running Mate

Paul Zimmerman/WireImage(WASHINGTON) -- Despite speculation that it could be Jeb Bush who ends up as running mate on Mitt Romney’s GOP ticket, the former two-term Florida governor said Romney should pick Sen. Marco Rubio.

Bush, Florida's former governor, said his fellow Floridian is “probably the best” candidate for vice president.

“Well I can’t speak for Gov. Romney, and I can’t speak for Sen. Rubio, but if I was on both sides of that conversation I would ask -- and I would hope that Marco would accept,” Bush said in an interview with Newsmax. ”There’s a lot of things in between that may not make that happen, but I am a great admirer of Mitt Romney’s and I’m a huge fan of Marco Rubio’s, and I think the combination would be extraordinary.”

On Thursday, Rubio said he would turn down the job if Romney offered it to him.

Bush, the son of former President George H.W. Bush, and the brother of former President George W. Bush, said he would “consider it” if Romney came calling.

“Well I’d consider it, but I doubt I’ll get a call, and I don’t know if it’s the right thing for me to do. I didn’t run for president for a similar kind of reason, so I’m all in to try to help him get elected,” Bush said.

In addition to Rubio, other names on Bush’s short list included Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

When asked about the possibility of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice being chosen, Bush said she “brings tremendous foreign policy experience” and called her “an extraordinary person.”

“So, as I said ... this is a problem of abundance for Gov. Romney, which is a good thing,” Bush said.

Bush also cautioned the presumptive GOP nominee to offer a positive message. He said he anticipates that the campaign will get even uglier.

“There will be so much negativity and so many personal attacks against Gov. Romney,” said Bush. “I think Mitt needs to stay above the fray a bit, and to offer a hopeful message that can lift people’s spirits up because after the end of this four or five months of really negative campaigning I think people are going to be motivated by a more positive message.”

Bush also spoke about the important Hispanic vote in his state and said Romney will have to move past just border issues in order to earn the support of Hispanic voters of Florida.

“You get beyond that to talk about aspirational things,” Bush said. “The newly arrived to our country don’t want a handout. They’re not looking to get in line. They’re not looking to get a free lunch.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio