After going through a drawn-out primary, Mitt Romney announced yesterday that his campaign has started its search for a running mate:
Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee, said Monday that his search for a running mate has officially begun.
Romney’s longtime adviser Beth Myers, who was his chief of staff when he was governor of Massachusetts, is leading the vice presidential vetting process.
“She’s begun that process and is putting together the kinds of things you need to do to vet potential candidates,” Romney told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an interview airing Monday night on “ABC World News” and “Nightline.”
Romney said he plans to have made his pick by the time of the GOP convention, which begins in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 27.
There has obviously been a lot of speculation about this, even before Romney secured the nomination. Pundits have been making their predictions or offering up short-lists that Romney may choose from. And much like other pundits, the question of who Romney will choose has been something I’ve been thinking about for the last few weeks.
Paul Ryan: While many conservatives would like the idea of Ryan on the ticket, it doesn’t make sense. Sure, Romney has expressed support for budget passed by House Republicans, but picking Ryan would offer up more because he would be picking a member of Congress, of which Americans have a very low opinion.
There is no denying that Mitt Romney has had a very good March, finally pulling away from the rest of the field. He’s also managed to pick up some endorsements from conservatives, including Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), a Tea Party favorite, and Al Cardenas, president of the American Conservative Union.
But the biggest endorsement Romney has received came on Wednesday from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who is a big name in today’s conservative movement and often thought of as possible presidential candidate in 2016:
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican superstar expected to top the vice presidential shortlist, on Wednesday said Mitt Romney has “earned’’ the Republican nomination for president and called a potential floor fight at the convention a “recipe for disaster.’‘
In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Rubio didn’t name Romney rivals Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich but said it was clear to him they would not be able to win enough delegates to lock down the nomination before the Republican convention.
“I think we’re at a stage now where at least two of the candidates have openly admitted that the only way they’re going to be able to win the nomination is to have a floor fight in Tampa in August. I don’t think there’s anything good about that,’’ he said. He added, “It’s increasingly clear that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee.’‘
Pressed by Hannity whether he was in fact offering his endorsement, Rubio said yes. But he offered something even better: The rising figure in the conservative and tea party movements vouched for Romney’s conservative credentials.
On my drive home on Tuesday, I tuned into a Sean Hannity’s show for a few minutes, managing to catch a couple of minutes of the conservative talk show host’s conversation with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
Toward the end of the interview, Hannity brought up that “Birthers,” this strange group of folks that have questioned President Barack Obama’s eligibility to serve, are now raising Rubio’s eligibility now that he has beem mentioned as a possible running mate for the Republican nominee. Hannity was dismissive of Birthers, calling them “idiots,” which is really too kind of a characterization.
Among the group now target Rubio is Joseph Farah, a prominent Birther and editor of WorldNutDaily, spoke with Hannity on Wednesday after hearing his exchange the previous day; and, well, made absolutely no sense:
Conservative Joseph Farah on Tuesday evening predicted that “10 percent of the Republican vote” would fail to get behind Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) as the hypothetical vice presidential nominee because they will believe the circumstances of his birth make him ineligible.
“Rubio is not eligible,” Farah told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “He’ll lose 10 percent of the Republican vote because he is not a natural-born citizen. We’ve been through this with Obama now for four years.”
Rubio was born in Miami in 1971. Farah’s argument against Rubio’s “natural born” status relies on a strict definition also used by Farah and others who raised doubts over Obama’s eligibility. The strict definition requires that both parents be legal citizens at the time of the birth.
We’ve got another round of polling out of Florida showing that Mitt Romney is poised for a big win. Just a week ago it seemed that momentum was in Newt Gingrich’s corner, but two bad debate performances and a couple of gaffes, including one that brought Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) out of his isolation to stick up for Romney, badly hurt him.
Here’s a look at the latest polling going back to those that were released at the beginning of last week. these show the dramatic swing from Gingrich to Romney in just a few days time.
In just a couple of days, Newt Gingrich went from the likely winner of Tuesday’s primary in Florida to the underdog. So what has caused support to swing away from him and back to Mitt Romney? Well, a few things. Many Republicans are coming out to criticize Gingrich for various things, such as his time as Speaker of the House and his criticism of Ronald Reagan. Then there was the bad press he received as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) took up for Romney when Gingrich compared him to Charlie Crist.
As you can see in the poll numbers that came out yesterday, a couple of days makes a world of difference in politics.
As you know, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has been frequently mentioned as a possible running mate for the eventual Republican nominee. Unfortunately, Rubio has taken hits from the media, most of them blatantly dishonest.
Back in October, the Washington Post ran a “gotcha” story for what they saw as inconsistancies in the story of why his parents came to the United States. The story was promptly debunked by the Miami Herald and conservatives who saw it as unfair and incredibly misleading.
Given that his inclusion on a ticket could help Republicans reach out to certain segments of voters, namely minorities, Rubio is getting a closer look by the media. Reuters ran a story yesterday alleging that Rubio has some financial problems that could cause him to be skipped over in the vetting process:
Despite his reputation as a watchdog over federal spending, Rubio, 40, has had significant financial problems that could keep him from passing any vetting process as a potential vice presidential choice, Republican and Democratic strategists say.
In some ways, the story of Rubio’s finances is similar to those of hundreds of thousands of his constituents in a state where more than 40 percent of homeowners are “underwater,” owing more on their homes than the homes are worth.
It is a crisis driven by falling property values and ill-advised home equity loans that drove up homeowners’ debts.
Rubio owes far more on his $384,000 Miami home than it is worth, and at times has had difficulty paying his mortgage.
He bought the home in 2005 for $550,000 with a $495,000 mortgage. He soon had it appraised for $735,000 and took out a home equity line of credit for $135,000.
Since taking on Charlie Crist in the the Florida Senate race last year, Marco Rubio, who would go on to win the general election, has been regarded as a rock star in the conservative movement. With that comes a lot of influence, particularly among conservatives in his home state given that he could boost his party’s ticket.
So if you’re a candidate running in his state, you’d probably want to stay on his good side; but there is a right and wrong way to go about that. Apparently, Newt Gingrich is learning this lesson the hard way.
Gingrich, who is leading in most polls out of Florida, has been comparing himself to Rubio and Mitt Romney to Crist as a way to further peg his opponent as an anti-conservative. Rubio is apparently unhappy with what he see as an inaccurate comparison, as Jennifer Rubin explains:
Already, today’s SOPA Strike is having an effect. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), one of the co-sponsors of the bill, has withdrawn his support today. From his Facebook page:
A Better Way to Fight the Online Theft of American Ideas and Jobs
By Senator Marco Rubio
In recent weeks, we’ve heard from many Floridians about the anti-Internet piracy bills making their way through Congress. On the Senate side, I have been a co-sponsor of the PROTECT IP Act because I believe it’s important to protect American ingenuity, ideas and jobs from being stolen through Internet piracy, much of it occurring overseas through rogue websites in China. As a senator from Florida, a state with a large presence of artists, creators and businesses connected to the creation of intellectual property, I have a strong interest in stopping online piracy that costs Florida jobs.
However, we must do this while simultaneously promoting an open, dynamic Internet environment that is ripe for innovation and promotes new technologies.
Earlier this year, this bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously and without controversy. Since then, we’ve heard legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the Internet and about a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government’s power to impact the Internet. Congress should listen and avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences.
Therefore, I have decided to withdraw my support for the Protect IP Act. Furthermore, I encourage Senator Reid to abandon his plan to rush the bill to the floor. Instead, we should take more time to address the concerns raised by all sides, and come up with new legislation that addresses Internet piracy while protecting free and open access to the Internet.
Last week, the Washington Post ran a “gotcha” story attempting to discredit Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who frequently explains how his parents permanently stayed in the United States after the oppressive Castro regime came to power in Cuba. The story is incredibly misleading, as Miami Herald, Rubio’s hometown paper, explains:
The Washington Post just released this interesting story headlined “Marco Rubio’s compelling family story embellishes facts, documents show.” The paper flagged a clear inaccuracy in his official Senate biography that states the Senator’s parents “came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover.”
That’s false. Rubio’s parents came to the US before then, in 1956. They remained in the US after Castro took over in 1959. They returned to Cuba for brief stints early on, before the country devolved into Soviet-style totalitarianism.
But the top of the story suggests Rubio himself has given this “dramatic account:” that “he was the son of exiles, he told audiences, Cuban Americans forced off their beloved island after ‘a thug,’ Fidel Castro, took power.” (Update note: The story struck the word “dramatic”).
However, the story doesn’t cite one speech where Rubio actually said that.
After President Barack Obama’s class warfare rant last week, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) took to the lectern in the Senate and denounced the divisive rhetoric used and explained the opportunity before members of Congress should be used to reform the tax code to make America more prosperous; not punish people for success:
H/T: Dan Mitchell