There have been a number of names thrown around as possibilities for Mitt Romney’s running mate. So here at Red Alert Politics we decided to pick who we think are the top four in the running to get the VP nod.
(In alphabetical order:)
Governor Louis Fortuño (P.R.) – Fortuño has almost a full term of executive experience under his belt as well as four years as Puerto Rico’s non-voting Member of Congress.
He is a battle-tested fighter for limited government and free markets. His decision to keep Puerto Rico solvent by making deep cuts in government spending came amidst much protest.
Although Puerto Rico offers no electoral votes, Florida does have the second highest Puerto Rican population in the United States proper. I would consider a Fortuño Romney’s curve ball option.
Governor Bob McDonnell (Va.) – McDonnell has a solid conservative track record in Virginia where he won handily, racking up 59 percent of the vote in 2007.
Since his election, he has doggedly pushed job creation and has seen positive results. A McDonnell pick would bolster any “jobs” message the Romney campaign might hope to make in the general election.
Regionally, McDonnell may also give Romney a boost in Virginia on Election Day, a must-win swing state.
Senator Rob Portman (Ohio) – Among the potential candidates on this list, Portman’s record is one of the most extensive.
Portman served 12 years in congress until he was tapped by President George W. Bush to be the U.S. Trade Representative. After that, he was nominated to be the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. After a brief hiatus from politics, Portman was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2009 with 57% of the vote.
He is known among his colleagues as an unassuming, even-tempered policy workhorse. Although not very well known by many in the Republican base, Professor Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia lists him at the top of his first tier of potential vice president picks. Sabato says that he is the “safest of the safe picks.”
Although Portman is a full spectrum conservative, his strength lies in his role a budget wonk that would serve to buttress Romney’s economic message and give the presidential nominee a bit of an edge in Ohio.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (Wisc.) – Much is known about the “Young Gun” Republican favorite. In recent years, because of his tireless work on budgets in Congress, to speak ill of Paul Ryan is akin to blasphemy. Just ask Newt Gingrich.
Despite his youth, Ryan has often been the only adult in the room to provide actual solutions to the problems everyone else complains about. His focus on solutions rather than political rhetoric has endeared him to Republicans. This characteristic – true leadership – would also appeal to independents who are tired of bickering in Washington.
Choosing Ryan would do much for Romney in gaining trust from a wary conservative base. It also doesn’t hurt that Ryan is from a Midwestern swing state.
Many of the politicians whose names have been offered have emphatically stated they will not accept if asked to be the Republican nominee for vice president. These include: Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice. For this reason they were not included in the list.
Tell us what you think in the comments!