Poll: Who should be Mitt Romney’s running mate?

Consider this either a bonus “2012 Tuesday” or an extra “Poll Position” this week: Who should be Mitt Romney’s running mate?

With almost six weeks to go before the Republican National Convention, this feels too early for the “veepstakes” to be winding down and shortened to three serious candidates. But that’s what Reuters reported yesterday, saying Romney’s short list comprises Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio.

That means no Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan — bona fide GOP rock stars who would charge up the base but also draw heavy Democratic fire for various reasons.

Who should be Mitt Romney's running mate?

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Here’s a quick pro and con list for each of the three:

JINDALPros: In his second term as governor and has extensive experience for someone so young (he just turned 41); particular knowledge and policy success in the important areas of health care, energy and education reform; strongly identified as a social conservative who could pump up enthusiasm in that part of the Republican base; could attract voters in the fast-growing Asian-American community. Cons: Much-publicized flop in delivering GOP response to President Obama’s 2009 address to Congress is still the No. 1 thing many people know about him; can veer off into the weeds or wonkishness in discussing policy; Louisiana is already a sure thing for Romney in November.

PAWLENTYPros: Served two terms as governor; already vetted somewhat by the media due to his own short-lived presidential campaign; personal story appeals strongly to blue-collar workers (credited with coining the phrase “Sam’s Club Republicans”) and critical Midwest swing states; probably the safest pick Romney could make. Cons: His campaign was short-lived in large part because he didn’t connect with GOP voters (we also now know from the way the primary went that he bailed out too soon, before he had a chance to be given the “second look” everyone else got); his record as governor didn’t help Minnesota Republicans build on his electoral success; it’s far from clear Romney could win Minnesota even with him on the ballot.

PORTMANPros: For a first-term senator, he has extensive experience in Washington (12 years in the House, stints as U.S. trade representative and director of Management and Budget) and could be “Mr. Inside” to Romney’s “Mr. Outside”; makes Ohio more winnable for Romney; on a personal note, I dealt with Portman a good bit while he was the U.S. trade representative and always found him one of the more genuinely impressive people in public office. Cons: His experience at USTR and OMB came during the Bush administration and would make it easier for Obama to campaign against George W. Bush (not that he won’t try anyway); just as vanilla as Pawlenty.

Any of the three would be more believable than, say, Joe Biden as someone who could be elevated to the presidency in an emergency. Any of the three strike me as more likely to help Romney’s chances than to hurt them, which is pretty much the whole ballgame. Jindal and Pawlenty strike me as more comfortable than Portman in the “attack dog” role the running mate traditionally fills — although the advent of super PACs and the negative tone we’ve already seen from both sides makes me wonder whether that tradition still holds up very well here in 2012. If picking from this group, and maybe even from the entire veepstakes field, I’m fairly certain I would go with Bobby Jindal.

But what about y’all? What’s your take: Should it be Jindal, Pawlenty, Portman — or someone else? If it’s the latter choice, let us know in the comments thread. In any event, vote in the nearby poll as well.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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285 comments Add your comment

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

July 18th, 2012
7:10 am

Willis

July 18th, 2012
7:20 am

Pawlenty will be Romney’s choice – he promised it to him so he would quit the nominee race.

the cat

July 18th, 2012
7:40 am

They are all laughable as candidates. This is the best Romoney could come up with? LOL

At this point, I don’t think Romoney will be the candidate himself.

AU Liberal in ATL

July 18th, 2012
7:44 am

I think he should go with Sarah Palin or John McCain. They’re ’smart’.

jconservative

July 18th, 2012
7:51 am

The VP nominee has never been the deciding factor in an election and will not be this time. Pick someone who will not hurt the ticket but will be useful getting the administration agenda through Congress. Of the three, that is Portman.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 18th, 2012
7:52 am

I’m still a Rubio guy, with Condi Rice in second place.

Sad to say, none of the alleged three finalists does anything for me.

Not that anyone he picks would change my vote in November anyway.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

July 18th, 2012
7:55 am

Sheriff Joe Arpaio!

@@

July 18th, 2012
8:07 am

Louisiana’s catastrophes could be viewed on the same level as America’s present catastrophe.

Jindal, having successfully dealt with those, could certainly deal with Obama’s.

This thing about voting for someone to deliver a state doesn’t always prove successful. My husband, Georgia born and bred, voted Jimmy Carter, for that very reason.

I’ve never let him live it down.

I still don’t know why the “Willy Wonkas” are a problem. Given what we’ve had thus far, details would be welcome.

SBinF

July 18th, 2012
8:15 am

To mix metaphors…if any of those guys are wise, they won’t be hitching their wagons to that sinking ship.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 18th, 2012
8:16 am

“Pawlenty will be Romney’s choice – he promised it to him so he would quit the nominee race.”

What you talkin’ about, Willis?

Pawlenty got out because he couldn’t get any VOTES.

SBinF

July 18th, 2012
8:16 am

For sure, maybe we should be asking ourselves if Mitt should even be the presidential candidate, much less discussing who’ll be his running mate.

Tom(Independent Viet Vet USAF)

July 18th, 2012
8:19 am

Any are just as good or better than Joe Bidden!!!

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 18th, 2012
8:20 am

“For sure, maybe we should be asking ourselves if Mitt should even be the presidential candidate, much less discussing who’ll be his running mate.”

Feel free to start your own quilting circle in that regard, SBinF.

Thomas Jefferson wouldn’t be getting your vote if he were a Republican. For that matter, strictly based on his beliefs, he wouldn’t be getting your vote. He knew who was responsible for the success of a business, and it wasn’t the government.

SBinF

July 18th, 2012
8:21 am

Right. I’m not sure how that even relates to my comment. Mitt is a seriously flawed candidate. He threw mud to win the primaries, and now he’s crying like a pantywaist because he can dish it out but not take it. He is proving all of the folks correct who questioned his efficacy as a candidate.

BuckeyeInGa

July 18th, 2012
8:27 am

During this vetting process for VP candiates, I wonder if Romney asked for tax returns that goes farther back than 2010.

Henry Spriggs

July 18th, 2012
8:29 am

Although Senator Rob Portman would make a strong and effective running mate for Romney my choice would be Senator Pat Toomey.
Toomey offers everything Portman does, experience, job creation background, solid conservative, tough campaigner. But what would be striking is that Toomey represents Pennsyvania in the U.S Senate, and I believe Toomey could deliever this state to Romney.

And that loss would be devastating to Obama re election.

JDW

July 18th, 2012
8:30 am

Well it is obvious Romney doesn’t feel that he will need help from the VP candidate because that is as bland a list as you could find. As for Kyle’s snippy Biden remark…you just don’t like what he has done to your causes over the years. The man is eminently qualified, far more so than Romney or any of the three options put forth.

-3+ years as VP
-15th longest tenured Senator in history
-Sixth youngest Senator in history
-Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee
-Chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee

Only a partisan hack would say he is not “believable”. You might say you prefer someone else but not “believable” :roll:

Grasshopper

July 18th, 2012
8:31 am

Sorry, these three all put me to sleep. Yawn.

LeeH1

July 18th, 2012
8:34 am

Sarah Palin should be given another chance. Since Mitt is going down in flames anyway, weeping and wailing all the way down that it isn’t fair, at least give him someone with some b@lls to fight alongside.

Besides, anyone else chosen for VP, after they lose the race, will be well positioned to be the next Presidential candidate. None of those mentioned are worthy.

BehindEnemyLines

July 18th, 2012
8:34 am

Not sure that it matters much. Minds are largely made up at this point I believe and there really isn’t a VP choice I can think of that’s going to change that. Unless Romney has a serious health problem we aren’t aware of, the country is still stuck with Obama or ObamaLite for four years.

SBinF

July 18th, 2012
8:34 am

Mitt’s problem is that he can’t pick a veep that is more exciting and electrifying than him. Unfortunately, he’s about as exciting as a plain baked potato, no cheese, no butter, not even salt or pepper.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 18th, 2012
8:37 am

JDW, please read what Kyle posted, OK?

Didn’t say “qualified”. He said “believable” if elevated in an emergency.

Rather a large difference. At least the three mentioned above aren’t walking punch-lines who get almost as much press time for their gaffes as their boss does for his policy speeches.

Tap Out

July 18th, 2012
8:40 am

SBinF

July 18th, 2012
8:41 am

Romney could scare up a better crop of candidates by visiting the cornfield from Hee Haw.

the cat

July 18th, 2012
8:43 am

I would vote for the bigger whiner than Romoney.

curious

July 18th, 2012
8:55 am

Dick Cheney is emerging from the wilderness. Time for an encore.

SBinF

July 18th, 2012
8:55 am

There is no bigger whiner than Romney. He wants Obama to apologize for raising valid questions, the folly!

independent Thinker

July 18th, 2012
8:59 am

John Sununu- He showed his ability to replace Dick Cheney as a mouthpiece for the top GOP guru- El Rushbo this week by spewing out reams of bile about Obama. We nee more of that type of statesmanship when Romney is trying to avoid impeachment for tax fraud after getting elected.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

July 18th, 2012
9:03 am

312 million people in this country and these are the best ya’ll can come up with?

On another note, I have a friend visiting Russia researching their Afghanistan war. He says he can see Sister Sarah sitting on her porch in Alaska.

td

July 18th, 2012
9:04 am

It is not going to be but Allen West would be my choice. He would drive the MSM and the far left absolutely crazy.

K Mom

July 18th, 2012
9:05 am

@ Finn McCool…..BRILLIANT!! LOL

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

July 18th, 2012
9:06 am

I don’t know if I’d put much weight into what Reuters has to offer, not unless we were discussing the Iranian vice presidential candidate choices, to which they probably helped the clerics choose.

Why would Romney contact these anti American propagandists?

Unless he’s just using them to float the boring pick balloon.

No bounce, eh, Mitt?

Condi it is!

DARRELL

July 18th, 2012
9:06 am

None of the above! Condolezza Rice would be the best choice

Jeffrey

July 18th, 2012
9:07 am

Michele Bachman, Rick perry, Ron Paul, Eric cantor, rand Paul I think any of these folks would really shake things up.

Jefferson

July 18th, 2012
9:07 am

He won’t pick someone who would “show him up”, that makes it tough.

Jefferson

July 18th, 2012
9:08 am

I hear his like his Cayman money manager pretty well, on the other hand.

jconservative

July 18th, 2012
9:13 am

Condolezza Rice is way to liberal for the Republican convention. The Republican Convention is always a “social conservative” convention. Condi Rice is a “social liberal”. If she is the VP nominee there will be a third party formed before the convention is two days old.

Will Create Fake Hawaiian Birth Certificates for Food

July 18th, 2012
9:15 am

Who should be Mitt Romney’s running mate?

The ADOBE Software Suite of Document Creation

Richard

July 18th, 2012
9:16 am

jconservative,

GOOD!!! All the more reason to pick Rice.

fair and balanced

July 18th, 2012
9:17 am

Rush Limbaugh-appears to be top GOP strategist right now

SBinF

July 18th, 2012
9:18 am

Condalolezza “Mushroom Cloud” Rice

Good gravy, I don’t think I’ve lived a virtuous enough life to be blessed by such a thing! That’s really what America needs, another reminder of the 8 years of crap known as the Bush presidency.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 18th, 2012
9:19 am

A few things to point out to the liberals on this blog who can’t seem to focus on the issues of this campaign.

First, if Romney were a private citizen, Stephanie Cutter, et al, would be in court tomorrow on the losing end of a libel and/or slander civil suit, and paying big time. But snce it is a political campaign they can lie as much as they want and get away with it.

Second, this small-ball tactic about wanting more tax returns because Romney is “hiding” something is just that – small-ball. Given his wealth, do you REALLY think an organization like the IRS doesn’t flag his returns for more than the occasional audit? Then you don’t know the IRS, libs. Like you don’t know many other things, I guess. The ONLY reason you want more information of Romney’s returns is a creepy need to delve into the type of finances you can only hope to achieve, and to demonize him for being successful – nothing else. And is this really the only thing you’ve got, libs? Legal tax returns? Two months of being hammered with negative ads about the Bain thing, and neither Romney’s nor Obama’s numbers have changed one bit.

I’d suggest your candidate try running on his record or his vision, but that wouldn’t go over too well, now would it? Thus far, it’s been more of the same that didn’t work in the first place.

Hyperbole and exaggeration are appropriate levels of campaigning to use, especially at this level, but outright lying is beneath the office Obama currently holds. A principled person would reign in the people who work for him and raise the level of discourse, but no one has ever accused Obama of being principled on anything.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

July 18th, 2012
9:21 am

Funny how we got over Rice being in one Republican administration or another for over twenty years.

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

July 18th, 2012
9:21 am

The election is going to come down to, do you support the candidate who wants to use American solutions to solve this economic disaster, or do you want to use Obama’s redistribution solutions. It is going to be plain and simple, by the time we get there.

Jindal can play the Chris Christie type role and give us the plain unvarnished truth that Mitt can’t do politically. He would be my choice among the three. I think, we will see someone else, however. Portman puts everyone to sleep, although people say he is loved in Ohio, but I think Romney takes Ohio anyway. Rubio or Rice would be better choices to enliven the ticket.

SBinF

July 18th, 2012
9:23 am

No one is saying Romney did anything illegal concerning his taxes. I suspect that many years he paid an effective rate below the 15% we know about. It would provide fodder for folks who argue that the system is rigged unfairly so that the rich get breaks while the rest of us are forced to pay. You know, the oft used mantra by conservatives: “47% of people pay no income taxes!”

Wouldn’t it be juicy irony if one of those 47% were Mitt Romney??

And as for a slander or libel suit, come on….the biggest defense to slander: “I believe this to be true.” Secondly, I don’t know what damages Mitt has suffered because someone implied that he committed a crime.

DeborahinAthens

July 18th, 2012
9:23 am

Citing his educational policies as a reason to even look at Jindal makes me laugh so hard I started to cry…no…no…those weren’t tears of laughter, there were tears of despair. Read Jays editorial today about what Jindal’s school voucher program is doing. Directing billions of taxpayers’ dollars to religious schools that have basket ball teams but no libraries…students watch television most of the time. One of the Right Wing responders said it was better than Chicago or LA. But anyone who has been to Chicago, Los Angeles, Baton Rouge, New Orleans will notice very quickly how much more intelligent (on average) the populace is in Chicago and Los Angeles is compared to New Orleans, where, the average person dropped out of high school as soon as they could. One notices that there are very high teen age pregnancy rates in Louisiana compared to Illinois. Since most teenage pregnancies happen to undereducated girls, one could deduce that the teenage girls in Louisiana are not as well educated as the girls in Illinois. Why can’t this country emulate countries like Finland, which has one of the highest literacy rate in the world? Oh, I forgot, the Right Wing Conservatives WANT you to be stupid. So the fact that Jindal got the most number of votes after “someone else” is not surprising.

ITS ALL BUSHS FAULT

July 18th, 2012
9:24 am

BOZO THE CLOWN WOULD WORK WELL WITH THE OTHER CLOWN

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 18th, 2012
9:26 am

“Oh, I forgot, the Right Wing Conservatives WANT you to be stupid.”

Now why would we want more liberals, DeborahinAthens? ;)

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

July 18th, 2012
9:27 am

None of these three of any meaningful foreign policy experience so there’s your big hole, Kyle.

As far as the financial and health care experience, isn’t that what Romney’s running on?

Gosh, let me think of who could fill the credibility gap forged by the klown show tag team of Biden and Bruno, and restore America’s standing among our allies?

What’s her name?

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

July 18th, 2012
9:28 am

I see that Obama tried to clarify his statement on business success yesterday, after two days. MarkV assured me yesterday that it did not need clarification. Seems me he walked it back as best he could.