Romney names possible running mate
November 22nd, 2011
01:18 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney names possible running mate

(CNN) – GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney on Monday dropped a name for a possible running mate should he secure his party's nomination.

"There are probably 15 names of people, including (New Hampshire Sen.) Kelly Ayotte," Romney said in an interview on Fox News. "I mean, there are terrific Republicans in the Senate, in the House, in governors' offices."

Programming note: GOP presidential candidates face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, November 22, in the CNN Republican National Security Debate in Washington, D.C.

Ayotte, who was sitting next to Romney at the time of the interview, threw her support behind Romney this weekend in a highly coveted endorsement.

The first-term senator was elected in 2010 with 60% of the vote and is seen as a strong conservative on issues of finance and defense. A former state attorney general, Ayotte voted against the debt deal hammered out in Congress this summer.

Asked who she thinks Romney should consider for vice president, Ayotte pointed to names already floating around in GOP circles: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

She also pointed to Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico as a strong candidate.

While Romney has been criticized from the right for being too moderate, Ayotte said her main focus was electing a Republican who could oust President Barack Obama from the White House.

"(Romney) is the person who can lead our country, change the direction, bring those conservative principles that we need to the White House and most importantly make sure that Barack Obama is a one-term president," Ayotte said in the interview.

The former Massachusetts governor has remained steady in the top tier of the GOP presidential field, but a new CNN/ORC International Poll this week showed Romney falling slightly behind former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

And while Romney was hesitant to list any more possible VP contenders, the candidate said there's no short list of potential names.

"You've got extraordinary men and women," Romney said. "We have a very deep bench."

– CNN's Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.

Also see:

Cain signs anti-abortion pledge


Cain, Paul crossed off for Iowa group's pres. endorsement


Who can make a difference in New Hampshire?

Bachmann's big upset prediction


Filed under: 2012 • 2012 VP Pick • Kelly Ayotte • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
soundoff (218 Responses)
  1. Neil

    One advice to Romney. Do not start counting chickens before they hatch. Especially when 7 other people around him are hungry for omlette

    November 22, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  2. from tn

    it's kinda like Lady Gaga – how she changes the lyrics of her song just slightly for each state......

    November 22, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. penquin

    So all she is worried about is getting Obama out of office? She's not interested in helping people in this country and figuring out how to get jobs back in the country for the average working family? Great, just what we need.

    November 22, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Seattle Sue

    You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. What a pair of losers!

    November 22, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. bill

    Ha Ha Ha this guy is the classic candidate. Tall, handsome family man, smiles a lot and now hints that he might select a woman for VP. Perfect example of modern image creation. He will probably win the Republican nomination even though nobody seems to know exactly where he stands on anything. I really think he is going to make it, good for him. :-)

    November 22, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    Sniffit
    NOBODY asked for an immediate $1T tax increase. Rather, short-term spending measures and tax relief followed by long-term revenue and tax increases is what has been called for.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________
    Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., ...said Republicans offered their colleagues a revenue compromise that Democrats demanded, but he said in a statement that Democrats refused to agree to any meaningful deficit reduction without “$1 trillion in job-crushing tax increases.” This is why the Supercommittee failed.

    November 22, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. ty

    in referring to VP options romney claims.".we have a very deep bench"...pity none of them are running for president because the current crop is dismal, fools, liars and out for themselves, not america

    November 22, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. Terry

    Hey Mitt, I just watched your ad that attacks Obama, and you left out the fact that Obama was talking about John McCain. If you will play the old "bait and switch" with an old video clip that happened during the 2008 Campaign, how can you possibly think that other Republicans will believe what you say to them? Talk about being a sleaze-bag. My vote now goes to Newt Gingrich.

    November 22, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. shoegazer

    "We have a very deep bench"......he must think he's Aaron Rodgers.

    November 22, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  10. Larry

    Forget about Susana Martinez from New Mexico as a VP candidate. As a resident of the state, I can truly say she is way over her head as gov.

    November 22, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. CBR

    Mr. Romney is bit about to pick a vice presidential candidate so why even talk about it. Just politics. I wonder how his Lt. Gov. form MA feels about that? She got left holding the bag when she ran for governor. Probably did not work out the way she wanted either.

    November 22, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  12. Matt

    I like Kelly Ayotte (in fact I recommended her for VP to Herman Cain), but even she can't make me overlook Romney's flip-flopping liberalism and the con job that he calls his "religion."

    If Gingrich beats Romney in New Hampshire, Romney is done.

    November 22, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. ARALE NORIMAKI

    The same Marco Rubio? That Talks Big but Fails to Deliver?

    Before the March 2000 session, Rubio was hardly the scorching conservative who would later woo Tea Partiers nationwide. He said he'd focus on supporting early education and community policing. And he wasn't particularly passionate about cutting spending. In his first three years, he supported adding a $4 surcharge to cruise tickets to fund a Marlins stadium and a $1.2 million earmark to build new bike paths in his district

    Marco Rubio Really Admires Dead Racist Jesse Helms

    So, Marco Rubio is going around calling America "weakened." He blames it on Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.

    spent thousands with GOP credit card

    Records show Rubio sent payments to American Express totaling $13,900 for his personal expenses during his tenure as House speaker. But those payments were not made monthly. He made no contributions to the bill during a six-month stretch in 2007, records show.

    November 22, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  14. BeverlyNC

    Who cares? Romney is an arrogant elitist who has no clue what is going on in our nation or what the PEOPLE are facing – nor does he care. Remember, he is the one who thinks no helo shold be given to homeowners who were defraused by the banks and are about to lose their homes; Republicans are going to LOSE in a LANDSLIIDE in 2012

    November 22, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  15. Bob

    Gov Bob McDonnell of Virginia would be a great choice.
    He is a strong conservative, a Catholic, and a proven winner. His selection will cement Virginia into the GOP fold.

    November 22, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. Pastafaria

    Great idea, pick an inexperienced female conservative wingnut from a backwater state as your running mate. Let me guess, Romney thinks Kelly Ayotte willl make up for his lack of foreign policy experience because she can see Canada from her house. Despite having four years advanced warning, I'll bet Ayotte won't be able to name a single news magazine when she's interviewed by Katie Couric next fall.

    November 22, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  17. JHarris

    Ayotte was sitting next to Romney when this statement was made in response to a question he had been given. He didn't say she was his VP pick. He was kindly and politely trying to let her and her constituents know that he held her in high regard. It is called people skills. Alternatively, he could have done as many on this board seem to have think he should have done... "Nope, haven't picked my VP candidate... Ayotte thanks for the endorsement... nice knowing you." That would have gone over really well.

    I think Mitt would make a fine president. He continues to show himself to be a gentleman.

    November 22, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  18. TJ Parker

    Wow, just heard her on CNN. That woman is more inarticulate than Perry.

    November 22, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  19. PlagueDoc

    @Pastafaria ROTFLMFAO!!! Well done!

    November 22, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  20. manistee49660

    Mitt should pick a VP from a non-southern states as these goof balls in the south will vote for any candidate that has a capital R after their name.

    November 22, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  21. gg

    the middle class should just lay down and die if a republican wins,and the rich will be drinking wine

    November 22, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  22. PlagueDoc

    @Joe I wouldn't worry too much about it. Someone could probably get booed off the stage at a NASCAR event just for breathing through their nose.

    November 22, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  23. Not fooled

    He is going the McCain route. We all know how that turned out.

    November 22, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  24. Mike from Philly - all my life

    Christie, Christie, Christie. I dont like either of them, but that is your ticket. Romney-Christie. And may God have mercy on all our souls.

    November 22, 2011 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  25. bruce

    I just have THREE words: Vice President Joe Biden!!! End of discussion!!!!!

    November 22, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
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