(CNN) - It may be months before Mitt Romney announces who will join him on the GOP presidential ticket, but speculation surrounding the likely nominee's choice of running mate is already well beyond fever pitch.
Joining the discussion Monday: former Vice President Dick Cheney, the last Republican to act as the country's second-in-command. Making some of his first public remarks following a successful heart transplant in late March, Cheney drew on his own experience selecting running mates in advising Romney.
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"I've been involved in a couple of vice presidential searches, some more successful than others," Cheney said at an event for students at the Washington Center. His remarks were carried by C-SPAN.
In 2000, Cheney led the vice presidential search for then-candidate George W. Bush that culminated in his own selection as running mate.
He continued, "The thing that I think is important to remember is the decision you make as a presidential candidate on who your running mate's going to be is the first presidential level decision the public's going to see you make. It's the first time you're making a decision you're going to have to live with. It gives the public a chance to see you operate and see what you think is important, what kind of individual you choose to serve as your running mate, what are the criteria."
Cheney said making a vice presidential decision in order to leverage key voting blocs was a mistake, saying it ignored the position's most vital duty.
"I think the single most important criteria has to be the capacity to be president," Cheney said. "That's why you pick them. I think lots of times in the past that has not been the foremost criteria."
Romney would be smart to ignore pundits handicapping the decision, Cheney said.
"As you watch the talking heads out there now, they're saying you've got to pick a woman, a Hispanic, someone from a big state. They're all interesting things to speculate about but it's pretty rare that the election ever turns on those kinds of issues."
In his remarks, Cheney also offered details about the night he received his heart transplant. The former vice president had been on the waiting list for a donor heart for 20 months.
"On a Friday night about midnight I got a phone call," Cheney said. "I knew I was getting to the top of the list."
He continued, "We got in the car and drove to the hospital. Checked in there. About seven o'clock in the morning they began the operation. It took about five or six hours."
Cheney said he remained in the hospital for nine days following the procedure.
"I'm feeling very well, and very fortunate," Cheney said of his current state of health. He added he felt "great gratitude to the individual, family that donated the heart I was privileged to receive."
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Team MORMON / JACK MORMON 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think that JACK MORMON Rubio would make an ok VP.
...During the press conference, Mr. Cheney frequently mumbled random phrases such as "hail Satan" and "Fire, walk with me."
Advice, that's rich coming from the guy who hi-jacked the 2000 selection in his favor. Pick someone who can be President he says, what was Bush's excuse for picking a guy with a bum ticker who spent more time in a hospital getting examined.
I'm surprised his new heart can stand being inside someone so hatefull.
"I know alittle about picking a running mate." Yeah, he picked himself... that was brilliant! I bet he stayed up late nights polishing his hunting shotgun as he thought about how he would easily manipulate the feeble minded republican candidate. Bush never caught on to the fact that Cheney was telling him to make more visits to Afganistan for a reason.
Great leaders like Obama are hated by war criminals like Cheney.
You know the man will be received well into heaven when you make this many liberals angry.
What?! When he helped GWB, he picked HIMSELF! The advise I want from Mr. Cheney is how do the rest of us get his healthcare coverage!
thanks to the health insurance that we the people pay for
I am sorry, but why is this guy not in jail with Rove?
what are the Vegas ods that Rubio flips back to Tabby Nacklism. Catholic, no , Prodestant, no, Tabby Nackle, no, Catholic, no, Prodestant, no Tabby Nackle, no, Catholic ETC, ETC, ETC Could it be......... 2 full fledged Tabby Nackles .... VP & Prez & the million $ question.... if so, do they put their hand on the PLYG church of the fake Bible or the real Bible when sworn in??????????
Obama must have high respect for Cheney since he expanded the Patriot act, kept Gitmo, and endorsed almost all of the Bush/Cheney wartime policies. Obama sounded like the crazy antiwar folks while campaigning and then came into office and ket the same policies. Good boy.
"some of his first public remarks following...heart surgery"
HIs first remark was to call the President of the United States an "unmitigated disaster", without acknowledging the
unmitigated disaster he and Bush inflicted on America.
Secondly, "the most important criteria has to be the capacity to be President". They don't have a candidate yet
that "has the capacity to be President" and they won't find a VP qualified either.
This man receives the same respect and trust from me that he gives to others – None.
I'm glad he is well. But as VP he was one sick hombre politically.
....Advice from a ' draftdodger' to another 'draftdodger'....It amazes me. That republicans,(tea-party, birthers, and nra-nuts)....Would claim that, with all their bagage. Can really run this country....In the ground, again..Yes....they can. I hope, your get, your country back.. so you people, can't keep blaming, the current President.
Next year when I renew my drivers license I will be removing my organ donor endorsement!!! I will also be changing my will so that any medical personnel will be advised that " I WILL NOT DONATE ANY BODY PARTS TO SAVE PEOPLE LIKE DICK CHENEY OR ANY OF HIS GOP FRENDS"!!!!! These people have killed enough of our younger generation in the pursuit of their oil to make them rich and the hell with the rest of us!!! ;o(
Please go sit down!!!!!!!!!! Noone wants to here you speaking or breathing.
Rest for life go home with wife and stop run for VP . He was totol failure with Bush.Also he try fired above Presidnet Bush? Let Mitt pick best Man Vp middle age and very smart alike him,, to save America. Vote for Mitt Romney !! Mitt, you might too risk women for VP look Mcaian got Women not able beat Omaha, Women are not ready for Vp this time. Maybe your second term in 2016? 2012 you need Vp mate men this time.
Cheney's advice on picking a running mate: Must wear dark black helmet, be adept with a light sabre, speak through vocal transformer.
Why is it that we have an over-abundance of right wing posters here who simply cannot put a simple string of words together to form an intelligent sentence? Do they check spelling or edit the post before hitting the button? I wonder of it's just that rush to reply. It sure makes many of then rank up there with Cheney's advice....
This guy should just sit on a river with a fishing pole and a bottle of jack Daniels.
Cheney's advice is the last thing this country needs.
"You know the man will be received well into heaven when you make this many liberals angry."
And we all know a phony "christian" GOBP cult member when they can't recognize that Christ was the epitome of true liberalism and social justice.
Mitt...I am your father.
His advice: "Don't pick someone like me."