With Romney away, possible VP picks defend home turf
July 29th, 2012
05:47 PM ET
2 years ago

With Romney away, possible VP picks defend home turf

(CNN) – As Mitt Romney makes waves overseas, his campaign has deployed a crowd of possible vice presidential picks to continue hammering home the Republican candidate’s message on American soil.

The slew of high-profile surrogates covered the country over the weekend hounding President Barack Obama for what they say is a failed economic and foreign policy, all the while singing Romney’s praise.

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Of Romney's supposed shortlist of possible running mates - Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell – all made appearances on the trail while the presidential hopeful is away.

As Romney meets with top officials on the second leg of his three-country swing in Israel, Ayotte appeared on CNN's “State of the Union with Candy Crowley” on Sunday to talk, among other topics, of Romney’s performance thus far on the foreign stage.

Asked by CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley if Romney’s trip was progressing the way she imagined, Ayotte affirmed her support for the candidate’s foreign policy credentials following a series of international blunders, including Romney’s expressed concern over London’s Olympic preparedness while in Great Britain meeting with top officials.

“Well, I can tell you that certainly, Mitt Romney is going to be strong on American exceptionalism, and strong foreign policy for America, and he won't go around and apologize for America,” said Ayotte, referring to a 2009 speech given by a freshly-elected Obama in Cairo.

Conservatives frequently cite Obama's foreign swing soon after becoming president as an "apology tour," though independent fact checkers point out he never uttered the words "I'm sorry" at any point during his trip.

On Sunday, Ayotte also criticized the president’s handling of the conflict in Syria, defining Obama’s tactics as an ‘outsource’ of leadership to the United Nations.

The potential number two continued touting the former businessman’s revival of the 2002 Olympic Games, wrought with scandal and mismanagement before Romney’s takeover.

“When Salt Lake City was in trouble, Mitt Romney stepped in, served his community,” said Ayotte. “He went in, he served his country. Salt Lake City was a success. America was proud. And now we need someone to clean up Barack Obama's mess, and Mitt Romney is the person to do it.”

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan stumped for Romney on Sunday in his home state and potential battleground of Wisconsin along with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Sen. Ron Johnson. The three visited campaign offices throughout the state.

Rubio, considered a rising star on the Republican stage, took the Romney campaign's message out West, speaking at a victory rally in Las Vegas on Saturday. Rubio handed down harsh criticism of the president's managing of the economy and derided the commander in chief for having no belief or understanding of the concept of free enterprise.

Further defining the choice between Romney and Obama, Rubio said, "You're not just working to get rid of somebody, you're working to replace somebody with someone like Mitt Romney who understands what's made us prosperous in the past and understands what will make us prosperous in the future as well.”

Portman, stationed in the Midwest, campaigned for the Republican contender in his delegate-rich home state of Ohio while Pawlenty campaigned in North Carolina on Saturday.

Jindal took Romney's message to Iowa with McDonnell on a “We Did Build That” tour on Thursday, touting the former Massachusetts governor's economic prowess and harping on a highly repeated remark made by Obama at a campaign event in Virginia.

Rubio was also slated to appear in Iowa Saturday but after airplane malfunctions following his Las Vegas appearance, he phoned into the Des Monies event instead from his temporary landing spot in New Mexico.

With Romney abroad until Tuesday, the candidate's vice presidential pick is expected to be announced between his return and the Republican National Convention in Tampa, which begins August 27.

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Filed under: 2012 • Bobby Jindal • John Thune • Kelly Ayotte • Marco Rubio • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan • Rob Portman • Tim Pawlenty • Veepstakes
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. LeeAT

    Setting the stage for justifying unbearable Gas prices. Romney will make "W" look like a genius. Obama doesn't stand a chance against the wealth machine that has joined forces to defeat him. If they don't think that they can beat Obama by getting more votes, they are going to steal the election, and God help the non rich.

    July 29, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. Larry L

    Maybe Romney can get that group to wear ties, ride around on bicycles and pass out little "funny books" telling people about Romney's "vision"...

    July 29, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  3. incredulous

    “When Salt Lake City was in trouble, Mitt Romney stepped in, served his community,” said Ayotte. “He went in, he served his country.

    Yes, good old Mitt. He got the US government to bail it out and then ran around for years taking the credit for it. American can do without his kind of service.

    July 29, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  4. drake mallard

    To the GOP A Cuban on the ballot means nothing to the general
    population of the Hispanic community.

    Cubans have enjoyed a status not accorded to any other immigrant
    group over time. In this work,Illegal Immigrants from Cuba: Preferential
    Treatment

    Of course no republican will say anything about this as most cubans tend to vote republican

    Romney says he favors 'self-deportation

    other vs. Cubans: Is There A Double Standard On Illegal Aliens

    This is good news. Rubio was and is more concerned with the Cuban agenda

    then he is about our American agenda. He can always run for Vice

    President in Cuba, which is where he and his family belongs.

    Rubio is a crook, and a liar.

    No more needs to be said

    July 29, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  5. Myviewis

    That's because Obama is a Wimp and wimps always need to apologize to gain acceptance.

    July 29, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  6. drake mallard

    Romney now claims he “Saved The Olympics” but what he really did was
    ask for a federal “bailout from George Bush”. Bush then gave the
    Olympics 600 million dollars to get their act together and in the final
    count, Romney spent 1.2 billion and was way over budget even after a
    bailout.

    The Olympics managed by Mitt Romney, was the most expensive in
    history, and John McCain once again called it “the worst example of Pork
    Barrel Spending” he’d every witnessed. Romney thinks his record
    “bailout” his record in earmarks, and his record spending at the
    Olympics, is part of his “business experience” that makes him a viable
    candidate for President. But no one is actually talking about that.

    July 29, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  7. agape_

    USA should support Israel in preventing an atomic iran

    July 29, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  8. CBR

    Not one Republican will admit that the polarized Congress must share blame. The Republican leadership would not work with the President to get America's economy moving. Some of Romney's surrogates were part of that mess and continue to live in their own little dreamworld. There is plenty of blame to go around. That includes some very powerful people who preside over large corporations. They took big salaries and did not get their companies moving. No Help at all.

    July 29, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  9. gwats1957

    Any Americans with Children they would be willing to sacrifice in Syria's Civil war, stand up and be counted. Any takers? None? I thought so. Please, don't throw rocks at policies unless you're willing to put your OWN kids in harm's way.

    July 29, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  10. James

    Romney does not have the power to declare anything. With his mouth, he can only cause more trouble than he is worth. I hope he runs off with Sara Palin into the sunset and leaves us alone.

    July 29, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  11. ge

    so while romneys running around the world looking like a idiot–he has his back up doing the same in america-sounds about right

    July 29, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  12. Lee Morgan

    So the "Pretender to the Thone" has dubbed Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and has given full support to a war with Iran. He is certainly the gift that keeps on giving to AlQueda and the Taliban. What better recruitment tool do they need. He certainly knows how to put a bull's eye on the back of all Americans in the Middle East, especially our soldiers. I'm sure he isn't too worried since his sons are safe at home. Perhaps the American people need to be reminded that we fought WWII when a country won wars against its neighbors and wanted to expand throughout Europe. Its a shame that so many people spit on the graves of those who died because the soldiers didn't believe that "Might makes it right." Once we all believed that. I'm sure that Romney and his ilk feels that those who fought in Iraq and Afganistan have had enough of a rest. After all those who are the war mongers have no skin in the game. And on a purely economic note, I'm sure it will justify Mitts need to give the DOD more money. So the Pretender to the Throne may need to be reminded that he does not set policy, and he has shown us thru his visit that he should never be allowed to do so.

    July 29, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  13. Dave

    Does bimbo Ayoett live on planet KOLOB? Alexithymic Mitt went around London apologizing non-stop. Maybe all his clown car surrogates can form a chorus and sing AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL while Mitt is pandering over seas.

    July 29, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  14. MBSeattle

    Hey Mitt would you send your sons to fight for Iran?

    July 29, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  15. Lets Not

    Hey Mitt,

    Should you win the presidency lets not go to war with Iran. Lets just let Israel do what she wants to do but without our going to war. It is time to stop the endless money we send to Israel and Egypt every year and let them do whatever it is they want to do, lets not have anymore thousands of brave Americans die in another mid east war and lets not spend another Trillion like Iraq.

    Let do this instead, lets take care of the United States, lets take that money we give as welfare to a few countries and invest that money in making sure our returning soldiers are taken care of 100% as they deserve and after we give them the best medical and mental health treatment in the world lets take the rest of the money we did not give away and use it for job training for those brave American soldiers. The 4-8 Billion a year(we don't know the exact amount because of all the secret loans and waivers of loans on top of the welfare money) that's 4-8 billion a year and use it here in the United States and if we don't have to spend it all then here is an idea lets NOT spend it..

    Thanks, a concerned American for America first.

    July 29, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  16. tammyk tammy

    It took a lot of apologizing for American to regain respect after years of rendition under Bush so that the disgusting GOP could get away with torture. PRESIDENT OBAMA has done nothing that requires an apology to the world, but he was man enough to apologize on behalf of the embarassing GOP teatards. WILLARD the newest GOP warmongering rat needs only to apologize for his own blunders.

    July 29, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  17. Thor4

    The trouble with Romney is that he is all

    July 29, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  18. brian

    I hear sarah palin's available... get on that asap

    July 29, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  19. Thomas

    This cracks me up big time.

    All of his so called possible VP picks are campaigning outside there own turf .

    It's like they want to convince other regions what a great leader Romney would be . It's kinda like three card molly .

    Maybe they are more concerned about there own election, distancing themselves from Romney in there own arena.

    July 29, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  20. BeverlyNC

    Romney's "tour" is a disaster. He alieniated our closest ally in less than 24 hours. Now he went to Israel to pump up for a war in Iran – which he has no right to do on foreign soil since he is nothing more than a tourist there. So we finally get ONE thing we know Romney stands for – WAR with Iran. Sure wish Romney would tell us what he stands FOR on our more critical domestic issues. His attacks on President Obama are old worn-out lies. Using his not ready for prime time VP choices to speak for him does nothing. Until Romney takes a real principled stand on domestic issues and lets the People know what destruction he plans to implement (the Ryan budget) he is just wasting our time and letting us see he is no leader. I tell you what Mitt- we have a war with Iran – your sons must all go and fight your war and you must put your foreign-stashed money up to pay for it.

    July 29, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  21. tammyk tammy

    President Obama is not yet finished cleaning up the huge mess left by guess who. VOTE OBAMA so that this country will continue to act in a civilized manner, show responsible leadership and respect toward other countries, and never need to apologize to the world again. Obama 2012 for the well-being of America and the world.

    July 29, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  22. craig adams

    Romney again displays zero gravitas and diplomatic cache.

    July 29, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  23. 2020

    This batch of jokers don't even made a noise. The lense is on Romney making the big bash news with Newsweek.

    Never mind, all loser.

    July 29, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  24. GH

    Man, who would have ever thought that New Hampshire would elect a Senator as far to the right as Ayotte?

    That woman could easily be turned to toast during the 2016 Senate elections.

    July 29, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  25. BeverlyNC

    The British people figured out Romney has no substance or character in less than 24 hours – so how much longer will it take Americans to wake up and figure out the same thing? Mitt is a wimp who will not take a position on anything. I will stand firm with President Obama who has shown us what a real leader, solution deliverer, People's President and brilliant foreign policy strong man he is. Real values. Real character. Real decision-maker. Great communicator. Real concern and action for the People. A REAL President.

    July 29, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
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