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. T'sah From Virginia

    ►With Romney away, possible VP picks defend home turf◄
    No one cares since Romney is already overseas trying his damnest to get it to work
    But when you have the TOP – with a name like FLIP-FLOP – who constantly does NOT make any sense
    There's really NOTHING left – that his surrogates can do – which is the reason why they constantly play defense

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    July 29, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  2. Namechuck

    So americans really want to see this country take another down fall man o man this has to be a joke

    July 29, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  3. Iamnotfooled

    How can they blame President Obama's policies when they have not even implemented his policies. They block all of his Jobs bills. The American Jobs Act (submitted in Sept. 2011 would have created 1.9 million jobs) The Small Business and Tax Relief Act –blocked 7-13-12 would have created 1 million jobs. The Bring Jobs Home Act-blocked 7-19-12.
    Countless jobs that would have come back to America with" Made In America" on it. These guys will not tell you that.

    July 29, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  4. John

    Ayotte and Romney are residents of the same state. Therefore she cannot be his running mate.

    July 29, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  5. John

    Romney HAS to pander to Israel. Israel is the 51st state! Oh wait, no it isn't. Hey Romney, start pandering to the American middle class for a change!

    July 29, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  6. Vince L

    Romney told Israel that he would support military action against Iran. He essentially gave them U.S.carte blanche military support should he be elected President. Does anyone else see a problem with that?

    July 29, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    All of these people are trying out for the VP slot. The problem that was said that they believe Obama doesn't think the US is the greatest country on the planet. That shouldn't be in question. If they didn't, that person wouldn't be running for president ever.

    July 29, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  8. Squigman

    While he's away, try to find a candidate that's sincere. This one sways like a palm in a hurricane.

    July 29, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  9. 1st in line

    The VP candidate has already been chosen. As soon as the Salt Lake elders give him permission, MR will make the announcement.

    July 29, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  10. mv

    Romney is willing to start a war just so that he can be President. Interesting...

    July 29, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  11. Tubby the Tuba Texasc

    I see a new war for our American youth to die in....if Romney is elected to the Presidency!

    July 29, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  12. PaulPhillips

    Now, it is very clear that Mitt Rommey is ready to start War with Iran on behalf of Israel. I am positive that a very good idea after almost 5000 sons and daughter dead in Iraq. If Mitt Rommey mean to start a all out war with Iran then HIS five sons need to sign on as soon as possible with US marine or Army to fight in that war just as Prince William and Henry of England.

    July 30, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  13. enuff

    And the wanna=bes continue the game of duck=duck=goose hoping they become "it". My gosh... have they no pride?

    July 30, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  14. Mauricio Imana

    There is no way I will vote for Romney. After his speech in Isreal, he has declared himself a guard-dog for that country putting us in second place. He even said he will go against any world organization resolution if he needs to support Isreal in any activity including invasions. He did no mention Palestina at all. How stupid can he be?

    July 30, 2012 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  15. HUNGDAO

    Though highly intelligent , Mr. Romney is not wise enough to be our Mr.President , however.

    July 30, 2012 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  16. Karim

    Maybe Romney should move to Jerusalem and see how he likes it there.

    July 30, 2012 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  17. chuck weidemann

    These republicans spent the entire week watching their man stumble. It's amazing how low their expectations are for the robot candidate!!! If Romney is an example of American exceptionalism ....someone needs to look up the definition ....!!!!

    July 30, 2012 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  18. esm

    you need to go mental hospital before u run for presedent!

    July 30, 2012 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  19. Adam Rothman

    Seems Like he was more interested and passonate upon the Israeli People than his own. I wonder Why???
    Also He mentions so passionatly of the Israeli victims 40 years ago. But fogot just 2 weeks ago of the victims that died in a terrorist attack in a theatre. Are the 11 Israelis Blood Better than ours? or more Important??? HHmmmm?

    July 30, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  20. James Mitchell

    bill878 has it right. Before you make up your mind about Israel, go there as I have. Public opinion on the street is delusional, totally in denial of the historical facts and the human rights of the people they invaded, displaced, and continue to abuse. Romney is simply reiterating the Bush Crusade, pandering to the right wing and financial interests.

    Judaism is a religion. Israel is a nation-state. They are not the same. One can grant all the worth of Judaism while questioning the actions of a war-mongering government. In fact, the former mayor of Haifa did just that and nearly beat Netanyahu. Israel the nation is sharply divided, basically along north-south lines. Many want peace, many see the injustice.

    Romney is a dangerous fool.

    July 30, 2012 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  21. pete

    Is this what Republican Party can present to run for the boss position? that us scary.

    July 30, 2012 04:16 am at 4:16 am |
  22. pete

    God Bless America!

    July 30, 2012 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  23. Roy

    Romney wants us in yet another expensive war with Iran. The GOP are war mongers. Yet, Romney was a draft dodger during Vietnam and his sons serve our country by "working on his campaign." He doesn't send his sons to be killed yet he wants to send our boys. Vote Obama and Democrats to save American lives.

    July 30, 2012 05:06 am at 5:06 am |
  24. packerfans

    Vote for Mitt Romeny who can save America,Israel and world!! Obama cannot save America even world and America become Babylon?? Where God send promise land of America and freedom!!

    July 30, 2012 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  25. Marie MD

    Good luck. A bunch of unknown, losers, liars, women haters.

    July 30, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
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