August 11th, 2012
10:02 AM ET
2 years ago

Exclusive: How Romney chose his running mate

Washington (CNN) – Beth Myers has long been Mitt Romney's most trusted political adviser, so it's no surprise that he tasked her with the job of helping him find the right running mate

In an exclusive interview with CNN earlier this week, Myers described to CNN what the process entailed.

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"He's very methodical in making his decisions, and what he wants is a couple things. First of all, he wants all the information, and we went about a very thorough process in making sure we had a lot of information about a broad group. He also doesn't like to rule anything out until he has to," she said.

She described the first group of possibilities as "broad."

"We got a good cut of information about a lot of people. He then narrowed it down, and we got even more information. We got personal information from each of the potential candidates. And at that point, again, we had some attorneys go thru and look thru everybody's record to make sure that there was–you know I didn't want to miss anything about them," she told CNN.

Next step was for Romney to look at the information about each candidate and to make his analysis of them.

"Mitt took these candidate dossiers and he thought about them. He read all of them word for word. I had talked with each of the candidates personally. He had obviously been campaigning with a lot of the folks that he was considering. And he read the dossiers, and we narrowed it down once again. And we did, you know an even more deep dive, on them and then gave them the final product," Myers explained.

Asked if he then solicited advice, Myers told CNN Romney would ask a wide range of people their opinion.

"He solicits the advice of a small group of his advisers, but then he asks I think everybody he meets 'what's your thought on this?'" She added "He listens. He asks, you know, sort of people you wouldn't think that he'd ask about it. He talks to, you know, he calls friends from all walks of his life, all across the country, wanting to know what they think. He listens to that."

While she knew the most about all of the candidates and their backgrounds, Myers did not tell Romney who she preferred for the job.

"I haven't told him. I have not shared with him my opinion because I think it's important that I'm objective."

Myers said Romney being comfortable with the choice was very important as well as making sure the person was qualified.

"I mean obviously his first qualification is that the person is qualified to be president and perceived to be qualified to be president."

– CNN Senior Producer Kevin Bohn contributed to this story.


Filed under: 2012 • 2012 VP Pick • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. ssprince1

    The Ryan plan will privatize medicare just like when they privatized health care. Ryan plan would require future Medicare recipients to use a premium support provided by the federal gov (voucher) to buy a private insurance policy instead of receiving current benefits directly funded by the federal gov. The Path to Prosperity” doesn’t contain a specific proposal to privatize Social Security;however, Ryan set out some specifics proposing to privatize a portion of Social Sec. by creating individual accounts for beneficiaries and telling the beneficiaries to invest a part of the money.Beneficiary would pay 68 PERCENT of the cost of currently covered services and the premium support payment would pay 32 percent of the currently covered services. In part, this would be because both administrative costs and profits would be HIGHER in a private plan,and payment rates to providers are higher for private plans than for Medicare. Ryan Plan and Mitt Romney are picking on the seniors who have fixed income to make a buck on health care! Lobby checks r coming the insurance companies looking to make more profits; Can one imagine Blue Cross Blue Shield making more than the 13 billion they already made in the last year on sick people by over charging them? Makes me feel ill. Obama 2012, let's get the word out!

    August 11, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  2. doug

    Dem comments are so funny, Ryan is a better person than every Democrat in America in the ways that matter, compassion, fairness, equality, tolerance, integrity, morals, values, and decency. No lib comes close to Ryan in any way that matters. The fact that the Mao lovers like Anita Dunn in the Obama adin. love Mao makes their hate of Ryan admirable.

    August 11, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  3. Lewy

    Paul Ryan is the one man that can return America to Greatness.

    August 11, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  4. doug

    All of the rises in costs we seen this year thanks to Obamacare is just the begining. NO Democrat understands like the post above, they don't own a business and they don't work so they have no idea, yeah if you are a leech on society and have no remorse for your taking because you are a Democrat then voting Obama for your freebies off the backs of your neighbors is the way to go for you. Everyone else has a moral obligation to vote Republican.

    August 11, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. B.

    Its not too hard to see, Romney is over his head and was looking for someone to stand in front of him just like Bush did with Cheney.

    Romney will become Ryan’s shadow figure.

    August 11, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  6. Kenny K

    I think we will know more about him before the election just the way we knew more about Palin when she was selected.

    August 11, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. Patrick in Minnesota

    Congratulations on your second term Mr. Obama.

    August 11, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. Darryl

    A Wallstreet ceo & A T-Party extremist ? Not a chance today or anyother day. Ryan to gut Medicare and send Social Security to Wallstreet ? Absolutely not. Gut Education and send it too to Wallstreet ? Never ! Great Pick Romney what disaster next ? Your Leading this country will only push it further in the hole. Get a grip. Just go back to Wallstreet where you belong. Your an imbarrassment and you've displayed it not only here but around the globe.

    August 11, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. geggyg

    @ lewy
    so why isnt he the repub presidential candidate , you must think that Romney is at best second choice

    August 11, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. A Canadian Perspective

    Good Luck America.... you re so right keep your Guns, God and Money.... forget the middle class..they don't matter the 1% does... I have been following US politics for the last 6 years and this time around it is so unfair and one sided . Voter suppression/voter ID anything and everything is being done to get the GOP back ion the white house..
    One point.... the outrage of the GOP calling Harry Reid a liar seems everybody forgot Joe Wilson calling the president of the United States a liar and far larger forum! Mitt Romney is buying this election lock, stock and barrel ... just think how many favours he will have to repay after the election! ......

    August 11, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. Tony

    It is easy. Romney read the FOX News poll that showed he is 9 points behind Obama. He needed someone to excite the conservatives, who still don't trust him. Remember 2008, when McCain needed Sarah Palin to excite the conservatives? Enter Paul Ryan, the author of Republicans' regressive "Path to Prosperity" budget plan. Knowing that most Americans can't add, Romney knows that there is a fighting chance he can sell the "lower tax rates lead to higher revenue" fairy tale to them, and who is better to sell the fairy tale than Ryan, its chief champion?

    August 11, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. nunya

    Paul Ryan's dad died when he was 16. Paul Ryan and his family received Government issued social security checks from the government. This helped his family make it through a difficult time. The social safety net helped to give him the opportunity to become the political leader he is today.

    I wonder how often he thinks about this as he works to dismantle programs aimed to help people in need? Does he agree with the President that we are all in this together?

    If he is a self made man, why as young, fit 16 year old man, did he allow his family to receive Government welfare? Was there not a construction job available for the young, able bodied Ryan to support his family, and pull himself up by his bootstraps?

    Just asking?

    August 11, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. Joe citizen abroad

    "Return America to greatness"? Uh...where have you been living these past four years, Mr. Ryan...with your head up your posterior? Let's look at what President Obama has restored. THE ECONOMY: while Mitt Romney thought everything was just fine under W's economic policies, voters in 2008 disagreed bigtime...so President Obama stopped the biggest downward slide since The Great Depression and has us poised for the rebound...check. THE US AUTO INDUSTRY: while Mitt Romney would've let them fail, President Obama recognized the millions of jobs at stake, and the families who depend on them...check. OUR CREDIBILITY: Osama Bin Laden, dead...check. OUR TROOPS TO THEIR FAMILIES: Stopped the insanity of a two-front war by withdrawing from Iraq and scaling back our involvement in Afghanistan...check. OUR HEALTH: Bent over backwards in the face of ridiculous Republican demands, and still managed to craft a healthcare reform act that gives millions more Americans access to healthcare, and keeps insurance companies honest...check. OUR REPUTATION ABROAD: Once again, the world takes us seriously...thanks largely to President Obama's wise choice for Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton...check. OUR SANITY: The president is not president of the right or the left. He's everyone's president, and President Obama has behaved that way, consistently seeking middle ground and unity with those who take issue with his policies. Everything he does seeks to unite us, not divide us...check. Too bad congress...and the Republicans...haven't figured that out. They're still trying to turn everything into an "us vs. them" battle. Is that what Paul Ryan wants to restore? Division? Narrow-mindedness? No. All Paul Ryan wants to restore is Republican power. So we can go back to doing things the way we did before President Obama...remember that time? The W years? Were those great times for this country? The American people didn't think so in 2008. They don't think so now, either. Mr. Ryan, for such a young and intelligent person, you are an anachronism. Your time has passed.

    August 11, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. John

    Good luck people. Equal opportunity but the equal outcome can be different. That to me says alot. Romney is going to make the Rich more wealthy and the poor in the grave.

    August 11, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. Sandra

    Mr Romney didn't 'choose' Mr Ryan. Ryan was foisted on him by Dick Cheney, and other high powered GOP members. If those two get in office, the GOP will succeed in bringing about the depression that the Bush administration started, but President Obama brought to a slow halt and then a recovery.

    August 11, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |