Portman: In private call Romney revealed, 'I've chosen someone else'
August 11th, 2012
05:28 PM ET
2 years ago

Portman: In private call Romney revealed, 'I've chosen someone else'

Gambier, Ohio (CNN) – Sen. Rob Portman, one of a select few on presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney's running mate short list, revealed to CNN on Saturday a private moment understood by few politicians: being told by a presidential candidate, "I've chosen someone else."

"I haven't talked to anybody about this yet," Portman said. "But I guess it's probably out there from … the Romney folks who said it."

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"So, I got a call from Mitt Romney last evening - a very nice call," Portman said of the private conversation between the two men on Friday evening. At the time of the call, Portman explained, he was speaking to a group organizing a cancer research bike ride on Saturday in Ohio – an event he'd participate in.

"I was giving a talk to this group so I didn't take the call when he called," Portman said. "But I called him back. And had a great conversation. Very gracious. And we talked about what we need to do to both win the election but, more important to me, what we need to do to turn the country around."

Portman spoke to CNN after completing the 100-mile ride along with 6,500 others – just hours after Romney named House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan as his running mate.

When asked how Romney broke the news to him, Portman said: "He just said, 'Look, I've appreciated all of your help and look forward to more of it coming. You know, I've chosen someone else.' "
"And he was, he was terrific. He was very generous and gracious in his comments."

The senator said he did not ask, and Romney did not reveal, whom he'd actually chosen. When asked if he was disappointed at not being picked, Portman said, "No."

"As I've said from the start, you know I'm fortunate to be where I am in the U.S. Senate. I feel like I can make a difference there," he said.

As did many other Republicans after Romney's decision emerged, Portman had kind words to say about Ryan.

Calling the budget chairman a "great pick," Portman said Ryan is "a national voice on the most pressing issues that face the country … the fiscal and the economic issues that we have to address as a congress. And I'm really looking forward to working with him as a member of the United States Senate. I hope they get elected," he said, adding that he would do all he could do to help.

On Wednesday, Portman threw cold water on the idea of himself joining the Romney ticket, saying that the Senate, to which he was elected in 2010, is "where I'm going to end up staying."

That has not stopped the senator from frequently hitting the campaign trail as a surrogate for Romney. Most recently, he spoke at five events across Colorado on Wednesday.


Filed under: 2012 • Ohio • Rob Portman
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. fgjhfxhjhv

    beside all the BS who is runnning for president again I hate paul ryan

    August 11, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. Tyrone

    Its OK Robbie, I just couldnt pick the only human being more boring than myself. I will however let you in my cabinet of white, whiter, whitest & stupid white filthy Rich men. Those non millionaire peasants have no business seeing my past returns. & america, thanks for paying for tax write offs for my precious horse. may thre Romney Ryan voter surpression get us this election. & as for that Severe 13.9 % tax rate i have lets cut that in half. I am richie rich Romney & make no mistake about it, Say goodbye to the middle Class. I king tabby Nackle Bishop Romney will be Ruler of the US.

    August 11, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. Tyrone

    & Than There were 2 Classes. Good bye Middle. For Billionaire Romney shall take your share & give to the filthy Rich. I am King tabby Nackle Bishop Richie Rich Romney.

    August 11, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  4. Tyrone

    Yo Paul, if you convert to Lds, you can get Majic underwear , a planet of your own & most Impotant there are no blacks allowed in the upper echelon of The tabby nackles. ryan responces, COOL Im in.

    August 11, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  5. NotFooledByDistractions

    Wow, he rates better than pawlenty – romney had tagg call him. What a pos.

    August 11, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  6. John the Historian

    I admit Willard mad a choice I didn't see coming but here comes the Obama landslide. The majority of people do not want cuts to social security and medicare, and education. Paul Ryan will be the male Sarah Palin. Funny how Palin was Caholic then became pentecostal and Ryan is extreme right-winged Catholic. Well Willard will be going to kolob and Ryan wil have to go to purgatory. Now we know the Republican base is out of touch with mainstream America.

    August 11, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  7. Paulcat

    Bye Bye Seniors

    August 11, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  8. Jetty

    The END of Paul Ryan starts today. We will remember today as the day when the RisingStar of GOP starts to fall. Romney is going to loose the 2012 election and would drag along with him all the juice that Ryan has. What would remain is Capital Gains of Romney's investment and Speaking skills of Ryan for Fox News Channel.

    Ryan lost his smartness for failure to see that or bungled his mojo for giving in to temtation and feel as the inteligent savier for GOP's Mitt Romney,

    August 11, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  9. will never vote Republician again

    ROMNEY and RYAN = GREED and HATE
    No good Christian would vote for either one of those little devils!

    August 11, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. sky

    Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan what's Mitt thinking? Roll the dice and hope for a Rose Royce. Cutting to social security and medicare, and education. Cut, Cut, Cut, see what it's goting us today. Independent

    August 11, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  11. drake mallard

    Ruin the party? These people aren't worried about us. They're not worried about anything. They're rich. No matter what happens, these people just keep applauding. THE GOP

    You control our world. You’ve poisoned the air we breathe, contaminated the water we drink, and copyrighted the food we eat. We fight in your wars, die for your causes, and sacrifice our freedoms to protect you. You’ve liquidated our savings, destroyed our middle class, and used our tax dollars to bailout your unending greed. We are slaves to your corporations, zombies to your airwaves, servants to your decadence. You’ve stolen our elections, assassinated our leaders, and abolished our basic rights as human beings. You own our property, shipped away our jobs, and shredded our unions. You’ve profited off of disaster, destabilized our currencies, and raised our cost of living. You’ve monopolized our freedom, stripped away our education, and have almost extinguished our flame

    jesse ventura

    August 11, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  12. n

    Ok, side show is over, now let's get back to business and the real issue at hand . . . Mitt The Twit Romney, we are still waiting to see your taxes. Until "We The People" see them, you have nothing coming. You and that Ryan guy are toast.

    August 11, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  13. Sandy

    I really think Ryan was the only one with enough courage willing to go down with Willard. No one else wanted the job, that's why it took so long.

    Obama/Biden 2012!

    August 11, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  14. L. Stewart

    Romney can now kiss 50 million senors on socialsecurity and medicare vote goodbye !

    August 11, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  15. Patrick in Minnesota

    Don't worry Robby. I'm sure in about three months Mitt will be calling back apologizing for picking him over you.

    August 11, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  16. T'sah from Virginia

    "I like to FIRE people!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    August 11, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Ryan was an interesting call. It shows that he still hasn't solidified the base of support. It could also cost Ryan his seat in the House unless he can run for both at the same time. Maybe the Democrats can pick up the seat. It would add insult to injury when the Democrats keep the White House and Senate and regain the House.

    August 11, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  18. enuff

    I find it EXTREMELY insulting to the memories of WW II VETERANS that these two men chose to make their announcement on a classic WW II ship when neither one served any time actually serving their country. There is nothing patriotic about it – in fact I find it to be hypocrtical and a slap in the face to the brave men and women who have fought and died for this country.

    August 11, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  19. Mack

    You should have just chosen your dancing horse since at least it would have helped you to pick up the animal lover vote. With Paul "push granny of the cliff" Ryan you lose independent votes.
    More defense spending that we don't need
    More tax cuts for the wealthy that they don't need
    Tax hikes for the middle class that we don't need.
    Romney and Ryan....who needs them?

    August 11, 2012 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  20. Gizmo

    Mitt the Twit has just sealed his fate by choosing this clown for his running mate. lol! The President is gonna tear both of them a new one. Can't wait for the debates! OBAMA/BIDEN 2012 AND BEYOND!!!!!

    August 11, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  21. alien

    Let's hear some more of Son of Boss,oh by the way,WHERE ARE THE LAST 10 YEARS TAX RETURNS Willard Mitt Romney??

    August 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  22. CNN Fan

    I respected Romney's choice...But Paul Ryan is too extremist to be VP or President...he is smart...but in wrong way...Romney is losing .....now he just adds a ton of losing issues on his plates....Poor Romney....

    August 12, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  23. alien

    If its Ryan, seniors are dyin

    August 12, 2012 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  24. Dee

    Regardless of whomever Romney chose, this campaign will still be about the top of the ticket and the fact that Romney is still the most stiff, boring, untruthful, disliked Presidential candidate to run in decades. Cannot wait for the debates...he's toast! Let's get ready to r-u-m-b-l-e!

    August 12, 2012 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  25. Roy

    We must unite against the GOP they have literally taken our money from our children’s mouth's they are for the 1% only they do not care for the rest of us the hard workers. they say only small business's create jobs and the big corporations haven’t done anything to boost our economy while posting huge profits. why? the GOP is in their back pocket's. why should they get a tax break? while the only people who are getting hurt is the 99% think about it. no more GOP. Vote them out in November or you will be poor.

    August 12, 2012 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
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