Portman keeps 2016 door open
July 9th, 2014
03:23 PM ET
6 months ago

Portman keeps 2016 door open

Washington (CNN) - Rob Portman isn't shutting any doors to a potential 2016 run for the White House.

But the Republican senator from Ohio Wednesday seemed to down play any talk that he's actively considering a bid for his party's nomination.

"What I did say though in that article when pressed about 2016 was I'm going to wait and see who runs," Portman told CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper, anchor of "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

The article Portman was referencing was a much talked about write by the Washington Post's Robert Costa, in which the senator said he wasn't "particularly eager to do it myself" but added that "if nobody running is able to win and willing to address these issues, then I might have a change of heart."

Portman told Tapper that instead of running for the White House, he's thinking about running for re-election to the Senate in 2016, adding that "I'd be honored to get the opportunity to do that again, for another six years. There's a lot to be done and I'm eager to do it. I think you know our country's in trouble and I think I can make a difference here in the United States Senate."

But Portman sounded very much like a presidential candidate when he told Tapper that "I feel very strongly that our country is headed in the wrong direction and I feel just as strongly that we can be heading in the right direction pretty quickly, and that's a matter of new leadership but also new policies."

Portman served a dozen years in the House of Representatives before leaving in 2005 to serve as U.S. trade representative and then budget director under President George W. Bush. He won election to the Senate in 2010.

He spoke with CNN a day after Cleveland was picked by the Republican National Committee's Site Selection Committee as its choice to host the 2016 Republican convention.

Portman, who advocated for Cleveland, said "the local organizing committee did a terrific job showing them (the RNC's Site Selection Committee) the best of Cleveland," adding that "it's good for us to be in the heartland. It's good for us to be in a big, diverse city."

"Cleveland's on the upswing just like the Republican Party needs to be on the upswing," Portman added. "I think it makes it a more inclusive convention almost by location. So I think its really great for Cleveland, great for Ohio, but I also think it was the right choice for the Republican Party.

Portman was a strong contender for the 2012 GOP vice presidential nomination, before Mitt Romney finally landed on Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate.

Last year Portman made headlines by announcing his support for same-sex marriage. In an interview with CNN, he said that he changed his mind on the issue after his son told his parents he was gay.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: 2016 • RNC • Rob Portman • Senate Republicans
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. rs

    Portman would be a fine candidate. He's just too sane to be a viable candidate for the GOP however.

    July 9, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    –he has no chance no charisma. Snooty guy from GOP.

    July 9, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "But the Republican senator from Ohio Wednesday seemed to down play any talk that he's actively considering a bid for his party's nomination."

    Oh, hey. The dude from Ohio is getting attention because he is ... well, the dude from Ohio (and gee, the RNC convention will be held in Ohio, so yeah, let's see how far this story will drag).

    CNN. Putting together one GOPerville talking point after another and coming up with zero.

    July 9, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. Silence DoGood

    "Cleveland's on the upswing just like the Republican Party needs to be on the upswing," Portman added. "I think it makes it a more inclusive convention almost by location.
    -------------
    Dude, a location is not going to suddenly make the entire GOP inclusive.
    In fact Cleveland being progressive in enjoying ACA benefits, pro-gay right, anti gun crazy is going to tick off the whole state of Ohio in my opinion, which was part of the reason for the GOP going to Ohio. It is going to backfire.

    July 9, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. Malory Archer

    Malory Archer
    uhhuh
    Smitty
    Obambi had the house and senate his first 2 years and still couldn't get anything done. Not a repub fan, but facts are facts Obambi just cant get it done !!!
    -
    No, he did not. The Democrats had control of the House for the first two years. As you know, due to the unprecedented use of the filibuster in the Senate, it takes 60 votes to get anything passed. Democrats ONLY had
    60 votes from the time Paul Kirk took Kennedy's seat temporarily on 9/24/2009 until Scott Brown was elected to the same seat on February 4,2010. That is the fact.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Actually, they only had the majority for about 11 weeks as Minnesota Senator Al Franken's win was contested by right wing sore loser norm coleman (does anyone else see the pattern with the reds when they lose?) in a legal battle that lasted for nine months, and he wasn't sworn in until July 7, 2009.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    Typing too fast – they only had a filibuster-proof majority for about 11 weeks....

    July 9, 2014 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. Tommy G

    Gurgyl
    –he has no chance no charisma. Snooty guy from GOP.
    ---

    Yes, another in depth candidate analysis from the looney left. Charisma first, competence sixty-eigth.
    And you have never met the man and have no idea if he is "snooty" of not but of course you have no problem with just making up lies. After all, it is all the left really has at this point.

    July 9, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. sonny chapman

    The Dow hit 17,000. Obama is destroying this Country. P.S.-they hate us for our Freedom.

    July 9, 2014 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Silence DoGood

    "Cleveland's on the upswing just like the Republican Party needs to be on the upswing," Portman added. "I think it makes it a more inclusive convention almost by location.
    --------------------------------
    The sad part is that it is highly likely that there will more minorities working at the convention than participating in it. Let's hope that that is not what he means by "a more inclusive convention almost by location." But, it sure sounds like it to me.

    July 9, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. Winston Smith

    Left at the gate. That's what the press can put at the top of the headline, commenting about his impending defeat.

    July 9, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. Gary

    Washington (CNN) – Rob Portman isn't shutting any doors to a potential 2016 run for the White House.
    Don't worry Rob, the Tea Party will shut it for you.

    July 9, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. just asking

    sonny chapman
    The Dow hit 17,000. Obama is destroying this Country
    -–

    what does this do for all the unemployed people? what does it do to stop the invasion of our country by illegals?

    the wealthy get wealthier thanks to this, and then you clowns complain about inequality.

    July 9, 2014 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. Chris..E.al

    Portmam seems to have a pretty good head on him something the left on here or out there will never accept at least not yet at this time i suppose they will just have to really have to feel and taste the pain that their dictators have set them up to receive and meet firsthand just a short distance down that road ?

    July 9, 2014 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. Alan

    Heaven help this great Nation if the right wingers ever again get full control of the three branches of government. The total failure of the Republican Party becomes more and more obvious with every trumped up attack on our President. The entire Republican Party must be suffering from advanced stages of Alzheimer's to so quickly forget all their failures of the past thirty years.

    July 9, 2014 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Chris..E.al says:
    July 9, 2014 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm
    Portmam seems to have a pretty good head on him something the left on here or out there will never accept at least not yet at this time i suppose they will just have to really have to feel and taste the pain that their dictators have set them up to receive and meet firsthand just a short distance down that road ?

    What? Was that one entire sentence? Ah yes the benefits of a red state education. Alabama don't you wanna go there, where they teach you to shoot guns and love white Jesus? But no English classes apparently.😊☺️😊☺️

    And no I'm not against religion, I love God and pray every day, but I'm completely against hypocrites. Which many supposed Christians are these days.

    July 9, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "Portmam seems to have a pretty good head on him something the left on here or out there will never accept "

    We're not the ones who would pillory him if he ran, the Teatrolls are. They've called the guy everything from "RINO" to "traitor". Most liberals recognize that he's been a fairly moderate guy his whole career and would rather have sane, non-ideologue opposition than the tantrum throwing whirlwind of spiteful reactionary hissy fits, religiosity and race resentment represented by the majority of the current GOP/Teatrolls.

    July 9, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. Gurgyl

    -we don't follow blindly just like idiotic republicans watching Fox trash based on color. Simply truth. Yes, today, stock market hit 17k, so is S n P soaring sky high, unemployment down, no new wars, focus on green energy, home-front–not on Iraq, Iran, Israel nor Pakistan. Yes, on INFRASTRUCTURE, deportations of illegals. Nonsense lunatic talk from GOP trash. God save this nation, USA.

    July 9, 2014 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  17. Chris..E.al

    Yes i just seen a interview where a business owner said he would expand ( that means jobs ) if not for the anti business practices what do you dems want and do you even know ? tax tax tax

    July 9, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Chris..E.al says:
    July 9, 2014 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm
    Portmam seems to have a pretty good head on him something the left on here or out there will never accept at least not yet at this time i suppose they will just have to really have to feel and taste the pain that their dictators have set them up to receive and meet firsthand just a short distance down that road ?

    Pain? Would that be the pain like losing your beloved, well paying job that's 5 minutes from your home? Pain like worrying about the basic necessities of life like a roof over your head and putting food on your table? Sorry dude, I felt that in 2008 when the company I worked for had to let go about 80% of their employees. Now that was pain. But it has eased up immensely since President Obama got in office. Now you on the other hand probably should worry if the GOP wins. They're going to take your gubmint check and food stamps. Then what will you and your sister-wife do?😙😙

    July 9, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    Simple answer, no GOP SLUG is going to be elected president in 2016, after the GOP led house HAS DONE NOTHING for the American people FOR SIX YEARS EXCEPT LOSE 24 BILLION DOLLARS in 16 DAYS and now their crying about MONEY FOR THE BOARDER SECURITY , ITS NEEDED, GOP , do your jobs or you WONT HAVE THEM after November !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 9, 2014 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |