Portman tests running mate mojo
July 8th, 2012
12:54 AM ET
10 years ago

Portman tests running mate mojo

Concord, New Hampshire (CNN) - New Hampshire was no vacation for Rob Portman who made his most public pitch yet to be chosen as Mitt Romney's running mate.

The Ohio senator, rumored to become number two on the GOP ticket, was Romney's chief defender Saturday when he encouraged conservatives to refute President Barack Obama's primary line of attack on Bain Capital by embracing Romney’s career there.

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"I know a lot of smart people in the Obama campaign. I'm sure they've thought through this. But for them to keep talking about the fact that he has private sector experience," Portman said. "You know that's what I think people are looking for is someone who actually knows how to get this economy turned around."

Portman's comments come on the heels of a week of blistering criticism from conservatives and prominent Republicans who called for the Romney campaign to aggressively respond to tactics of Obama's reelection team that includes negative ads about Bain Capital's business methods.

Romney was wrapping up vacation an hour away on Lake Winnipesaukee when Portman broke away from touring colleges with his daughter to explain how the Democrat's strongest defense could backfire.

"In terms of Bain Capital, Mitt Romney's got a proud record. He's a guy who actually was in the business of creating jobs, not just talking about it. And he understands what it means to have a government watchman that can create the environment for job growth, versus one that creates a disincentive for entrepreneurs,"

Portman said, comparing Romney to Obama.

He did not hesitate to address the potential challenges Romney faces in the battleground state of Ohio, where Portman serves as Romney's state chairman.

"We've got our work cut out for us," he said.

"So we've got a lot of catching up to do in Ohio because we had a primary and they didn't, and because they had a lot of resources early on and we didn't. We're starting to develop more of a grassroots infrastructure in Ohio."

Portman cited Romney’s fund-raising prowess, raising more than his Democratic counterparts and disputed criticism from his party that Romney was not effectively challenging his Democratic opponent.

“So we've got huge differences here and I think Mitt Romney's been very aggressive at laying out those differences. He'll have to continue to, because this will be a hard-fought campaign. There will be a lot of back and forth, and people need to look carefully at the facts as they're hearing all these debates back and forth."

Portman said he will meet with former President George H.W. Bush on Sunday. On Monday, he will attend several events in Boston to raise money on behalf of Romney and the Republican Party's Victory Fund.

Portland would not reveal whether he was meeting with Romney aides, particularly his vice presidential vetting team, but did acknowledge he did not plan to meet with Romney during his New England visit.

The senator spent time with Romney when the GOP candidate brought his five-state bus tour to Portman's critical battleground state in mid-June.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire • Ohio • Rob Portman
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Phil Thomas

    All you have to do is Google how consulting firms work and you will understand it does not correlate to being able to lead a country. These guys really think the country is stupid and I guess well find out if they are right come election day but look ino matter how much lip stick you put on him he barely won Michigan as the NY times put it Narrowly beating the wack job Santorum. His time as Governor should is more telling than anything he did at Bain and that is telling

    July 8, 2012 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  2. Phil Thomas

    Nice, Portman work your tail off to be the side kick of the first US President to have a swiss bank account as Newt G. put it

    July 8, 2012 02:27 am at 2:27 am |

    America wises up to Mitt(I have nothing to offer)McCain as November gets closer.

    July 8, 2012 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  4. King

    when will these repubs stop lying. we are living in a highly technical world, reality is that machines, computers, and foreign cheap labor are taking over the labor market, in this global economy now. I am very surprised that our economy keep getting private jobs, months after months after months, since we doesn't have human production lines anymore. the best way of getting jobs, is get the government taxing the rich a little, and using the war money and rebuild our country. most of those jobs doesn't need highly new technical requirements to accomplished because most American already have those skills.

    July 8, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  5. Anthony

    It is perfectly legitimate for businesses to pursue profits in a capitalistic economy. However, it is also legitimate for politicians in a democracy to point out that while businesses pursue profits, other people may get hurt– people are laid off, companies are burdened with debt in leveraged takeovers, and environment becomes polluted. Bain makes money for itself and its investors, just as Romney will make money for the GOP's most important supporters, the rich. The 20% tax cut Romney has promised means much more when you are millionaires or billionaires. The rich know that they will get their money back in tax cuts. However, the government gets stuck with debt.

    Before Reagan, the national debt was below 1 trillion. Now, with the Bush tax cuts still in effect, it is headed toward 16 trillion. Just how damaging are the Bush tax cuts? The CBO projected in 2011 that if the Bush tax cuts and the doc fix are allowed to expire, the deficits will disappear by itself, even if the Obama's healthcare plan is kept untouched. The CBO also projected that Obama's healthcare plan will actually reduce the deficits, because it contains a revenue component that exceeds its cost.

    July 8, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  6. Gurgyl

    Private sector experience mean SHIPPING JOBS to overseas??? Moving Manufacturing to Canada, Mexico, etc???nonsense. I question whether do these guys have brain, ethics, morality??? Yes, on OBAMA12.

    July 8, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    A Bush Lite candidate like Portman makes grits look exciting. He is just the right height, and if he has hidden money off shore, he is a perfect GOPer.

    July 8, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  8. B

    "Portman tests running mate mojo"...Oh please, this guy is about as exciting as a loaf of bread.

    July 8, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  9. Jaded

    Rob Portman is so boring.

    July 8, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |