First on CNN: Portman to play Obama in Romney debate prep
August 27th, 2012
04:09 PM ET
11 years ago

First on CNN: Portman to play Obama in Romney debate prep

Tampa, Florida (CNN) - Ohio Sen. Rob Portman has agreed to play the role of President Obama in debate prep sessions with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, two GOP sources tell CNN.

Portman, one of the Romney campaign's leading surrogates on the campaign trail and fundraising circuit, was approached by the campaign about the role earlier this summer and is being provided with briefing materials by top aides in Boston, one of the Republican sources told CNN.

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Their first debate prep session is expected to happen in the coming weeks.

Portman was considered a leading contender to be Romney's running mate before Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan was tapped for the role.

He is the chairman of Romney's campaign in Ohio, a crucial battleground state, and has raised more than $1 million for the campaign in the state.

In past election cycles, Portman has specialized in playing the Democratic foils to GOP candidates in debate study sessions. He assumed the role of President Obama during John McCain's 2008 debate prep.

Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is playing the role of Romney in Obama's debate sessions.

Filed under: 2012 • Rob Portman
soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. ritmocojo

    I pity that Romney fool.

    August 28, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  2. Donkey Party

    If I were as stupid as the right-wingers that comment here, I'd feel compelled to do myself and society a favor, and end my misery by increasing my daily intake of paint chips, or bringing the toaster into the bathtub with me.

    August 28, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  3. Tiz

    8% unemployment.... that'll be a tough question for Obama...

    August 28, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  4. Boo

    I'd love to be a fly on the wall and see this......

    August 28, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  5. BinaryTooth

    His ears aren't big enough.

    Like the Mayans siad "Obama 2012"

    August 28, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  6. bob

    Is Portman the blackest guy the Republicans could find in their party for this job?

    August 28, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  7. loudmouth

    But can Portman slow jam the news ??

    August 28, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  8. DDW

    Romney had better practice. Obama will eat him for lunch. Biden might have some trouble with Ryan though. Even so I can't wait for the debates to start, they should be entertaining.

    August 28, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  9. Wilson

    I go through and read these comments and something is painfully clear...The division between Obama supports and Romney supporters isn't world views, isn't necessarily social class, isn't race or all those other things you might assume are easily applicable. The defiing attribute seems to be IQ level/and how well informed people are.
    Seems as if Obama supporters just accept what MSNBC, CNN, etc.. say as fact. And when someone begins to question what they believe to be truth they just point fingers and say "evil doers". It's sad really, because most of the people that are defending and supporting Obama are the same ones that he will rape and pilfer if he gets re-elected. It's kinda like a dog wagging his tail and licking his veterinarian right before he is euthanized. There is nothing more painful than listening to the rants of those with really strong opinions based on very limited information/facts.

    Please Obama supporters, stop trusting everything you hear. Do you research, educate yourself before you vote.

    August 28, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  10. gord

    who,s going to play the ghost of joseph smith -the little voice in romneys head

    August 28, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. Chris

    I cannot wait until the debates start. For Tiz, Americans have such a short memory. What was the unemployment rate when George W. left office??? Politics aside, what people are afraid of saying is we were in the start of DEPRESSION when President Obama took office. That scares people to even think that way but you will find out in the next 10 years after the smoke has cleared that we were not in a Recession but a DEPRESSION!!

    August 28, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  12. Gurgyl

    Not only mitt, but also entire GOP is bunch of fools, idiots, thugs of USA.

    August 28, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. albie

    Ah! and the debate is where Romney will seal his fate

    August 28, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  14. carly

    Portman is the lucky one. Romney didn't pick him as his VP. Romney/Ryan will go down in a landslide.

    August 28, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. Sniffit

    "But can Portman slow jam the news ??"

    Dude couldn't slow jam a piece of toast.

    August 28, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  16. JDinHouston

    Could the Romney campaign be any more lily white?

    August 28, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  17. Larry L


    "8% unemployment.... that'll be a tough question for Obama..."
    No – it has an easy answer. On the very first day of the President's term the Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, agreed and plotted to obstruct all progress – it's in the records. They also planned to flood the voters with negative ads ("birthers", "death squads" etc.) about the President. They attacked the healthcare initiative even though ii originally came from the Heratige Foundation – a Republican think tank and modeled Romney's exact plan. They wanted no progress before the 2010 election – and it worked. With the help of billionaires like the Koch brothers, they took control of the House and the Tea Party introduced nothing but political theater – with dozens of bills about abortion and "personhood" and nothing to create jobs. They simply worked to gain political favor with the ultra-right wing and oil, HMO, and insurance companies. The Republican Senate filibustered over 130 times! They blocked every initiative – even those they created in committee! The President made good progress in spite of the obstructionism of the Republican Party. When half of a team sits on the bench and whines the odds of winning big are significantly reduced – especially when they are hoping to lose!

    August 28, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  18. Jersey George

    I'm sure conservatives would feel more at ease with the upcoming debates if the moderators were from Fox News. You know, the “fair and balanced” so-called news organization. Too bad for them, because Romney will have to answer tough questions instead of the usual cream puff, leading questions asked by Fox, the GOP TV Network. When Romney struggles answering questions, he’ll either criticize the questioner or deflect the question by coming up with an answer not pertained to the question asked. He’s thin skinned and in deep, deep trouble.

    August 28, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  19. tee1227

    Mitt will take the fifth on the taxes

    August 28, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  20. Norm

    That's right Romney.
    You better prepare for the debates.
    Debate one of your own guys if that makes you feel better.
    These people are just a laugh a minute.

    August 28, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  21. Viet.Viet

    they had a lot of other choices like Davis, Michael Steele even that God Father Pizza guy,Dang,almost forgot, they arn't one of us. Obama is going to wipe the floor with Mittens

    August 28, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  22. Bill, NY

    8% unemployment? Actually its 8.2%. I wonder how the other leaders around the world are explaining away unemployment rates that are plus 20%. Considering the Republicans have been going out of their way to make him fail, I'm surprised we are not in that range.

    August 28, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Now, the Obama campaign is trying to cast the Romney-Ryan ticket as far to the right of the mainstream on issues ranging from Medicare to abortion rights."

    What drivel, John King. Paul Ryan (and the guest speakers Mitt Romney has lined up for this newest Clown Show Express) did that all by themselves. President Obama is simply pointing out just how hard a right turn Mr. Mittens has taken TeamRomney. Or, was Mr. Mittens taken to the cleaners by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and the Koch brothers? Hard to tell who runs this show anymore, what with Rush, Hannity, and Coulter going all gaga on themselves, Mitt smiling his "I don't know nothing" giggly smile, and Paul Ryan running from himself and his atheist friend Ayn Rand. Or, is he running from his Catholic upbringing while embracing Ayn Rand?

    August 28, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  24. john

    "Is Portman the blackest guy the Republicans could find in their party for this job?"

    What did you expect michael the "oreo" steele?

    August 28, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. mark s ducharme

    I wish there were more debates and less ads. I wish everyone who votes had to watch atleast one of them. I wish America would vote their conscience not, party, self interest, religion, or color. I wish America had a conscience.

    August 28, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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