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Rob Portman Tops GOP VP List: Reports

Whispers among GOP lawmakers suggest Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) tops the vice president nominee list of White House hopeful Mitt Romney.

Portman, a former George W. Bush administration official, propelled Romney to win Ohio's March 6 primary by endorsing the former Massachusetts governor on January 19. Romney won the Buckeye state by 10, 288 votes.

The National Journal's Major Garrett explained in his column Thursday he believes Portman will be Romney's vice presidential nominee.

"Write it down. And harangue me mercilessly this summer if I am wrong," Garrett wrote.

Although the GOP nomination has yet to be decided, with Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul still fighting for the title, Garrett said Romney's win in Wisconsin sealed the deal.

Garrett noted the "genuine rapport" between the two Republicans, saying Romney truly respects and likes Portman.

Other reasons Garrett listed are Portman's interest in the vice president post, his refined Washington experience and general likability among Washington reporters. But he also acknowledged the former U.S. Trade Representative and OMB Director's shortcomings.

"Portman's a bore, and their ticket would be boredom squared, or squares squared; he offers nothing to women voters or Latino voters; he carries the taint of Bush-Cheney policies; and he's not conservative enough for the tea party. To one degree or another, these are all valid complaints."

But he added, "Romney has the same perceived 'flaws' and he's going to win the nomination. Portman can't fix Romney's flaws. Neither can anyone else. That means all other things being equal, Romney will look for someone he knows and trusts; who has delivered for him; who can put a vital swing state in play; who can immediately help him tackle the hardest issues if he's elected; and whose selection tells the country Romney's first big decision as a nominee wasn't a gasket-blowing gamble or one festooned with the garish and outmoded trappings of regional or ideological balance."

Other GOP names the party has tossed around for Romney's running mate include Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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