4:12 PM, Aug 8, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
NBC's political team reported this morning:
We can say with a high degree of confidence that Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick has largely come down to three men: former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. And it’s more than possible that Romney has already made up his mind. All three VP finalists bring something different to the table. Pawlenty is the loyal outsider, who would enable a Romney-Pawlenty ticket to run as former governors vowing to take on Washington; Pawlenty also potentially would add some blue-collar appeal to the ticket. Portman would be the insider, someone who knows the ways of Washington and who could help govern starting on Day 1. And Ryan would be the crusader, who wants to substantially transform America’s entitlement programs and who would excite a good portion of the GOP’s conservative base. Indeed, Ryan has emerged a VERY REAL possibility, but he also brings the most risk. If Romney selects him, it’s more than conceivable that the dominant campaign discussion in the fall won’t be the economy -- but rather the deficit and Medicare. Of course, there was already a good chance the Ryan plan will get plenty attention regardless of Romney’s VP pick.
I’ve been authorized to report that THE WEEKLY STANDARD's political team has confirmed that Ryan, Portman, and Pawlenty are indeed finalists. But the crystal gazers here are convinced that a fourth name should be added to the list: Chris Christie.
One particular attraction of Christie to Team Romney, we’re told: Boston knows Romney isn't particularly good on the attack, and that he can look awkward defending himself (see his response to the Priorities USA ad virtually accusing him of murder, to say nothing of his spokeswoman's effort). If the Obama campaign (or its allies) is going the Harry Reid-Bill Burton route, the thinking goes, doesn't Romney need an attack dog—a big and bold attack dog—to deal with the opposition, and to free up Romney to deliver a positive message?
So in THE WEEKLY STANDARD’s VP bracket, we've got Ryan and Christie in one semifinal, and Portman and Pawlenty in the other. We're betting Romney will go bold.
But what they haven’t told me yet is whether it will be Ryan or Christie.
11:10 AM, Jul 6, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Erin McPike's "close examination of the [Romney] campaign's activity" at RealClearPolitics suggests four leading contenders for Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick—former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, Ohio senator Rob Portman, Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, and Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal. McPike's article is an intelligent explanation of why these men seem to be leading the pack, with New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte, Virginia governor Bob McDonnell, and Florida senator Marco Rubio as long shots.
4:44 PM, Feb 6, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Campaigns are populated by hacks and trade in cheap shots. But the hacks are usually paid staffers, and the cheap shots are part of their job description. It's sad to see a respected former governor reduced to low-level staff hackery, acting as an attack dog on behalf of a man he once criticized ("Obamneycare") and now supports.
3:20 PM, Feb 6, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
On a conference call Monday afternoon, a Mitt Romney campaign surrogate—Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor—criticized Rick Santorum for being part of the “big-spending establishment in Congress and in the influence-peddling industry that surrounds Congress,” and for previously supporting earmarked spending.
3:01 PM, Dec 13, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
The boss this morning took the stage with Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. Smiling, and in good cheer, the boss noted that he and Ayotte had a “tough act to follow—Vice President Rubio and Secretary of State Pawlenty.”
3:33 PM, Sep 12, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Hot on the heels of this morning's announcement of former Minnesota governor and former presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty's endorsement of Mitt Romney, the Perry campaign pulls out the stops to make sure they don't get one-upped ahead of tonight's debate:
8:05 AM, Sep 12, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, who dropped out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination last month, has endorsed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for president, according to a Romney campaign press release. Here's an excerpt:
President Obama has failed to meet America's economic challenges.
His three years of spending, regulating and taxing have not restarted the economy. Unemployment remains at a shocking 9.1 percent. Economic growth is hovering on the edge of a renewed recession.
9:23 AM, Aug 15, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
Politico reports that Virginia governor Bob McDonnell would be "very interested" in the Republican vice presidential slot:
With solid poll ratings as a swing state governor, McDonnell is already drawing attention as a possible GOP vice-presidential prospect in 2012. And in an extended interview in his office here, the Virginia governor expressed interest in the number two spot on the national ticket.
8:48 AM, Aug 14, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
After a disappointing third place finish in yesterday's Iowa straw poll, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty will today announce the end of his campaign for president of the United States.