Rep. Blunt Offers Up Veep Pick Advice for McCain
Since so many others out there are giving their two cents worth on who they think John McCain should pick as his vice presidential running mate, House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) figures he will, too.
At least twice in the past week, Blunt has hinted that he'd like to see McCain pick former Ohio congressman Rob Portman, whose name has popped up as a serious contender. In his most recent name-dropping foray, Blunt said in a taped interview for C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" show, set to air Sunday, that he thinks McCain needs to choose someone with a strong economic background.
"I'd go as strongly economic on that list as I could. Because I think the economy, barring some cataclysmic problem, is going to be the No. 1 issue," Blunt said, adding that whoever McCain picks should be able to show "that he's more ready to be president than Barack Obama."
"Portman would be a guy who meets that test," Blunt said.
The minority whip also mentioned former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as a good pick for McCain, even though Romney told a radio station this week he doesn't plan on getting the veep nod. ("I think there's some great people (McCain) could choose from and I expect he will do that. But I don't plan on being part of the ticket," Romney told 850KOA in Denver.)
As he mentioned in an interview with the Washington Post editorial board last week, Blunt told C-SPAN that Romney "would meet that [economic] test."
Blunt also downplayed predictions by political analysts that House Republicans stand to lose seats in double-digit range, and dodged a question about whether he'll give up his leadership post if his party does suffer severe losses. "It's up to the members...It's up to them, but I think it's not worth very much effort right now thinking about it."
Mary Ann Akers
August 1, 2008; 5:50 PM ET
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