As speculation over who Mitt Romney will choose as his running mate reaches a fever pitch, ABC’s George Will struck one big name off the list of possibilities today: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
“If Jeb Bush is to be Romney’s running mate, it would mean that in seven of nine presidential elections there would be a Bush on the Republican ticket,” Will said today on “This Week.” “And it gets hard to argue that we’re not a tribal society at that point.”
Bush sought to put speculation about his possible VP nod to rest this week, telling Bloomberg in a statement Friday, “I am not going to be the veep nominee. … Lay that to rest.”
Instead, Will said Romney should take a serious look at House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan or Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
“I think Mr. Romney needs some kind of excitement, that is, go young, go conservative, and go someone who’s so deeply in the weeds on the entitlement crisis that the country’s having,” Will said, adding with a smile that he would look forward to seeing Ryan debate current Vice President Joe Biden.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, Will said Romney should not base his decision on geography. Will pointed out that in 10 of the 16 presidential elections since World War II, the vice presidential running mate has failed to carry his or her state.
ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd said the idea that a running mate will help a candidate pick up a certain demographic or region of the country is “folly.”
“If I were them, I’d be looking at somebody to pick to reinforce a value that you want to convey in this election,” Dowd said during the “This Week” roundtable discussion. “It’s some level of competence, I’m the adult in the room, you may not like us, but we’re going to manage the government, we’re going to do things right. They need to find somebody in my view that reinforces that, no matter where they’re from.”
But for Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, the No. 1 goal for Romney should be avoiding the fiasco that ensued for the last GOP nominee, John McCain, after he chose Sarah Palin in 2008.
“No game-change,” Noonan said, referring to the book-turned movie, “Game Change,” that detailed Palin’s vice presidential bid. “Don’t do that again. Underscore who you want to be: serious.”