PORTMAN 'BETTER SUITED' FOR SENATE: Sen. Rob Portman waved off questions about the VP spot Monday, saying he's "better suited" for a job in the Senate. "I was just elected," Portman said, according to Yahoo! News' Holly Bailey. "Ohio voters expect me to serve out my term." Portman additionally defended Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital as Democrats turned his record there into a critical ad Monday.
At the same Bloomberg View event, Portman poked at Elizabeth Warren, who has been scrutinized for her claims of Native-American ancestry, by saying in response to a question about his being characterized as a boring white man, "I am white, my Native American background notwithstanding," Politico reported.
RUBIO LOOKS AHEAD TO 'YEARS' IN SENATE: In the latest denial he's seeking the vice presidential spot, Sen. Marco Rubio told a group of small business leaders Monday that he's looking forward to the "years" he has left in the Senate as he talked about helping to reform regulations and cut taxes for small business owners, Yahoo! News' Chris Moody reports. http://abcn.ws/JXDSMo
RUBIO'S HEADING TO THE PALMETTO STATE: He spoke last week to a group of Iowa business leaders in an address that had all the trappings of a stump speech, but Rubio will speak this weekend to another key constituency in all presidential elections: South Carolina Republicans. The South Carolina GOP released its speaking schedule for the annual Silver Elephant GOP Dinner Saturday, which Rubio will keynote and other South Carolina leaders, including Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Jim DeMint, will speak.
PAWLENTY: TAKE ME OUT, MITT. Former presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty had a simple message for all VP prognosticators Monday: "Take my name off the list." Brian Bakst of the Assocoated Press reported that Pawlenty is unsure about his political future, keeping the door open for a Senate run or another shot as governor, but he's ruling out a spot on the GOP ticket this fall, despite being an early supporter of Romney.
T-PAW MUST-CLICK: ABC News' Matt Jaffe directed us to this tweet of Pawlenty's sporting some long sideburns.
'SELF-DEPORT'? WHAT? New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez countered Romney's stance on immigration, questioning what the Republican nominee means by "self-deportation" in a Newsweek article highlighted by ABC News' Joanna Suarez. "'Self-deport?' What the heck does that mean?' Martinez snaps. "I have no doubt Hispanics have been alienated during this campaign. But now there's an opportunity for Governor Romney to have a sincere conversation about what we can do and why,'" Newsweek reported.
McDONNELL: SEXUAL ORIENTATION SHOULD NOT BE ISSUE IN SELECTING JUDGE: ABC News' Jonathan Karl points out that the Washington Post reported today that "Virginia's General Assembly rejected a gay man for a Richmond judgeship after conservatives argued that his support for gay marriage and challenge to the military's now-defunct 'don't ask, don't tell' policy made him unfit for the bench," and noted that a spokesman for McDonnell said hours before the decision that sexual orientation should not be an issue. "The Governor believes candidates for judicial vacancies must be considered based solely on their merit, record, aptitude and skill," McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said. "No other factors should ever be considered and the governor has long made clear that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is not acceptable in state government. "
McDONNELL: ABORTION BILL RECEIVED 'DISPROPORTIONATE ATTENTION' Gov. Bob McDonnell, who has drawn heat over a controversial bill he signed requiring the performance of an ultrasound prior to having an abortion, said in an InsideNoVa.com interview that the bill received "disproportionate attention" in a year when he tried to focus on fiscal issues over social issues.
LESSONS TO LEARN FROM CHRISTIE: Joe Scarborough writes in Politico that Republicans have three things to learn from Gov. Chris Christie, whose popularity keeps rising in a traditionally Democratic state. "1. Focus on math, not ideology." "2. Think big." and "3. Be yourself."
BARBOUR'S ADVICE TO ROMNEY: Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Romney doesn't need to select a "game changer" to be his VP. USA Today reported that Barbour told CBS News Monday that Romney should follow the "Hippocratic oath" when choosing his running mate and select someone who will "do no harm" to his campaign.
'Veep' QUOTE: "She's the kind of VP you'd get if Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin had a baby… and if Dan Quayle were her personal tutor." - Ron Klain, former chief of staff to Al Gore ('95-'99) and Joe Biden ('09-'11), on "Veep" character Selina Meyer in GQ magazine.
@robportman Natl Association of Manufacturers supports our energy efficiency bill to lower biz costs & create jobs @ShopfloorNAM
@bobmcdonnell DMV "Troops to Trucks" program to provide training & career opportunities for military personnel and jobs for veterans
@GovMaryFallin Leading a great group of state employees on a walk around the north plaza
@GovMikeHuckabee Nebraska: I encourage you to vote for @jonbruning tomorrow. A strong conservative. Pls RT to spread the word!
@BrianSandoval NV is the nation's fastest growing state for exports & our international connections are expected to grow