Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, made news Tuesday when he told a panel of journalists something he hasn’t even told his wife. The Ohio Republican, who many consider to be on Mitt Romney’s short list of Vice Presidential candidates, said the kind of leadership he anticipated from Romney, if elected president, might cost him a second term.
“This is something I have never said publicly, I’ve told my wife this, but I think he’d be willing to risk being a one-term president in order to make the tough decisions that are going to be required,” Portman told the Reuters Washington Summit.
Portman was quick to point out he believed the American people would “reward” Romney with a second term for bold leadership on financial issues and job growth.
Portman hit President Obama on a perceived lack of leadership, specifically on trade, telling Reuters that Obama is “the first president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt not to ask for the ability to negotiate trade-opening agreements.”
Portman, who served as U.S. Trade Representative under President George W. Bush, suggested Romney would be aggressive in opening more foreign markets to U.S. exports, and also tougher on China on its trade and currency policies. Some U.S. economists often argue China keeps its trading currency artificially low to maintain a favorable edge over the U.S.