Veep Beat: Portman's Romney Prediction

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PORTMAN: ROMNEY 'WILLING TO RISK BEING A ONE-TERM PRESIDENT' Sen. Rob Portman said Tuesday that he believes Mitt Romney's leadership style as president would possibly cost him a second term, ABC News' Gregory Simmons reported. "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 said at the Reuters Washington Summit Tuesday.

ROB PORTMAN: 'ZOMBIE HUNTER' Sen. Rob Portman can now add "zombie hunter" to his resume after he introduced legislation which would ban the synthetic drug known as "bath salts," which some people have recently consumed and then attacked others by eating their flesh, Yahoo! News' Chris Moody reported. "In the War on Drugs, it's Rob Portman 1, Flesh-Eating Zombies 0. Following a recent string of attacks around the country involving people who ingested the synthetic drug known as "bath salts" and then attacked victims and ate their flesh, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman introduced an amendment to a Senate FDA bill that would implement a federal ban on the substance. The bill passed the Senate 92-4 on Tuesday and is on its way to the White House, where the president is expected to sign it," Moody wrote.

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CHRISTIE DECLARES NEW JERSEY 'ROMNEY COUNTRY' New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared at a fundraiser Tuesday evening that his home state will become "Romney country." "Governor Chris Christie stood alongside Mitt Romney before a $50,000-a-plate fundraising dinner on Tuesday and predicted that New Jersey is 'going to be Mitt Romney country.' The forecast might have been overly optimistic. Most opinion polls show President Barack Obama leading Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts and the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, among likely Garden State voters," Hayes wrote. "And yet Romney's visit - it was his third appearance at a New Jersey fundraiser since December - reflects the state's towering stature as a source of campaign cash for both parties, and Christie's growing influence among Republicans nationally. He reportedly is on a short list of candidates that the Romney campaign is vetting as it narrows its search for a vice presidential nominee. 'They say that the best thing to be in politics is to be early and right, and New Jersey was early and right in picking Mitt Romney to be the Republican nominee,' Christie told about 200 Romney supporters who gathered at the Woodbridge Renaissance Hotel on Tuesday night. 'And we weren't just right for our party; we were right for America.'"

McDONNELL QUIET ON VP: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell suddenly is keeping his lips sealed when it comes to whether he is being vetted for VP, the Washington Post's Anita Kumar reported. "In May, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell told listeners to his monthly radio show that he was not being vetted for vice president. He had a different answer Tuesday," Kumar wrote. "McDonnell declined to say whether Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's campaign was examining his background. 'I'm not discussing the vice presidential vetting,' he said on his monthly call in show on WTOP. 'There is apparently a vetting process,' he said. 'You can address those questions to the Romney campaign. … There's only one person that knows that and that's Governor Romney. I would suggest I am not the person to ask.'"

RYAN ANGLING FOR WAYS AND MEANS? Real Clear Politics' Erin McPike looked at how Rep. Paul Ryan, who's budget plan is his signature issue, might have his eyes set on becoming head of the Ways and Means committee in Congress, not on the VP spot. "Ryan is an affable 42-year-old who jokes about poring over federal budgets since age 22, and that interest has propelled him to superstardom within his party and has made President Obama take note of him. Senior aides on the House Republican leadership team worship Ryan, but when they discuss his prospects, they talk of how badly he wants to chair the all-powerful House Ways and Means Committee (where four Republicans currently outrank him), rather than the executive branch," McPike wrote. "Ryan, of course, already chairs one key committee and from that perch has authored substantial budgets that have become lightning rods for the left. Indeed, the 'Ryan budget' has become a household term. But by chairing Ways and Means, he would be charged with overseeing legislation to rewrite the tax code and could lead the way on all entitlement reform. But what Ryan doesn't appear to possess is a balance of policy interests and experiences. According to his congressional office, he took 11 congressional delegation trips abroad, visiting more than two dozen countries, from 1999 through 2011. But he is not known for foreign policy prowess."

AYOTTE CALLS DEFENSE CUTS A 'SLEEPER' ISSUE: Sen. Kelly Ayotte said Tuesday that defense cuts will be a "sleeper issue" in the campaign this fall, the Hill's Carlo Munoz reported . "The threat of deep cuts to defense spending could be a liability for President Obama's re-election bid," according to Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. She said the raft of losses in the defense sector from a roughly $500-billion cut to the Pentagon's coffers in the next decade would play prominently in Obama's bid for a second term. 'I see this as a sleeper issue' in the run-up to the presidential elections in November, she told attendees during a Tuesday speech in Washington," Munoz wrote. "'People react to burning fires … [and] this fire is smoldering,' she added."

VEEPS' LOBBYING TIES: The National Journal reported on a different way to examine the clout of potential VP contenders by looking at their connections to K Street. "While likeability, politics and election strategies can set one vice presidential candidate above the rest, there's another way to rank the crowded field of veep potentials in Congress: K Street clout. First Street Research Group examined the lobbying connections of potential vice presidential candidates who are members of Congress, including: Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.; Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.; and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.," National Journal's Elahi Izadi wrote. "According to the First Street report, Rubio has gotten money from the largest pool of lobbyists. In 2011, 108 donated to the senator. Just behind him is Ryan, who received contributions from 97 lobbyists in 2011. And the contributions to Rubio and Ryan by-and-large come from different lobbying crowds; just 21 lobbyists contributed to both congressmen."


@robportman: Synthetic drugs are causing damage across US. My amdt adopted today helps stops the pain many families are experiencing

@govchristie: If you see # CorzineDems this summer tell them 2 get the hell off the beach & get back 2 Trenton & vote for my tax cut.

@jebbush: Standing behind @ TomLuna because futures of countless Idaho students depend on it.

@RepPaulRyan: Insisting on empty promises instead of real reform is a moral failure. Lessons from Europe & California:

@bobmcdonnell: I congratulate Dr. Teresa Sullivan on her reappointment to the post of UVA President.

@bobbyjindal: Parents & students taking advantage of opportunity scholarship program. ? # EDreform

@kellyayotte: Ayotte says Congress can't wait for lame duck- defense industry and Pentagon already "paralyzed by uncertainty"

@SenJohnThune: Just met with a great group of SD educators. Good to have them out in D.C. Appreciate their hard work for SD students.

@GovMikeHuckabee: Pls support Huck PAC today. Take the Team Huck Donation Challenge.

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