Veep Beat: GOPers Weigh In On Veepstakes

ABCNEWS (syndicate)

GIULIANI TOUTS RUBIO: While in Florida Thursday, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani weighed in on the veepstakes and touted Sen. Marco Rubio as the best choice to be Mitt Romney's running mate, Tampa's News Channel 8's Lauren Mayk reported. "Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani says U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio would be the best choice of a running mate for Mitt Romney. In an interview in Tampa with News Channel 8, the one-time presidential candidate said he was comfortable with all the potential vice presidential candidates he's heard being talked about, but thinks Rubio is 'the most exciting,'" Mayk wrote. "Giuliani said the Florida senator could help the campaign attract young people. 'He's of a different generation,' Giuliani said. 'He makes outreach much more possible to a younger people - people in their 30s where the Republican Party has a little bit of a, of a deficit.' Giuliani supported Rubio in his run for the U.S. Senate against then-Gov. Charlie Crist, who had left the Republican Party to campaign as an independent."

BOEHNER PUSHES PORTMAN: Speaker of the House John Boehner promoted fellow Ohioan Rob Portman as the best choice to fill the number two spot on the GOP ticket this fall during an interview on Fox News, ABC News' Gregory Simmons reported. "I'm partial to Rob Portman,'" Boehner said on "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" Thursday when asked who he thinks Romney should select as VP. "Been a long-time friend, United States senator from Ohio, served as the director of Office of Management and Budget under George W. Bush, also served as the U.S. trade rep, served in the House of Representatives as well. Knows his way around Washington, and I think he'd be a great asset for Governor Romney."

ROMNEY NAME DROPS RUBIO: In an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan Thursday in London, Romney name dropped Rubio when discussing how the American people strive to obtain more success. "There are people who are trying to attack success and are trying to attack our success. That's not going to be successful. When you attack success, you have less of it. And that's what we've seen in our economy over the last few years. Dividing America based on who has money and who hasn't. Who is successful and who is less successful. That is not the American way," Romney said. "I heard Marco Rubio the other day, he said, you know, we were poor living in Miami. We saw these big homes. Across town. My parents never said to us, gee, why don't those people give some of what they had? They said, instead, aren't we lucky to live in a country where with education and hard work we might be able to achieve that ourselves? We're an achievement celebrating, oriented nation. That's what lifted us and will continue to do so and the attacks that come by people who are trying to knock down my business career or my Olympic experience or our success, those attacks are not going to be successful."

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JINDAL DEFENDS ROMNEY OVER OLYMPICS SNAFU: Mitt Romney's recent Olympics flap may have caused a stir overseas, but two top Romney surrogates here in the U.S. - Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Bob McDonnell of Virginia - don't think the snafu will cause a major problem for the former Massachusetts governor. "We're not worried about overseas headlines. We're worried about voters back here at home in America," Jindal said on a conference call Thursday afternoon. "Gov. Romney has said that he expected the London Olympics to be a phenomenal success. The reality is we're all rooting for our American athletes. We hope they come back with a bunch of medals, and I'm sure they're going to be very successful, but the reality is the focus needs to continue to be on the issues that are important to voters back home." McDonnell, who toured Iowa aboard a Romney campaign bus with Jindal Thursday, chimed in after the Louisiana governor's response, saying, "I agree."

RUBIO TO RAISE SOME TEXAS CASH: Rubio will head to the Lone Star state next month to raise money for Romney in San Antonio, Texas, Politico's Scott Wong reported. "Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will head to Texas next month to raise cash for Mitt Romney. Rubio, a rising Republican star, and Romney's brother, Scott, will headline two fundraising events for the presumptive GOP presidential nominee on Aug. 15 in San Antonio, according to an invitation obtained by POLITICO," Wong wrote. "On behalf of the Romney Victory Fund, the two will host receptions at the Marriott Rivercenter in downtown San Antonio. Guests can get a photo with Rubio and Scott Romney for $5,000 per person. The general reception costs $250 per person. Later that night, Rubio and Scott Romney will be on hand at a $25,000-per-couple dinner at the San Antonio home of Nancy and Edward Steves, who previously backed the failed presidential campaign of Texas Gov. Rick Perry."

CHRISTIE'S CALI FUNDRAISER: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will hold a fundraiser for Romney in Wilton, California next month, the Sacramento Bee's David Siders reported. "New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will travel to Sacramento County next month to raise money for Mitt Romney," Siders wrote. "Tickets to the Aug. 9 luncheon, at the Wilton home of Dave Lucchetti of Pacific Coast Building Products, start at $1,000, according to an invitation."

CHRISTIE VETOES ENERGY PROGRAM: Christie vetoed legislation that would have placed New Jersey in a multi-state energy pact, the Associated Press reported. "New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed legislation again that would have kept the state in a multistate clean air program. The bill required New Jersey to remain a part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a regional pact to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and fund clean energy projects," the AP wrote. "The veto came as no surprise since Mr. Christie pulled New Jersey from the 10-state pact in December and vetoed a similar bill last August. The governor says the program amounted to a tax on electricity use without reducing carbon emissions. The Democrat-led Legislature has failed so far to reverse the governor."

CONDI PENS OP-ED: Condoleezza Rice penned an op-ed for the Financial Times detailing America's need to assume a stronger leadership role abroad in the Middle East, Africa and Asia because the United States is "not just any country. "In this young century, the 9/11 attacks, the global financial crisis and the unrest in the Arab world have struck at the heart of vital US interests. If Americans want the tectonic plates of the international system to settle in a way that makes the world safer, freer and more prosperous, the US must overcome its reluctance to lead. We will have to stand up for and promote the power and promise of free markets and free peoples, and affirm that American pre-eminence safeguards rather than impedes global progress," Rice wrote. "The list of US foreign policy challenges is long and there will be a temptation to respond tactically to each one. But today's headlines and posterity's judgment often differ. The task at hand is to strengthen the pillars of our influence and act with the long arc of history in mind. The American people have to be inspired to lead again. They need to be reminded that the US is not just any other country: we are exceptional in the clarity of our conviction that free markets and free peoples hold the key to the future, and in our willingness to act on those beliefs. Failure to do so would leave a vacuum, likely filled by those who will not champion a balance of power that favours freedom. That would be a tragedy for American interests and values and those who share them."


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