PORTMAN TALKS WITH ROMNEY TEAM: Sen. Rob Portman met with members of Romney’s team in Boston on Monday while in town for a fundraiser, ABC News’ Gregory Simmons and Emily Friedman reported. “Sen. Rob Portman told ABC News today that he had six meetings over a six hour time span with some of Mitt Romney’s chief campaign advisors and did not deny meeting with Beth Myers, the woman charged with vetting a potential running mate. ‘You know, I talk to those guys all the time on how things are going in Ohio and what the message ought to be back home in Ohio, so, it was a good-good day, we had six meetings in about six hours, so it was busy,’ Portman told ABC News upon leaving the American Builders & Contractors Association in Washington D.C. Tuesday morning. Portman nearly immediately clarified his comments, saying that three of the six meetings were fundraisers on behalf of Romney where campaign staffers were in attendance and that they weren’t focused on the vetting process,” Simmons and Friedman wrote. “Asked specifically if he had met with Myers, Portman did not deny that he had. ‘Oh, I’ve seen pretty much all of them, you know, at one time or another,’ said Portman.”
RUBIO’S FUNDRAISING PROWESS: When it comes to raising money, placing Sen. Marco Rubio on the ticket could offer Romney a boost in his fundraising, according to a study from the Center for Responsive Politics. “Rubio raised more than $21.7 million during his 2010 campaign, demolishing his opponents independent Gov. Charlie Christ who raised about $13.6 million and Democrat Kendrick Meek who raised about $8.8 million,” The Daily Caller reported. “Among his biggest donors were the Club for Growth donating more than $350,000 to his campaign in 2010, and Republican Senator Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund which donated about $108,000 to Rubio in 2010. Retirees and Republican and conservative groups accounted for his largest donating groups, giving him $1.8 million and $978,000 respectively in 2010. Rubio has started his own leadership political action committee, Reclaim America PAC, and has raised nearly $1.12 million and has spent money supporting Sens. Scott Brown and Josh Mandel. In total, Rubio and his PAC have raised more than $27.3 million since 2007, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.”
RUBIO SLAMS OBAMA FOR SAYING CHAVEZ POSES NO “SERIOUS” THREAT: Sen. Marco Rubio condemned a comment made by President Obama in an interview that aired on WJAN in Miami Tuesday about Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez not posing a “serious” national security threat to the United States. “It’s now disturbingly clear that President Obama has been living under a rock when it comes to recognizing the national security threat posed by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez,” Rubio said in a statement obtained by ABC News. “Hugo Chavez is not only a threat to the Venezuelan people’s freedom and democratic aspirations, he has also supported Iran’s regime in its attempts to expand its intelligence network throughout the hemisphere, facilitated money laundering activities that finance state sponsors of terrorism and provided a safe haven for FARC narco-terrorists, among many other actions. Just yesterday, the Wall Street Journal detailed how Hugo Chavez circumvents U.S. and EU sanctions to help prop up the Assad regime in Syria. And even Obama’s own State Department belatedly but rightly expelled Chavez’s consul general in Miami for her ties to a plan to wage cyber-attacks on the U.S.” Rubio added: “President Obama continues to display an alarmingly naïve understanding of the challenges and opportunities we face in the Western Hemisphere.”
McDONNELL WEIGHING OPTING OUT OF MEDICAID: Gov. Bob McDonnell is contemplating whether Virginia will opt out of Medicaid expansion like many other governors have announced this week, the Washington Post’s Anita Kumar reported. “Gov. Bob McDonnell sent a letter to legislators Tuesday saying that he is considering whether Virginia should opt out of the federal health law’s Medicaid expansion, but needs more information. ‘A great expansion of Medicaid, without significant reform of the so-called ‘federal-state partnership,’ is not responsible,’ McDonnell wrote. Six other Republican governors have announced that they would not participate,” Kumar wrote. ” In a seven-page letter to members of the General Assembly, McDonnell said he was weighing ramifications following the Supreme Court’s health-care decision. But he reiterated that he would not call a special legislative session to deal with the issues.”
NO VET FOR HALEY: South Carolina Nikki Haley told the Wall Street Journal’s Jon Ostrower Tuesday that she is not being vetted for the VP spot. “South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said she isn’t under consideration as Mitt Romney’s running mate in the race for the White House. ‘No, I am not,’ replied Ms. Haley after being asked is she was being vetted by the Romney campaign. ‘I have made it very clear from the very beginning that I love my job, I love South Carolina and I made a promise to the people of my state [to complete my term] and I have to keep it,’ said Ms. Haley during an interview at the Farnborough International Air Show promoting South Carolina aerospace,” Ostrower wrote.
PALIN SPEAKS: The 2008 Republican vice presidential pick Sarah Palin weighed in on the veepstakes Tuesday evening, arguing that Romney will pick a “known commodity” after seeing the way her announcement was handled last cycle. “I think that Governor Romney will probably play it safe, relatively-speaking, in terms of finding someone who is a known commodity, so the media doesn’t do what the media did to me and making things up and kind of thrashing somebody’s reputation and record in order to distract,” Palin said on Fox News as The Hill’s Christian Heinze reported. http://bit.ly/NgSyet
VEEPS ON OBAMA’S TAX POLICY
Portman at the Associated Builders and Contractors Conference Tuesday via the Washington Post: “Look, I think we ought to reform the whole tax code,” Portman said. “We shouldn’t be debating whether to deal with the current code by allowing it to be extended or not. We should have a president who shows leadership and comes to Congress and says: ‘You know what? We need to reform this whole tax code.”
Rubio in NewsMax interview: “First of all, I reject class warfare and the constant effort of this White House to divide one group of Americans against another. The second thing I would say is what problem does this solve? The revenue that’s generated by this tax increase on what he calls the wealthiest Americans doesn’t even make a dent on the debt. On the other hand, it’s going to cost a bunch of jobs because if you’re a small dry cleaner somewhere, your business makes [money], not you personally, and now your taxes are going to go up next year. “You’re probably going to lay somebody off, maybe even close the store, or maybe not hire someone you were planning to hire. How is that good for our economy?” Rubio said. “The point is, this is all about class warfare. This is about the president trying to convince people in this country that their lives would be better if only he had the power to take stuff away from another group of Americans who he says are not paying their fair share. “This is ridiculous. This is the kind of policies that this president is pursuing because he cannot run on his record. The country is not better off than it was four years ago, so he can’t run on his record.”
Ryan on CNBC’S Squawk Box: “Don’t forget that these tax increases he’s proposing are for more spending, not even for debt reduction,” Ryan said. “All of the tax increases don’t pay for a fifth of his proposed deficit spending…The president has chosen more of this envy and division, more of this class warfare, the politics of division and distraction because he has a terrible economic record.”
@jebbush: My friend Clint Bolick has written an important oped published today in WSJ. http://ow.ly/c9n4R
@RepPaulRyan: The President’s proposed tax increase on successful small businesses doesn’t even pay for 1/5 of his deficit spending: http://bit.ly/LcXHEv
@govchristie: Every life is precious. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsZQpv …
@govmikehuckabee: Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on his state’s voter ID law +Audio via Just Sayin http://jstsay.in/0006go
@nikkihaley: We have now announced 25,458 jobs to date across our great state and the number continues to grow! South Carolina is open for business!