Veep Beat: Pawlenty in Romney's Neighborhood This Weekend

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PAWLENTY 'WE'LL KNOW SOON ENOUGH': Campaigning for Mitt Romney in Michigan Wednesday, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty gave no clues about his status on the potential VP roster, telling a crowd in Jackson, Mich., "We'll know soon enough," ABC News' Shushannah Walshe reported. "After a brief speech at the opening of a campaign office here, Tim Pawlenty was asked if he would return to Michigan 'when you're vice president.' 'We'll know soon enough," Pawlenty, dressed in shirt sleeves, told the crowd with a chuckle," Walshe wrote. "Hank Choate, the chair of the Jackson County Republicans, asked the former Minnesota governor what his schedule is like Friday, asking a question many of the reporters in the room were trying to determine. Pawlenty answered that he would be in New Hampshire. Pawlenty is doing four events in the state Saturday for the state party and the Romney campaign. Choate then invited Pawlenty to a barbecue here on Sept. 23. ' As the VP, we will welcome you with open arms,' Choate said. Pawlenty then told the crowd of about 30 that Romney 'can't make a bad pick.'" Pawlenty told reporters at a second stop in Portage, Mich. he would not meet with Romney while in New Hampshire this weekend but demurred when asked if he would visit with Beth Myers, the head of Romney's VP search.

PORTMAN BRACKETS OBAMA IN COLORADO: Riding in a Romney campaign bus, Sen. Rob Portman criss crossed the state of Colorado Wednesday, bracketing the president with five stops in the state, the first in Johnstown, Colo., ABC News' Gregory Simmons reported. "Portman kicked off his remarks outside highlighting a new Quinnipiac University-CBS News-New York Times poll that shows Romney up on Obama, 50 percent to 45 percent. 'Guess what's going to welcome President Obama to Colorado today? Some new polls that show Romney up,' Portman said. 'They've outspent us but they can't out work us because of people like you,'" Simmons wrote. And as the Romney bus carrying Portman and a slew of Romney supporters stopped at a street corner en route to its final event of the day, it crossed paths with the president. "What at first appeared to be a blocked street soon revealed itself to be something far more exciting: It was, perhaps politically providentially, the president's very own motorcade. 'So we pulled this big, beautiful bus right up along the road next to where President Obama was coming in just so we could have a proper welcoming for [him] to Pueblo!' Portman told a revved up crowd of around 150 Republican volunteers," Simmons wrote. "It is unlikely the president could have missed the bus, itself - but is it possible Obama might have spotted Portman? 'I don't think so,'Portman said. 'But I saw him, though. It looked like he was pretty deep in conversation.'"

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JINDAL STUMPS IN COLORADO: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will campaign for Romney at four stops in Colorado today as the president continues his tour of the state.

WSJ PUSHES FOR RYAN: The Wall Street Journal's editorial page made the case for Romney to select Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, saying Ryan would help the presumptive GOP nominee define the "stakes of the election" and bring attention to the big issues of the campaign. "The case for Mr. Ryan is that he best exemplifies the nature and stakes of this election. More than any other politician, the House Budget Chairman has defined those stakes well as a generational choice about the role of government and whether America will once again become a growth economy or sink into interest-group dominated decline. Against the advice of every Beltway bedwetter, he has put entitlement reform at the center of the public agenda-before it becomes a crisis that requires savage cuts. And he has done so as part of a larger vision that stresses tax reform for faster growth, spending restraint to prevent a Greek-like budget fate, and a Jack Kemp-like belief in opportunity for all. He represents the GOP's new generation of reformers that includes such Governors as Louisiana's Bobby Jindal and New Jersey's Chris Christie. As important, Mr. Ryan can make his case in a reasonable and unthreatening way. He doesn't get mad, or at least he doesn't show it. Like Reagan, he has a basic cheerfulness and Midwestern equanimity. As for Medicare, the Democrats would make Mr. Ryan's budget a target, but then they are already doing it anyway. Mr. Romney has already endorsed a modified version of Mr. Ryan's premium-support Medicare reform, and who better to defend it than the author himself?," The Wall Street Journal writes. "Personalities aside, the larger strategic point is that Mr. Romney's best chance for victory is to make this a big election over big issues. Mr. Obama and the Democrats want to make this a small election over small things-Mitt's taxes, his wealth, Bain Capital. As the last two months have shown, Mr. Romney will lose that kind of election.To win, Mr. Romney and the Republicans have to rise above those smaller issues and cast the choice as one about the overall direction and future of the country. Americans tell pollsters they are anxious and unhappy precisely because they instinctively know the country is troubled in ways it hasn't been since the 1970s. They know the economy is growing too slowly to raise middle-class incomes, while the government is growing too fast to be affordable."

L.A. MAYOR FINDS PALIN MORE QUALIFIED THAN RUBIO: Democrat Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa knocked Sen. Marco Rubio Wednesday, saying Sarah Palin was more qualified than Rubio to serve as vice president, the Huffington Post's Elise Foley and Howard Fineman reported. "Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, one of the most prominent Latino elected officials in the country, said Wednesday that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is even less qualified to be vice president than Sarah Palin. 'I would say that I expect that given what happened with Senator McCain, that they're going to go with somebody that has got some chief executive experience,' Villaraigosa, chairman of the Democratic National Convention, told The Huffington Post in an interview," Foley and Fineman wrote. "Asked whether he had meant to compare the two Republicans, the former head of the U.S. Conference of Mayors suggested that Palin was in fact the better prepared. Rubio, Villaraigosa noted, has been in the U.S. Senate for less than two years, while Palin was governor of Alaska when she was picked. 'No, she actually had chief executive experience, if you recall, just not enough of it,' he said."


@robportman: Congrats to Toledoan Erik Kynard who took home the silver in men's high jump at his very first Olympics!

@governorva: As students prepare to return to campus, yearly tuition increases at Virginia colleges have fallen to a decade-low …

@kellyayotte: Offensive that prosecutors seeking 3 yrs in jail for female Russian rockers speaking out against Putin- So much for Pres Obama reset w Putin

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