Veep Beat: The VP Tangle for Romney and Rubio

Jae C. Hong/AP Photo

ROMNEY QUIETS RUBIO RUMORS: Mitt Romney was forced to clarify Tuesday evening whether his campaign was vetting Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., ABC News' Emily Friedman reported. "There are only two people in this country who know who are being vetted and who are not, and that's Beth Myers and myself," Romney told reporters in Holland, Mich., Tuesday. "The story was entirely false. Marco Rubio is being thoroughly vetted as part of our process."

RUBIO STAYS MUM: As he made the rounds on television interviews to promote his new book, "An American Son," Rubio remained quiet about the VP question as he was hounded by reporters asking for his response to Tuesday's reports. "I've made a decision a long time ago not to discuss the process, and that's not going to change today," Rubio said on CBS "This Morning" Wednesday when asked about the vetting.

SO, WHAT HAPPENED WITH MARCO RUBIO: ABC News' Jonathan Karl explains where things stand with Rubio's vetting. "First, my sources stand by what they told me: Before today, Rubio had not been asked by the Romney campaign to turn over any documents related to the vice presidential search, and he had not been asked to fill out any questionnaires. But a top Romney campaign official emphatically told me that Rubio was, in fact, asked for vetting materials before today. "Your source is lying to you," the Romney official said. Now, Rubio is the only candidate who the Romney campaign has definitively said is being vetted," Karl wrote. "I am told by several Republican sources that Romney came under intense pressure today from top Republicans who argued it was crazy to take Rubio out of consideration so early. Some argued for Rubio's appeal as the party's most effective and charismatic conservative voice. Some argued it is dumb politics to not consider the party's top Hispanic conservative. But senior officials of the Romney campaign said emphatically that they were not under pressure from conservatives, and that Romney never changed his mind. They insisted that Rubio was always under consideration."

THE 'BAIN WAY' OF DECISION MAKING IN VP SELECTION: The AP's Philip Elliott reported how Romney would employ a familiar method in his selection of a running mate - the "Bain way." "A businessman at his core, Mitt Romney was legendary in the private sector for his reliance on reams of information and extensive research to decide which companies to take over. When interviewing potential employees, he favored question-and-answer sessions designed to make recruits think on their feet and provide clues about how they approached situations," Elliott wrote. "'I like gathering data and information so that you don't just have people just expressing their opinions, but you actually have numbers and facts and figures and people to look to and to find out what's really happening,' Romney told C-SPAN recently. 'And then with the information you have, you make the decision.' Now, as the Republican presidential candidate weighs a running mate, it's a good bet that he's relying on that same methodical approach and interviewing style that he honed at Bain and Co. and the private equity firm he helped start, Bain Capital. The style even has its own name: the Bain Way."

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PAWLENTY RISING: Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's VP stock is up among some Romney insiders, Politico's Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei reported. "Tim Pawlenty has jumped to the top of the vice presidential shortlist of several Mitt Romney advisers after emerging as the most effective -and well-liked - surrogate for the GOP nominee-to-be, according to several Republicans familiar with campaign deliberations," Allen and VandeHei wrote. "The former Minnesota governor has impressed top Romney officials with his winning onstage presence at a grueling roster of Republican events throughout the country and with his low-maintenance personal style that has made him a favorite with the campaign's tight-knit inner circle at the Boston headquarters. Pawlenty is strong where Romney is weak -with the regular-guy, working-man connection with voters in casual settings. 'Pawlenty will walk up and put a supporter in a headlock,' said a Republican consultant who was startled to witness just that. 'He provides a nice yin and yang to Romney.'

UNKNOWN CONTENDERS: ABC News' Gregory Simmons highlights a new Gallup poll that shows the country's unfamiliarity with Sens. Rob Portman and Marco Rubio. Sixty-two percent of those polled said they'd never heard of Portman, while 41 percent said they were unfamiliar with Rubio. The Florida senator drew a 26 percent favorability rating, and Portman received 12 percent favorability. But in Rubio's home state of Florida, a new Quinnipiac poll finds 51 percent of pollees approved of the job Rubio is doing as senator.

PORTMAN'S OHIO NETWORK: Even if he remains relatively unknown among voters, Portman can offer Romney a link to his strong political network he's cultivated in Ohio, Roll Call's David Drucker reported. "Sen. Rob Portman could help put Mitt Romney over the top in Ohio, a potential boost that has nothing to do with him joining the Republican ticket as Romney's running mate," Drucker wrote. "Since launching his first statewide campaign three years ago, Portman has built a strong political network throughout Ohio, including in the rural counties rich in conservative voters that could be crucial to Romney's success this fall. Perhaps more importantly for Romney in his bid to oust President Barack Obama, Portman has credibility with a broad cross section of the party sufficient to activate this network on behalf of others."

PORTMAN'S SPOOKY CONNECTION: Sen. Rob Portman's family has a haunting tie to the supernatural world. NBC News' Andrew Rafferty reported on the Portman family-owned hotel, which houses a ghostly resident. "There is something haunting a top contender for the Republican vice-presidential nomination. Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, along with his brother and sister, own the Golden Lamb, a landmark hotel in the southwestern part of the Buckeye State, where scores of historical figures have spent the night," Rafferty wrote. "It is the oldest continuously run business in the state and has housed the likes of Charles Dickens, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Ulysses S. Grant. Twelve presidents have visited, and it has served as the backdrop for multiple campaign events, including a McCain-Palin rally in 2008. But it is in a small room on the hotel's fourth floor that houses its spookiest lodger. Through a glass encasing in the room, there is a plastic doll lying on a child-size bed surrounded by toys from the late 19th century. It is here, where, 'the restless spirit of a young girl materializes in this small room,' at least according to a letter posted outside the door."

PRESIDENT DANIELS … OF PURDUE: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has a new calling that won't lead him to the White House. WISH-TV first reported Tuesday that the Indiana governor will become the new president of Purdue University. The board of trustees will vote on Daniels' appointment Thursday. Daniels rejected a bid for the presidency under pressure from his family, and the Indiana governor has made no secret of his lack of interest in the No. 2 spot, even suggesting that he would "disconnect the phone" if Romney came calling.

VAMPIRE DEMOCRATS IN NEW JERSEY? N.J. Gov. Chris Christie doled out a new name for Democrats in his state, calling them "Corzine Democrats" and compared them to vampires, the Newark Star-Ledger reported. "Gov. Chris Christie today trotted out a new moniker for the lawmakers considering making a tax cut contingent on revenue numbers, calling them 'Corzine Democrats,' Jenna Portnoy wrote. "'Here we are 12 days from the end of the session,' he told a town hall crowd at Cedar Grove High School. 'Two and a half years into my term, you thought the Corzine Democrats were dead. Well they're back.' The Republican governor never took a position on the proposal, instead comparing them to vampires: 'We thought we'd taken a wooden stake and put it through this type of Democrat's heart.'"

RUBIO'S TOP 100: As of Wednesday morning, Rubio's book "An American Son," which came out Tuesday, sits at No. 29 on the Amazon 100 Best Sellers List.


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