Romney Campaign Begins VP Search, Pro-Lifers Top List

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 16, 2012   |   11:55AM   |   Washington, DC

The Mitt Romney campaign announced today that it has tapped longtime adviser Beth Myers to head up “selection and vetting and analysis” of potential vice-presidential running mates for the presumptive nominee.

“I have selected someone who has been a counselor of mine for a number of years, Beth Myers. She was my chief of staff when I was governor,” Romney said during an interview with Diane Sawyer of ABC News.

“I’ve asked her to be the person who oversees the process of the vice presidential selection and vetting an analysis and so she’s begun that process and is putting together the kinds of things you need to do to vet potential candidates,” he said.

Romney said he does not have a deadline by which he will select someone.

“It would certainly be by the time of the convention,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve chosen the time we’d actually make an announcement.”

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air provides more background on Myers, saying, “Myers has been with Romney for years, serving as his chief of staff during his entire term as governor in Massachusetts, so Myers certainly has his confidence.  An undated Washington Post profile notes that Myers’ consulting firm The Shawmut Group assisted Scott Brown in his surprise victory for the US Senate in January 2010.  She began working in politics in 1980 on Ronald Reagan’s campaign in Texas, along with Karl Rove, but by 1984 had shifted to Massachusetts, working with Republican candidates.”

Morrissey also says the selection of Myers to head the vice-presidential search is a bit of a slap in the face to pro-abortion President Barack Obama and top pro-abortion Democrats who have been accusing Republicans of engaging in a so-called “war on women” by opposing Obama’s mandate forcing religious groups to pay for birth control and abortion-causing drugs.

“To some extent, though, this assignment puts her in the foreground, and at an opportune moment,” Morrissey said. “The Obama campaign has picked a fight for several weeks over womens’ issues, hoping to exploit a gender gap between Democrats and Republicans, an effort that blew up in their faces last week.  Myers’ high-profile assignment puts her in charge of the single biggest decision Romney has to make between now and the Republican convention, a choice of running mate that could make or break his candidacy.  Given her history and closeness to Romney, this appointment would have made sense under any circumstances, but in the current environment also sends a perhaps-not-so-subtle message that Romney has no problem putting women in charge of the most critical aspects of his campaign and organization.”

The list of potential running mates for Romney includes a plethora of pro-life advocates sure to please pro-life voters who are looking for a solid pro-life ticket to challenge Obama and his lengthy pro-abortion record.

At the top of the list is pro-life Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Romney told ABC Rubio is “one of the terrific leaders” of the Republican Party but would not say if he is on the short list.

“I think it’s way too early to begin narrowing down who the potential vice presidential nominees might be,” Romney said. “But we’re beginning that process.”

Other potential running mates include pro-life Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, pro-life Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and several governors, including, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, New Jersey’s Chris Christie and South Carolina’s Nikki Haley.

Christie headlined a pro-life rally last year and repeatedly vetoed measures allowing funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

“I stand with you,” on opposing abortion, the governor told the crowd, and “with each and every one of those precious human lives.”

“What we need to do each and every day is to live our lives in a way that encourages everyone to understand why this cause is so important,” Christie said. ”To show that we respect the life of every human being, and that every human being is one of God’s creatures and deserves the love and respect that God gives to all us.”

Haley is strongly pro-life and recently slammed the media over its attack on conservative, pro-life women. Haley tore apart the media obsession with the contraception debate: “The media thinks that women only care about contraception, that’s not true. They care about contraception, and education, and health care, and jobs, and the economy.”

McDonnell signed a pro-life bill in March that allows women in Virginia to see the results of an ultrasound that is routinely performed by abortion facilities prior to an abortion.