Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to a New York Times report issued today, has reportedly made his decision about his vice-presidential running mate. The Times indicates the pro-life presidential hopeful could announce his selection as early as this week.
“Mr. Romney has reached a decision, his friends believe, and he may disclose it as soon as this week,” the Times reports.
UPDATE: Later in the day, Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom told reporters at a fundraiser in Baton Rouge, Lousiana, according to Politico, “No decision’s been made on VP.” He added Romney did not discuss his selection with Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The Times also indicates pro-life former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is one of the leading candidates for the spot. Pawlenty is well-liked by both social and fiscal conservatives as he has a long-standing pro-life record and became known as a governor who would veto tax increases.
“After a short-lived presidential bid of his own last year, Mr. Pawlenty is again being considered for the Republican ticket. His fate is in the hands of Mr. Romney, a rival-turned-friend, who is on the cusp of announcing his vice-presidential selection,” the Times says. “While Mr. Romney has kept more distance from the rest of his primary challengers, he has embraced Mr. Pawlenty, seeking his advice about running against President Obama and sending him to Republican events on his behalf. They began forging a closer relationship last year on a visit to the Romney family’s lakeside home in New Hampshire, aides said, and during debates this year when Mr. Pawlenty often traveled with the Romney campaign after dropping out of the race himself.”
“He has emerged as one of the most energetic cheerleaders and forceful defenders of Mr. Romney, firing back against Republican skeptics and Democratic critics alike,” the newspaper continued.
Other potential vice-presidential picks include Senator Rob Portman of Ohio and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana as well as Marco Rubio of Florida. Each is pro-life but some Republicans say selecting someone like Portman or Rubio may make it tougher for Republicans to capture the Senate.
Another potential vice-presidential pick is South Dakota Sen. John Thune, who declined his own bid for the Republican nomination. Thune has a very strong pro-life record and went on record recently saying there should be no truce on pro-life issues.
“I think there are issues that people feel deeply about, and they’re profound issues. The issues of life. The issues of family. And I don’t think we can minimize those in the debate,” Thune told CBN News last week. “For any conservative or any Republican to get elected to office, you have to have the support and hopefully the energetic support of people who care passionately about the social issues. So, they’re important. And we shouldn’t trivialize that.”
Whichever direction Romney goes, the ultimate selection is expected to be a pro-life one.
During a 2011 presidential candidate forum in South Carolina, Romney made a pledge to only select a running mate who shared his pro-life views on abortion.
Moderator: Governor Romney, will the person you choose as your vice presidential running mate be someone who shares your pro-life and pro-marriage convictions?
Romney: I certainly imagine so, I haven’t made any selections in that regard…[as I look around at the people I would consider] I would expect that they would all be pro-life and pro-traditional marriage…but this is an important enough issue that the person that I would select in that position would share my views on those important issues.
Host: So more than just expectation – would share those views?
Romney: Yes.. that person would share my views, yeah.
Moreover, Romney talked with Weekly Standard reporter John McCormack about a vice-presidential selection in March and renewed his commitment to a pro-life running mate.
Romney: “I don’t have a list at this stage. I haven’t put together a list. I haven’t done any thinking about a VP contender at this point. I would anticipate that whoever our nominee is would start with a very long list because frankly we have quite a group of people who have the skill and the credibility to be viable members of a national ticket. So he asked me about a couple of names but there are – I don’t have to tell you this – there’s a long list of very capable folks, including people who’ve run this cycle.”
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
TWS: “Would anyone on that list be pro-choice?”
After the interview, McCormack wrote: “Romney’s last point rules out (very, very) long shots like Rudy Giuliani and perennial mention Tom Ridge. But it would also eliminate Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, who has been the subject of some recent running mate chatter.”
It would also rule out Condoleezza Rice, who has described herself repeatedly as supported legalized abortion.