Top Five Veep Options – Who’s Your Fave?

Whom will Gov. Romney select as his running mate? Chris Cillizza gives his top five most likely options.

5. Chris Christie: Oddly enough, the in­cred­ibly high profile New Jersey governor may not be getting the respect he is due in the veepstakes. We have it on good authority that he remains very much in the mix as Romney’s pick, which, frankly, shouldn’t be all that surprising. Once Christie (finally) decided against running for president, he quickly endorsed Romney and has been a willing and able surrogate ever since. And, Christie is the biggest national star in the Republican party at the moment — spouting the sort of no-nonsense, speak-truth-to-power-isms that the public seems to crave. He’s also a Republican who got elected in a blue state one year after President Obama’s sweeping victory in 2008. (Previous ranking: 8)

4. Bobby Jindal: Jindal is the “historic” pick of the Final Five as he would be the first Indian-American to be on either party’s national ticket. He’s also someone who despite his youth — he’s 41 — has a deep resume that includes service in the U.S. House, a stint at the Department of Health and Human Services and now two terms as governor of Louisiana. Jindal is also considered an expert — in GOP circles, at least — on health care, and his selection could indicate how serious Romney is about repealing President Obama’s law and replacing it with a conservative alternative. (Previous ranking: 5)

3. Paul Ryan: Picking the Wisconsin Congressman would simultaneously be a safe and a bold choice by Romney. Safe in the sense that Ryan is a known and liked commodity within the Republican party establishment and someone who has a proven track record of getting elected in a swing state. Bold in the sense that the Ryan budget plan — in which he proposes (among other things) a fundamental re-shaping of Medicare — is seen by Democrats as the closest thing they have to a silver bullet in this election. Choosing Ryan means embracing that budget with no possibility of turning back. (Previous ranking: 3)

2. Tim Pawlenty: Romney prizes loyalty and TPaw is among the most loyal people in politics. After ending his own bid for the Republican presidential nomination, the former Minnesota governor became a do-anything, go-anywhere surrogate for Romney. And, he’s stayed relentlessly on message — for the amount Pawlenty has spoken for Romney there has been almost no gaffe coverage of what he’s said — while bolstering his profile as a guy who can connect with Joe and Jane average voter in the electorally critical Rust Belt. (Previous ranking: 2)

1. Rob Portman: The Ohio Senator continues to hold down the top spot on the Line because he ranks so highly in the area we know Romney value most: the ability to do the job. That Portman also represents among the least risky picks (he has been vetted six ways to Sunday for past Administration jobs and during his 2010 Senate bid), that he is from Ohio (the swing state Romney must have) and that he is a budget/spending expert at a time when those issues are at the fore of voters’ minds strengthen Portman’s case. (Previous ranking: 1)

Do you agree?  Disagree?  Note that Cillizza left off Rubio…  Who would you love to see Gov. Romney select?

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  • Amanda Bland

    Chris Christie…still pulling for him. So capable.

  • Mark Evansa

    I like Rubio OK; I would be all right with Condi Rice; I think Nikki Haley or Susana Martinez would be strong; everyone on this list is fine. But for some time my No. 1 choice has been BOBBY JINDAL…executive as well as legislative experience, the non-white factor you mentioned, youth & let’s face it…he’s had probably the roughest job of any governor since he’s been in office & has been totally up to the task! If we haven’t been raptured by 2020, he will be the Republican presidential nominee…so we may as well give him a running start to take Mitt’s place Jan. 20, 2021!

  • http://facebook Lisa McAllister

    Gov. Luis Fortuno

  • @ParisParamus

    What I don’t get about Portman being picked is the lack of exposure to media scrutiny. Can he bob a weave? Respond to Media stupid. The other thing is, isn’t he better as leading OMB? Yes, Ohio is a plus, but does he definitively put OH in the win column?

  • joeydg

    Condoleezza Rice is my pick.

  • Evan Maughan

    Condi is pro choice and was a total let down as secretary of state – she did little to advance conservtism and weed out the entrenched leftist beurocrats who run the state department.

    She is a very capable person, but I do not think she has what it takes to help Mitt clean house in Washington.

  • Evan Maughan

    I love Christie, and he has been a strong supporter of Mitt. Christie could bring more fire and enthusiasm to the campaign – I would love to see a Christie/Biden debate (of course a Ham Sandwich vs Biden debate would be fun).

    I love Paul Ryan, he and Mitt seen to have a very good dynamic. Ryan has shown a lot of fortitude by a willingness to “touch the third rail” knowing that it could hurt him politically, but not caring because America is more important.

    I love Louis Fortuno and he is Mitt’s latin counterpart – a govern of a left leaning state (territory) who used his success in business and leadership skills to save Puerto Rico from ever rising debt and corruption. Plus I would love the Lamestream Media mocking Mitt for having a VP whose last name in english is “Fortune”. Not a likely pick though.

    Tim Pawlenty – please do not let it be him. Nice guy – very boring. The only advantage would be Tim is one of the few that would make Romney look really exciting in comparison. Tim, though, is a likely pick because Romney appreciates loyalty and Pawlenty’s campaign failed because he did not have the heart to go hard on Romney. Tim is a good guy, but brings nothing to the campaign. If this were not such a crucail election, I would not mind seeing him as VP.

  • Kristen

    I like Jindal – he has a very impressive resume. Is very competent, and vp would be a good boost point for him when he will still be shy of 50 in 2020.
    I know there have been tidbits put out about how well the romney’s and pawlenty’s get along (in addition to t-paw’s credentials.)
    In the end, Mitt has experience picking people for officers in companies. what is the US government but a massive (poorly run.) corporation. I trust his judgment.

  • Jesus Morales

    Personally, I veto Ryan and Christie. Ryan because, to my knowledge, he is happy where he is and arguably more influential in his position then he would be as veep. He would be a great pick, I don’t think liberals attacks on him would work as he is an able defender, however I don’t think he’d take the job. Christie is more liberal then many realize. So I would strongly veto him. That would re-open the whole “Romney’s not really a conservative” fight and that’s the last thing Romney needs now that the base is pretty squarely behind him.

    I’ve heard Huckabee’s name bandied about . . . I like him but I know that’s a dark horse candidate. Pawlenty or Portman both seem like great choices to me. It’s ridiculous to insist that Romney pick someone “out there” in terms of race or gender just because. Romney should pick the best person for the job, period. It would also be a hypocritical attack for Obama to launch considering he picked Joe Biden . . . which I’m sure will not stop Dems from launching it. Their behavior this cycle has been incredibly disappointing. Spin and distortion, I expect, that’s the underside of politics. Outright lying and accusing a presidential candidate of being a felon with no evidence to back up your claims (twice!), that’s just ridiculous.

  • Bill Buckley

    You guys missed the mark. You don’t even have the winner on the list! Not having Rubio on this list looks a little lame!

  • Evan Maughan

    Huckabee is too much of big government “compassionate conservative” (look at his record). He let way too many felons out of prison – over riding the decisions of the court. Did a lousy job with taxes and budget. He is charismatic, but so is Christie. He is fine where he is out, and he would probable agree.

    The main reason I oppose Huckabee is because he is the opposite of the French’s who host this site. I watched the O8 primaries with disgust at the way Huckabee not only wore his religion on his sleeve, but used peoples ignorance of my faith to turn them against Romney. “I heard they think Jesus and Satan are brothers, I don’t know, I’m just saying…” The Huckster knew exactly what he was doing with that statement as it pure antiMo 101. This incident with others really turned me sour on Huckster.

    I’m glad Huckabee has been more supportive of Mitt this go around, and I should practice more of what my faith teaches and forgive the guy. Slowly I’m getting there, but I can not help thinking what would have happened in O8 had Huckabee not launched a successful campaign in Iowa largely supported by his “I’m the CHRISTIAN candidate” emphasis.

  • Charles Richey


  • Ron

    I agree! I think Marco Rubio would help the ticket the most!

  • kris larsen

    Look, I know it still seems like a long shot, and I don’t particularly care for the guy because of the 2008 election process, but I still think there is a strong chance Mitt picks Huck…..

  • cindy

    I detest Huckabee as much as I did McCain, and he brings NOTHING to a Romney presidency. It does not matter that he has been a kiss-ass recently, in the 08 election he conducted himself in a manner that I did not consider Christian. I love Paul Ryan and also Marco Rubio, but we need them where they are right now. There is lots of work to be done to make up for what has been perpetrated on America by Congress and obama. I also really like Bobby Jindal and would love to see him stay on the political arena-he has a tremendous amount to contribute on our behalf.

    I like Christie because he is so outspoken and will not back down from a fight. He is a good complement to Romney’s diplomatic, gracious affect. (Romney really does need to be more aggressive)

    For that same reason, among others, my first choice is Allen West. He is bold and outspoken. He has military experience-recently, in the mid east. He showed strong leadership while in the military-he understands the threat of jihad to the US, as so few elected officials do, so that would make him a strong VEEP. He also has legislative experience now, and has shown himself to be a strong conservative. With Romney’s executive and business experience, and West’s military and legislative experience, I think they would together supply the one-two punch to knock obama’s butt back to Chi-town.