Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Portman's bipartisan reputation could hurt chance of joining GOP ticket
The Hill ^ | 06/01/12 | Niall Stanage and Molly Hooper

Posted on 06/01/2012 6:52:16 AM PDT by SharpRightTurn

One mark against Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) being Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential choice may be that Portman’s not sufficiently polarized.

If the speculation Portman will become Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick proves true, he could complicate the presidential race in an unexpected way: he has a legitimate record of bipartisanship and is well-regarded even by a number of Democrats on Capitol Hill.

Portman is currently stirring more vice-presidential talk among Beltway insiders by taking a trip to Israel, where he held a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday.

The Ohioan has faced criticism for his supposed grayness but he pushed back against that during an interview with CNN immediately following the Netanyahu meeting.

Asked by anchor Gloria Borger whether a perceived lack of “pizzazz” would hinder him, Portman responded:

“I think what people are looking for right now is not the kind of pizzazz and pop that perhaps we thought we got in 2008 — certainly President Obama offered that. What they want now is someone who can work closely with Congress and get things done. We have a paralysis in Washington.”

Should Portman get the nod from Romney, President Obama's team will undoubtedly focus on his work for the administration of President George W. Bush. He served as U.S. Trade Representative and, later, director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) during Bush’s second term. He served a little over a year in each position.

But his service during the Bush years, and his conservative positions on social issues (he backed a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, for example), may not displace the broader sense that he is more willing than most to reach out for common ground.

When he left the OMB, and the Bush administration, in 2007, then Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) called him “one of the finest public servants with whom I have served in the House” and praised his “willingness to work with members on both sides of the aisle.”

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) called him “a person of credibility and decency.”

The liking for Portman goes beyond pro-forma warm words. His close and constructive relationship with Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) dates back more than a decade to when, as House members, they worked together on legislation that they said would have simplified and strengthened the pension system.

He is said to be friendly on a social basis with Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), the two men having apparently bonded over their love of outdoor activities. Portman, a keen kayaker, is even reputed to practice his rolls in the congressional swimming pool.

Running for election to the Senate in 2010, Portman saw the benefits of highlighting his bipartisanship too. During a debate with his Democratic opponent, Lee Fisher, Portman stated: “I often joke in front of Republican crowds, and probably people are [made] a little nervous by the fact, that 12 of my bills were signed by President Clinton.”

An investigation of the claim by Politifact found the claim “mostly true” saying that while “it depends on how you count the bills”, the claim was “more or less” accurate.

Among the more intriguing partnerships Portman forged was with the late Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio), with whom he sponsored a bill to guarantee federal funding for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. Tubbs Jones once said of him: “Compared to other Republicans, [he[ is pleasant and good to work with.”

During his time in the Senate, Portman has worked with Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark) on regulatory issues, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) on energy efficiency, and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on seniors’ health.

Still, if personal liking for Portman is in relatively abundant supply, some Democrats caution that this should not be mistaken for ideological centrism.

“He is very likable, a gentleman, but he is far more conservative than the demeanor would indicate,” Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) told The Hill. “He’s not acerbic, that’s for sure. But he’s very conservative.”

But Republican Rep. Kevin Brady (Texas), who served alongside Portman on the House Ways and Means committee, spoke up for his friend’s willingness to compromise. Calling himself a “big fan of Rob Portman’s”, Brady said the he “did work with Dems on saving issues, especially.”

Susan Schwab, who succeeded Portman as U.S. Trade Representative, also weighed in emphatically on his side, lambasting reporters “who write about him as a boring white guy, and who obviously have never met him or worked with him.”

Schwab added that anyone seeking to demonize Portman would face a difficult task.

“It would be hard to caricature him because he’s not a caricature,” she said. “There is a tendency in politics now to present people as two-dimensional all the time. But he’s got such a proven record that you couldn’t make him seem two-dimensional. You couldn’t get away with that with Rob Portman.”


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: cino; portman; romney; vicepresident
It seems Portman is being touted more and more as the VP pick for Romney. He's seen as someone who isn't "polarizing" (in other words, no conservative commitments) and works well with those on the other side of the aisle (i.e., a political cross-dresser).

We'll see in the VP pick if Romney is seriously going to court conservatives with a pick like DeMint, Palin, Lee, Rand Paul, etc. or will listen to the establishment and go with someone like Portman, Bush, Christi, Pawlenty, etc.

Also see Halfmanhalfamazing's post a few weeks back: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2875281/posts

1 posted on 06/01/2012 6:52:38 AM PDT by SharpRightTurn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SharpRightTurn
-"he has a legitimate record of bipartisanship and is well-regarded even by a number of Democrats on Capitol Hill."

That's a bad sign already. We don't need people that are "well regarded" by Democrats. Who the hell cares what the enemies of this country think.

2 posted on 06/01/2012 6:56:17 AM PDT by LibFreeUSA (Pick Your Poison)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SharpRightTurn; Halfmanhalfamazing

Don’t know why I’m having trouble with hyperlinks:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2875281/posts


3 posted on 06/01/2012 6:57:25 AM PDT by SharpRightTurn ( White, black, and red all over--America's affirmative action, metrosexual president.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SharpRightTurn

Who’s Portman?
If he is being praised by democrats, he is a rino.
Oh, great a rino as VP for a liberal v a loon VP for a liberal.
We are so screwed.


4 posted on 06/01/2012 7:00:09 AM PDT by svcw (If one living cell on another planet is life, why isn't it life in the womb?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SharpRightTurn

Personally, I have very little hope that Romney will “seriously court conservatives”. A RINO IS A RINO!

I don’t care much about that reaching across the aisle thingee..........I want a president who has a clear vision and goes for it!

I worry about what Romney’s “clear vision” is, though.

Why oh why do we keep putting up establishment politicians as our candidate for president.


5 posted on 06/01/2012 7:00:55 AM PDT by basil (it's time to rid the country of "gun free zones" aka "Killing Fields")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SharpRightTurn
Portman, a keen kayaker, is even reputed to practice his rolls in the congressional swimming pool.

Isn't that nice - wonder what that costs us each year to keep open? Could you imagine the indignation if it were suggested this be opened up to the public on weekends?

6 posted on 06/01/2012 7:04:36 AM PDT by capydick (''Life's tough.......it's even tougher if you're stupid.'')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SharpRightTurn

Lets hope this political trqnsgender type doesn’t get tapped. I still think Romney’s best choice would be Colonel West or Marco Rubio.


7 posted on 06/01/2012 7:10:14 AM PDT by ZULU (See: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=D9vQt6IXXaM&hd)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibFreeUSA

“We don’t need people that are “well regarded” by Democrats.”

Exactly right. Everytime I hear some Republican extolled because they “work well with others” I know it’s bad news.


8 posted on 06/01/2012 7:10:14 AM PDT by SharpRightTurn ( White, black, and red all over--America's affirmative action, metrosexual president.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SharpRightTurn

Gov Martinez (R-NM) for VeePee!


9 posted on 06/01/2012 7:14:36 AM PDT by Perdogg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SharpRightTurn

I don’t care who Mitt picks.

I’m not voting for him.


10 posted on 06/01/2012 7:17:09 AM PDT by donna (Mitt quote: ...gay couples raising kids. That's the American way...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SharpRightTurn

If I hear one more “reach out to my friends across the aisle” Republican recommended for ANYTHING, it will be difficult to resist the urge to puncture my own eardrums. All that means is they want to be loved by the Dems, who are anything but their “friends.” Grow a spine and stand for something. Liberals don’t need to be reached out to, listened to, or understood. They need to be exposed, mocked, and voted out of office!


11 posted on 06/01/2012 7:18:08 AM PDT by Freestate316
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: svcw

“Who’s Portman? If he is being praised by democrats, he is a rino.”

Which is, of course, why he is being talked up so much. Not only would the Dims be comfortable with him, I have no doubt that the Republican party hacks would love to see him on the ticket also.


12 posted on 06/01/2012 7:22:11 AM PDT by SharpRightTurn ( White, black, and red all over--America's affirmative action, metrosexual president.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: SharpRightTurn
Susan Schwab, who succeeded Portman as U.S. Trade Representative, also weighed in emphatically on his side, lambasting reporters “who write about him as a boring white guy, and who obviously have never met him or worked with him.”

Everyone knows the worst thing in the world is to be known as a 'boring white guy'.

Hey Susan, instead of simply accepting the characterization why not take exception to a disgusting racial slur?

13 posted on 06/01/2012 7:22:49 AM PDT by skeeter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SharpRightTurn

Romney will probably go with someone he likes, someone he is comfortable with, and that means he may pick a Democrat. The lucky boy or girl will have to fill in a few blanks, like adding color to the ticket, and/or sexual diversity, something like a black dyke, lover of at least on Hollywood actress. She will need to be a vegan, and look natural in a “Free Trayvon” shirt. Most importantly, Romney’s VP pick will have to speak fluent Spanish, and have at least 1/5 Cherokee blood in her. What Romney should really look for is someone with more intelligence than Biden.


14 posted on 06/01/2012 7:24:36 AM PDT by pallis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: basil

“Personally, I have very little hope that Romney will “seriously court conservatives”. A RINO IS A RINO!”

I suspect the only way Romney might pick a conservative, which clearly would not be his instinct, is if he realizes he may have to do so to win the general election. And so I think there is a slim possibility he might because, unlike McShame, it looks as though Romney really wants to win instead of throwing the election.


15 posted on 06/01/2012 7:25:17 AM PDT by SharpRightTurn ( White, black, and red all over--America's affirmative action, metrosexual president.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: SharpRightTurn

I looked him up on the internet and it appears he is one of those milk toast, soft voice, all grey looking really boring guys.
He looks like Romney with grey hair only shorter.
We are so screwed.


16 posted on 06/01/2012 7:32:07 AM PDT by svcw (If one living cell on another planet is life, why isn't it life in the womb?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: donna

“I don’t care who Mitt picks. I’m not voting for him.”

I think that shows the difficulty he faces. Even without a solid conservative pick for VP a lot of conservatives will not support Romney. All the more shows that to win some he better be willing to forego a Portman or Jeb Bush and pick a conservative VP. Otherwise, I don’t think I can suppress my gag reflex enough to vote for him either.


17 posted on 06/01/2012 7:35:57 AM PDT by SharpRightTurn ( White, black, and red all over--America's affirmative action, metrosexual president.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: SharpRightTurn

Time will tell—and we can hope—LOL!


18 posted on 06/01/2012 7:40:18 AM PDT by basil (it's time to rid the country of "gun free zones" aka "Killing Fields")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: donna
I don’t care who Mitt picks. I’m not voting for him.

I don't care either, I'm not going to vote FOR Mit...But I am darned sure going to vote against Obama!

19 posted on 06/01/2012 7:42:38 AM PDT by ThePatriotsFlag (Still a contributing Republican? Why?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Freestate316

“If I hear one more “reach out to my friends across the aisle” Republican recommended for ANYTHING, it will be difficult to resist the urge to puncture my own eardrums. All that means is they want to be loved by the Dems, who are anything but their “friends.” Grow a spine and stand for something.”

Lugar was certainly angry that Tea Party types were trying to purge the Republican party of members who were working with “the other side.” I’m sure most establishment Republicans agree with him. To which I reply: good riddance. I don’t want someone who will make a bargain with the devil. I want the devil defeated.


20 posted on 06/01/2012 7:46:19 AM PDT by SharpRightTurn ( White, black, and red all over--America's affirmative action, metrosexual president.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: SharpRightTurn

:: It seems Portman is being touted more and more as the VP pick for Romney. ::

Yes, it does appear that the media has decoded that Romney should choose Portman.

Romney and the RNC better start telling the media jackasses to go p*ss up a rope!


21 posted on 06/01/2012 7:48:37 AM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Alterations - The acronym explains the science.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: svcw

Mitt Toast picks Milk Toast?


22 posted on 06/01/2012 7:48:57 AM PDT by Ingtar ("As the light begins to fade in the city on the hill")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: skeeter

“Everyone knows the worst thing in the world is to be known as a ‘boring white guy’.”

Right. Much better to have a jive, incompetent minority guy who will take the country over the edge of the cliff.

“Hey Susan, instead of simply accepting the characterization why not take exception to a disgusting racial slur?”

Susan apparently is under the same hypnosis that most public figures suffer from: if a racial slight is aimed at whitey it’s fair game; all other racial slights are off limit.


23 posted on 06/01/2012 8:01:21 AM PDT by SharpRightTurn ( White, black, and red all over--America's affirmative action, metrosexual president.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: SharpRightTurn

Romney picking a conservative is more than a slim possibility, IMO. He has no firm principles (neither conservative nor liberal) and will care only about winning. He may well recognize, as did McLame, that he needs to do what he can to reconcile conservatives to his candidacy.


24 posted on 06/01/2012 8:11:58 AM PDT by Eagle Forgotten
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Ingtar

That’s funny


25 posted on 06/01/2012 8:31:12 AM PDT by svcw (If one living cell on another planet is life, why isn't it life in the womb?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: donna
I don’t care who Mitt picks. I’m not voting for him.

If a lot of conservatives stay home we'll get...

Zer0 for a second term.

Romney wasn't my 1st choice, 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th, but he is waaaaaay better than Zer0.
Therefore I plan to vote for him. Sent him some money today too.
I swallowed my idealism and looked at the pragmatic side.
If Zer0 has another term, what will the Country be like for my kids, grandkids, great-grandkids.

26 posted on 06/01/2012 8:36:09 AM PDT by Vinnie (A)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: pallis

“Romney will probably go with someone he likes, someone he is comfortable with, and that means he may pick a Democrat.”

You may be right. I heard that Romney was considering LIEberman as Sec. of State.

“The lucky boy or girl will have to fill in a few blanks, like adding color to the ticket, and/or sexual diversity, something like a black dyke, lover of at least on Hollywood actress. She will need to be a vegan, and look natural in a “Free Trayvon” shirt. Most importantly, Romney’s VP pick will have to speak fluent Spanish, and have at least 1/5 Cherokee blood in her.”

Such a pick would certainly quell any “just another boring white guy” talk.

“What Romney should really look for is someone with more intelligence than Biden.”

That will likely bring us back to another boring white guy.


27 posted on 06/01/2012 8:37:00 AM PDT by SharpRightTurn ( White, black, and red all over--America's affirmative action, metrosexual president.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Vinnie

You make conservatism weak and give the victory to the socialists.


28 posted on 06/01/2012 3:15:25 PM PDT by donna (Mitt quote: ...gay couples raising kids. That's the American way...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: donna

I could probably find an issue that Sarah Palin (my first choice) and I don’t agree on. But I’d vote for her in a heartbeat.
I’m looking at the bigger picture.

There will likely be 2-3 Supreme Court Justices to be replaced, many lower court judges.
If Zer0 gets in we KNOW what kind of judges he will nominate. Romney at least gives us a chance.
By the coattail effect the Presidential winner may very well determine the makeup of Congress.

Standing on ideals has its limits. At some point practical considerations have to kick in.
We didn’t get the good conservative nominee we wanted but we did get someone a darn sight better than what’s in there now.

If we don’t get behind Romney, this time next year we’ll be sitting here watching our Country go down the tube, guaranteed.
It may anyway, but Zer0 again will ensure it.


29 posted on 06/02/2012 5:53:46 AM PDT by Vinnie (A)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Vinnie

That’s the same thing you said about McCain, Bush, Bush, Dole.....

Have you noticed? It’s not working.


30 posted on 06/02/2012 10:07:38 AM PDT by donna (Mitt quote: ...gay couples raising kids. That's the American way...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: donna

Better than Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama. I voted the PALIN/what’shisname ticket last time.

So what are you going to do, stay home Nov 4 ? Write in Ron Paul?


31 posted on 06/02/2012 2:02:23 PM PDT by Vinnie (A)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Vinnie

Just face the truth. Mitt is no different than Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama. It’s time to vote for good, not lesser evil.

I’ll tell you what I’m going to do, not vote for this:

Mitt quote: ...gay couples raising kids. That’s the American way...


32 posted on 06/02/2012 5:17:10 PM PDT by donna (Mitt quote: ...gay couples raising kids. That's the American way...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson