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John McCain's veep list said to be topped by Mitt Romney

So Mike Huckabee told the world the other day that if John McCain calls, he'd be happy to be his running mate, but that he doesn't expect McCain to call. Good thing Huckabee's not waiting by the phone. The folks over at Politico have a piece this morning saying the call could well go to Mitt Romney. But, of course, at this stage no one knows, as our colleague Doyle McManus points out with his own list of bandied-about names.

McCain doesn't need to rush. He doesn't need a rJohn_mccain_veep_speculation_has_miunning mate until the Republican National Convention, scheduled for Sept. 1-4, which comes after the Democratic National Convention, set for Aug. 25-28. Advantage goes to McCain, since he gets to see what the Democratic slate will look like before he makes his call. And yes, he can pick a running mate earlier to make himself look decisive and unconcerned about political ramifications (which ties into his Straight Talk theme) but, chances are, he'll keep his cards hidden until he has to play.

So why Romney? As Politico points out, he's gone through the media vetting process, has access to cash fountains through his business connections and fellow Mormons, and plays well in his birth state of Michigan, which could be crucial in picking the winner.

The downside? The chemistry between McCain and Romney isn't exactly "Let's spend the next eight years together, shall we?" It's more like: "Does he have to come to this meeting? Can't we just send him to a state funeral somewhere?"

The other top names on McCain's list, per Politico, are former Ohio congressman and White House budget director Rob Portman -- not exactly a household name -- and John Thune of South Dakota, who knocked minority leader Tom Daschle out of the Senate in 2004.

Now it's your turn. Who do you figure? And no, not Dick Cheney -- he's not in charge of the search committee. The comment section is open below.

-- Scott Martelle

Photo credit: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (96)

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Great. If McCain chooses Romney as his running mate, then he chooses the only one who ran for the Republican nomination and was worse than himself.

Mike Huckabee.

It really doesn’t matter because elections are only held to determine which corrupt politician will get the opportunity to enrich them selves at the expense of the tax paying public.

Put "none of the above" for president, and "none of the above" for vice president on the ticket, and that is the ticket I would vote for.

Romney has never agreed with abortion, he supported peoples rights their agency to make their own choice. The right to abortion was already a law in Mass. when he became govenor, it was what the people wanted and he did not try to change it..He does not believe in gay marriage..the State of Mass. the courts over ruled his veto. he then went to the legislature to try overturn gay marriage in Mass.
McCain / Romney do not hate each other, McCain endorsed him for Governor of Mass. they were friends.
Romney is the best choice for VP...and the biased news can find no skeltons in his closet,because they are not there, he has lived a squeeky clean life, people can lie and make up all kinds of garbage on anybody they want. People use to believe the earth was flat so better be carefull what you believe.
"The only thing that does not change" is the "fact that everything changes."

I am a Hillary Democrat, and I absolutely love this ticket of John McCain and Mitt Romney. I urge John to ask Mitt to be his running mate. The republican ticket can be assured that Hillary Democrats will wholeheartedly vote this ticket in November.

McCain needs 3 things from a VP:
- a bulldog to tear at Obama so McCain can stay "above" that sort of thing
- someone who can excite rich conservatives
- someone who won't alienate the independents and Democrats that lean to McCain

Romney's a mixed bag... he is a bulldog and rich conservatives love him, but many rank and file see him as Gordon Gekko and his being a Mormon makes some uncomfortable on the far right and the left.

Huckabee would completely alienate middle of the road indies by being a pastor.

There's no great choice for McCain. So a lot will depend on what the issues are 2 months from now... is it the economy? energy? war with Iran? Will the UFO's finally arrive?

Too early to make picks.

I believe choosing Mitt Romney would be a turn off to a lot of folks for various reasons. I personally would be more enthused with Mike Huckabee or Mr. Jindal as VP prospects.

Romney is by far the best of the worst of the worst bunch of pandering clowns i have ever seen. We need a financially astute person in the VP slot to counter Mccain's future pandering to the socialists in congress. I don't want a VP who denies science and believes that cavemen put saddles on and rode around dinosaurs 5000 years ago. I don't want another person in the white house who "g0d" speaks to and tells him to b0mb countries. Mitt turned around Mass. and now that he has left it is going into the toilet again due to poor leadership and too much social services for the undeserving, like California. When the tope earners and businesses leave a state and head to NC for tax relief, you are left with teh dead weight.

I think it is very logical to take Romney. Not only does he help contribute to the Michigan swing state, but he could also help put up a fight in his home state of Mass. He has loads of money and easy ways of getting it. Not to mention, it helps take off the age factor with McCain. Also in terms of politics, people are looking as the economy as a major concern and many think McCain is not up to the task. Romney comes in as this stellar buisness man who has great experience and would be very benifical to the economy.

McCain is not going to do himself any favors by picking Trouble Pawlenty of Minnesota. his M.O. is to force new costs on cities by cutting state government, then saying he didn't raise taxes, when he did by remote control. and raising the taxes that force grandmothers out of their homes, to boot. and of course, with a horrid economy going and Minnesota's little roadway issues, the campaign slogan could well become "Depression for all, and two bridges in every river."

I bet McCain passes up that opportunity.

I'm not voting for McCain but I can live with him if he is elected. Romney would be a good choice for VP because of his skills in economics - our #1 issue. If it happens, I hope he suppresses his extremist Mormon beliefs just as I would hope Huckabee would set aside his theocratic desires. The last thing we need is a bunch of religionists interfering with government. We should remember the lessons of England of the 17th century and not repeat those kinds of horrible mistakes.

I believe Gov. Mitt Romney to be an honest man and a great business man. The fact that he was elected Governor of a Democrat controlled State like Massachusetts proves how many people admire and respect him. Obviously many Massachusetts Democrats voted for him. He is a man of Faith and a model family man for others to emulate. I certainly would support him if he were to be chosen as Sen. McCain's running mate.

The only way McCain is going to win is by picking Condy Rice as his VP running mate.

The only logical choice is Bill Gates. We need an economic wunderkind to lead us to a better economy. And then he can be president after McCain.

I feel Mitt would be a good choice because of his business experience, but I feel Mike Huckabee would be much better choice. Mike Huckabee might not be as polished a speaker as Mitt, but he could assure the white christian vote which Mr. McCain must have to hold the south. Many of my Republican friends have said they are voting a write-in which is same as a vote against America. Mr. McCain needs a VP like Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee is to far left and will cost him a large majority of the Independents he needs. Bob Barr is going to cost votes already and may throw one or two states to Obama. He will need some one with a name and possible delivery of a swing state. Romney would be a good choice because he could possible deliver MI and Ma. Pawlenty of Minnesota would be another good choice. I would like to see him pick some one younger and with more economic experience. It may also help to pick a female. Marsha Blackburn from Tenn would help the ticket. Huckabee, Condeleza Rice and any other prominent member of the Bush administration would kill the ticket.

I'M a confirmed McCain supporter but choosing Romney is the one thing that could lose my vote. If McCain chose Romney, he would alienate millions of conservative voters as the Democrats play clips of Romney's stridently pro-choice statements when he ran for governor of Massachussetts and then his equally strident pro-life statements when he ran for President. Romney has flip-flopped so many times and will say anything to get elected. He has no principles. McCain needs to choose a young, media-savvy and truly conservative running mate like Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

I am not a republican - and can not fully claim the democrats. I have been reading the comments on democratic news articles and, folks, it is exactly the same - If people could hear themselves rant about personalities and personal issues while the country is facing no less than the creeping suspension of our constitutional rights, the needless death and expense of war and our own foolish destruction from global warming, on and on. If you could really see yourself squabble about nonsense as the rest of the world must.

I am not here to recommend a candidate - I'm here to recommend more elevated thinking.

I heard Huckabee's name thrown out early based on the fact that he is a political outsider. If it is to be a true outsider than certainly Ron Paul would be it.

In all respect though he was marginalized by his own party let alone the big wigs in Washington there really is not more an outsider than him. Besides he drew more attention from the Independents (like me!) and Dems in the Republican primaries than the other Rep candidates.

If McCain really really expects to be going up against a campaign that is pushing "change" in politics then Paul would be the choice, after all his ideas are certainly more radical and in-line with the (supposed) values of the Republican party than even McCain himself. Free Trade, small government, constitution first, etc. Certainly begins to sound like the Republican sounding board to me.

Ron Paul also did far better than any of the other Republican candidates (esp. McCain) at raising money in a grass roots fashion. This would be key against Obama, who has shattered all thoughts of how much could be raised in such a fashion and now with his intention to forgo public funds and raise his money that way he will outclass McCain in the funding department hands down. With Paul at his side he may find his coffers far fuller than even any of those other "richie" candidates could offer.

Finally, I saw talk of "flip-flopping" and "sticking to principles" thrown about above, well no one stuck as hard to their guns as Rep. Paul. Even though his ideas were completely unpopular he stood by them and spoke his mind. Even the "Straight Talk Express" cannot boast about the honesty and lack of political flip-flopping and bulls**t displayed by Ron Paul. This does lead me to the one negative, however, and that is the fact that he is (ironically) unpopular within his own party because of his views. This negative may definitely be off-put by the fact of his draw from independents, dems, and even libertarians. Compunded by the fact that he would have more of an opportunity tp get his views heard if he had a stage where he wasn't marginalized and purposefully ignored.

One last final thought is that even if McCain would wisen up and choose Rep. Paul as his running mate I would wonder if he would take it. My instincts tell me no, but he certainly would be the better man for the job than any of the other proposed candidates mentioned.



Mitt is the best choice. I won't judge a man solely because he felt differently at one point in his life. Everybody...EVERYBODY changes opinions. Atheists become Christians every day... does that mean they have no core values? Remember, our beloved Reagan changed positions on many issues. Mitt gave his word in Massechusets and kept it, even though it was VERY unpopular. He knows how to fight and govern. If you want someone who has gotten things done and understands what is really broken... Mitt is the best choice. McCain desperately needs credibility, not another politician.

My vote is for Colin Powell. Hands down this would be the winning ticket in November.

Romney too liberal for republicans? He seems to have been more conservative than McCain has a track record of being. Romney has a great track record of being a financial wizard and keeping things within budget. He's got to understand the economy better than anyone else. I think our country's economy was doomed from getting better again when Romney lost the bid to McCain. I'm afraid Obama, who is proving to be even more of a flip-flopper than Romney ever was, is going to win no matter who's on the ticket with McCain. I fear for our national security if and when Obama takes over, and I'm confident we'll all be standing in soup lines waiting for the government to feed and diaper us all when Obama takes over everything.

I am an evangelical and I would love to see Romney on the ticket with McCain. McCain is not getting my vote at this point. I won't vote for Huckabee because I think he wears his faith on his sleeve. Romney is a brilliant man and he has always been socially conservative personally but did what he needed to do to win Mass. I guess the Dems would rather of had us just concede Mass and not have tried. Well, Romney did it and that is amazing.

Pahliin should be the nominee and McCain should name her now. We already know McCain pays his female staffers more and has more of them than Obama. This would be a great way to get ahead on getting the female independent and demcocrat voters who supported Hillary. Plus, it will put the pressure on Obama to name Clinton to his ticket, something he does NOT want to do. And let's face it, Pahlin's the best candidate. She's got a record of fighting corruption and is an executive. She's not pregnant right now as an earlier poster erroneously said.

Romney would be the WORSTchoice McCain could make. This year is all about the working class, and Romney does not have a clue how to relate to them. He is the typical establishment candidate, waist deep in special interests and lobbyist's shennighans. He has changed his positions on gay rights and abortion which will send many social conservatives packing. He could not understand that the economy was declining during the primaries, completely brushing off any notion we were in a downturn; later, when a glimpse of reality was unavoidable, he stated it was a great time to buy cheap stocks. He is absolutely on another economic planet than most Americans. He is commonly viewed as much of the economic problem in this nation - a joint venture capitalist making millions while putting corporations out of business and giving their employees pink slips. Jobs shipped abroad - that is what Romney represents. Additionally, he is a Yankee (pure and simple) which does not float real well in the south - remember he came in third and fourth in the southern primaries. This year, the south is truly not safe for Republicans, and Mitt would make it worse. Although I believe Huckabee has the most to offer McCain in this election as VP, I can live with almost any one else, but Romney. I know Romney will cost McCain the White House if he is chosen.

Not disagreeing with you, hsmith. I too, don't want Romney, but for some reason none of that stopped all those unemployed welders in Michigan from voting for him. The name Romney carries clout there and it's a swing state.

It is too bad that you are all so biased against Romney. I know him and I know him well. He is not a liar. He is honest and hardworking and truly the man for the job. I think that at this critical time in our economy, he truly could be the one person to help change it around. We need him now and long term.

If anyone thinks taking over failing business and turning them around is an easy job has no experience in the business world at all. Sure he may have reduced salaries and cut jobs but that was to save the company as a whole rather than cutting EVERY job. We need someone that understands money like Romney, rather than people like McCain and evn worse Obama that want to increase the size of government. We cant afford the government now, how are we going to pay for a bigger one?

Romney for President

*Best thing for economy and overall republican package.

Sarah Palin (Alaska Governor), Vice President

*Best thing for oil problem and other practical sense.

McCain, General in Iraq

*Best thing for Iraq war.

Huckabee, Preacher

*Only thing he can do: preach for money when the words of Christ's gospel are given freely.

Regardless of who McCain selects for veep, I'll vote for McCain.

From a source inside the campaign, this college website got some scoop:

Hey Herb Yood:
You said "his record as a businessman consists largely of taking over companies, some profitable, and gouging the employees by reducing salaries and benefits to make a profit." (when a business is failing something has to change. Use a little common sense. If you have more money going out of your household budget than coming in, you have to do something different. If it puts you on the edge of bankruptcy then you have to do something dramatically different. DUH!)

"That won't sell in the heartland, and is what felled him when he ran against Ted Kennedy for the senate. " (That was an idiotic statement. He was running agaisnt Ted Massachusetts.....that's what cost him the election. Have you not noticed that Ted's yet to lose one of those things?! DUH!)

"Romney is a loser, and a union state like Michigan will reject him. All he has is money. He adds nothing else"
(Again an idiotic statement. Romney won Michigan's primary and did very well throughout the state, including with union people. He would have easily beat your man OBAMA there as well! Moron!)

How about Condoleezza Rice? She's tough, can take what the Dems/media throw at her. What flaws?

Romney is a great pick for VP. With an excellent business background, he will compliment the McCain ticket very well. He is also well spoken (something that has been missing from the white house for some time), and has a proven track record of getting broken budgets back on track.

One roadblock I anticipate is a continued effort by his opponents and they’re supporters to present misleading information about Mitt’s background. I am constantly reading false or misleading statements about his business and political background, and his faith
(This issue of faith, for more discerning voters, should be a very secondary issue to the economy, war, climate change etc.)

I am not saying that I am a Mitt fanatic, but give him a fair look and focus on the facts. It is unfortunate to see a good candidate getting bullied in the blogosphere, because some small minds are afraid of his faith.

If McCain wants to attract any Clinton democrats to hsi vcampaign he will not pick Huckabee. what a disaster he would be. Total Homophobe, prejudice Religious hypocrite..... He will turn off many Democrats who r thinking about voting for McCain..

I will vote for McCain as long as Mike Huckabee is not the VP. In that case, I would vote for Obama. I cannot stand Huckabee. He's a complete idiot. In other words, I will be voting for McCain because Huckabee has absolutely no shot at being VP. I shouldn't even waste my time talking about that hick Huckabee.

My friends,

As an ardent Hillary donor, volunteer, and supporter...I can tell you that millions of us plan to vote McCain...even if Ned the Wino is his VP choice!!! If Hillary somehow gets the nom, we will support her. Otherwise, BO has no hope of getting our vote.

Many of us have no confidence on Obama. His daily flip flops are so astounding, we have no idea of what to believe.

With a democratic congress, most of us aren't afraid of the abortion issue either. Those of you who hate Mitt Romney so much...ought to get to know Obama a little better.

Here in Chicago as of 7/1 our sales tax is 10.25% and rising. Our gas average is $4.62. Complain about Romney all you want...Obama is worse than Mccain, huckabee or anyone in this camp.

Look at the bigger picture...don't get caught up in the hype. Come learn about us. visit:

I can't imagine McCain picking Romney simply because when they stand side by side, Romney makes McCain look like a little dweeb. His good looks merely accentuate McCain's unattractiveness. I don't think McCain's ego could tolerate that.

I'll be voting for Bob Barr, but as far as McCain's running mate goes, I prefer Romney, since he has more libertarian leanings.

Who is this Huck guy everyone is talking about? No one cares! If the south loved this Huck guy so much, how come he had a hard time raising money? Maybe the Baptists are cheap? No matter what happens, we can't let Obama win. I don't like the idea of this country turning into China.
Everyone gets helath care? Should everyone get a free home too? Free car? Free food? Free college degree? Obama is dream come true for the poor. The working class and the rich will end up paying for the poor.

If you are the type of person who cares mostly about money (who can blame you?) then voting to line your own pocket is probably your best option. If you are rich, that means once again voting for George Bush's favorite candidate, John McCain. If you are middle class or poor, and are smart enough to realize Obama's healthcare for kids will never pass, Ross Perot's campaign manager and support team say Bob Barr is your best candidate. The entertaining media elite advise you against voting for him right now though. He might fix too many problems.

Everyone seems to imply that you, as an individual, are supposed to toss your principles up in the air for the preservation of the staus quo of the failed two party system that is bankrupting and killing the rights of this great country to the tune of millions, billions or trillions of Chinese borrowed dollars a year. Why change now? Just plant a new money tree and reach for the sky. Yes we can.

John McCain offers more more war and extended tours of duty for our brave embattled men and women and their suffering young families who are left with gas lines and inadequate family units. Maverick John wants to 'listen' and spy on your private conversations to see if you mention an evil one's name. He was tortured so let him do as he pleases to the American Bill of RIghts and US Constitution. According to the now defunct (?) PRESIDENTIAL OATH OF OFFICE, all US Presidents are supposed to defend and uphold the US Constitution but since psychologically scarred John was tortured let's close our eyes and let him do as he pleases to our liberties and laws. If you don't like it, move to an axis of evil nation. Get lost, it is our country, not yours. This proud courageous nation now stands like sheep for George Bush's "systematic regime of torture" (American General Taguba) and preemptive murder (war). How patriotic.

Romney is the most libertarian candidate mentioned here. If I still believed in the failed GOP establishment, I would push for him as well.

I agree. Mitt Romney is probably the best of the neocons. He will make John McCain seem electable. Go with him.

Romney is without a doubt the BEST choice for vp. I still can't understand why many of the Huck supporters haven't looked at his record enough to see his liberal side. He supported giving in state tuition to illegal immigrants as governor, pardoned thousands of criminals and illegals who were in custody, was famous for recieving private gifts in return for political favors, and of course who could forget his tax happy spending as gov, that he so adamently refused to admit. This is America, and if you are not voting for Romney for his morman beliefs, then you need leave the democracy we take for granted and move somewhere in the middle east where they tell you what to think. Romney is an economic genius, fundrasing expert, articualate debator, and could carry Michigan and possibly Nevada and Colorado. As a christian I am more offended at Huckabee's religious bias than I am of Romney's mormanism. If you want to learn the real Huckster, research all the nasty things he said about Romney, his liberal stances as gov, his comment about Obama being assasinated, and not to mention his son's arrest for animal mutilation. McCain will not let his ego keep him from choosing Romney. The party is in desperate need to feel motivated to vote this Nov. and Mitt is the honerable, family values conservative we all need, and ironically the one who the MSM is afraid of. McCain/Romney 08!

This is in response to TJ:

TJ said: "[Huckabee] supported giving in state tuition to illegal immigrants"

I say: I believe you are referring to the bill known as HB1525. The full text may be found here:
This bill would have given illegal immigrant students the same "tuition rate" as any other students. It would NOT give them special preference above legal students. This applied only to illegals who had already been through at least 3 years of an Arkansas High School. AND IT REQUIRED those students who accepted the lower tutition to file an affidavit stating their intent to LEGALIZE THEIR IMMIGRATION.
What was wrong with Huckabee supporting a bill that gave illegals the same educational opportunities as legals IF THEY LEGALIZED THEIR IMMIGRATION?

TJ said: "[Huckabee] pardoned thousands of criminals and illegals who were in custody"

I say: First of all, they were clemencies, not pardons. Some of these were pardons, others were commutations. Secondly, the number is NOT "thousands" (PLURAL) it is 1,033. Thirdly (and here we get to the meat of the argument) Governor Huckabee denied 86% of all commutation requests over the decade he served. He denied 2/3 of all requests for pardons. He signed off on, and carried out 16 executions while he was governor, which were more than 20 other states that currently had the death penalty in place. And lastly, he was endorsed in the primaries by the man who, above all others, is tough on crime: Chuck Norris (LOL).

TJ said: "[Huckabee] was famous for receiving private gifts in return for political favors"

I say: The overwhelming majority of ethics complaints against Huckabee in Arkansas were regularly dismissed and/or proved to be frivolous. And for the few cases that became "major" issues, in the end there was NOT A SINGLE FINDING that Huckabee ever accepted an illegal gift. If you are referring to travelling he did, and that the Entergy power company paid for, Entergy was regulated by an INDEPENDENT state agency. Therefore he could not have been accepting those gifts in return for political favors.

TJ said: "...who could forget his tax happy spending as gov, that he so adamantly refused to admit[?]"

I say: Unfortunately, Governor Huckabee faced a legislature that was at least 70% Democrat throughout his entire tenure. Spending that he controlled, not federal pass-throughs and programs controlled by the Democrat legislature, rose only about 0.6% a year. Considering that states have to raise spending 5-6% a year just to keep up with the rising costs of healthcare, education, and other services, this is quite an accomplishment. For more information, check out the following articles:
The Club For Growth's initial attack:

And a rebuttal:

TJ said: "This is America, and if you are not voting for Romney for his mormon beliefs, then you need leave the democracy we take for granted and move somewhere in the middle east where they tell you what to think."

I say: I agree with you, Romney and all Americans have freedom to choose which religion they will follow. And when I choose which political candidate I support, religion has little if any impact. I look at the man's stance on the issues, his consistency on the issues, and his capability to lead. When I did this I decided to support Huckabee.

I caucused for Mitt in Iowa. He really impressed me as an individual. He lost, and I began to throw my support behind Barack Obama. (You can't call me an Obamican because I was a registered Democrat before the caucus.)

I don't think I will vote for McCain even with Romney as VP. I hoped Mitt would win despite his stance on Iraq, but now with McCain as the nominee I think I'll go back to the Dems. McCain is just too much.

Btw: I agree. Romney does make McCain look like an old gnome when they stand together!


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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