Romney's wife says woman being eyed for ticket
BY STEVE PEOPLES Associated Press
Friday, July 06, 2012
7/06/12 at 5:17 AM
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WOLFEBORO, N.H. - Mitt Romney's wife has confirmed a tidbit about the vice presidential search process her husband largely has been keeping secret: He's considering choosing a woman.
"We've been looking at that, and I love that option as well," Ann Romney told CBS News in a joint interview with her husband that was broadcast Thursday. She added: "There's a lot of people that Mitt is considering right now."
The disclosure came as the Republican presidential candidate, vacationing with his family at their lakeside estate in Wolfeboro, faced mounting criticism from inside the party about the state of his campaign.
Officially, the campaign says Romney is doing what he's done for the past decade - enjoying family time during a weeklong holiday in New Hampshire. It's also a break from the campaign trail and a chance to relax before the pre-convention push. But unofficially, the bit of down time is a chance for the contemplative Romney to consider who to tap for the No. 2 slot, how the campaign is going and whether to adjust strategy in a contest that polls show is close.
Romney declined in the interview to describe the status of the vice presidential search, saying: "That's something I'm keeping close with my team." He also didn't respond to growing calls within Republican circles for him to shake up his staff after a series of missteps. Among them: his campaign's initial refusal to side with Republicans who agree with the Supreme Court that the penalty included in President Barack Obama's health care mandate amounts to a tax. Romney eventually agreed with that assessment and, in doing so, broke with a key spokesman.
All that has conservative opinion leaders, including media titan Rupert Murdoch, calling for Romney to shake up his top staff. GOP officials in key states also are increasingly calling on Romney to talk about issues beyond his key message - that the economy remains weak under Obama - and to be more specific about what he would do as president.
Ann Romney also sketched out her own requirements for what she'd like to see in a running mate, saying the person should be "someone that obviously can do the job but will be able to carry through with some of the other responsibilities."
Inside Republican circles, speculation also is high about who Romney will choose, with his search well under way and his self-imposed deadline for picking someone "before the convention" looming large. It's the biggest decision he will make between now and when he accepts the GOP presidential nomination in late August.
Talk among GOP insiders has focused on men as likely top prospects, including Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
But no less than a half-dozen other names also have popped up, including New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte - who walked in a July Fourth parade with Romney on Wednesday - as well as South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman.
In April, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin's name was floated during a segment on ABC's "Good Morning America." Fallin said at the time that she was flattered and honored that her name would be mentioned as a possible running mate for Romney, but she has not been contacted by the Romney campaign.
The only time Romney has said anything substantive about the running mate search was last month when he said his advisers were "thoroughly vetting" Rubio. Romney commented after news reports surfaced citing unnamed advisers who said the Florida senator was not being considered.
Original Print Headline: Romney considering a woman for VP slot