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Veepstakes: First Portman tryout?

CHRISTIE: He’s open to being VP, he told a town hall in New Jersey: "If Governor Romney comes to me and wants to talk about it, I'll always listen."

Romney doesn’t carry New Jersey with Christie on the ticket. Obama would win 49%-42%, according to a new Quinnipiac poll. Without Christie, it’s about the same – 49%-40%. But GOP 12’s Heinze writes: “Putting Christie on a ticket would be about drumming up national enthusiasm; not winning a key state; whereas picking Bob McDonnell would be more about winning Virginia than generating a national splash.”

JINDAL: “U.S. Sen. David Vitter has taken a critical swipe at fellow Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal's budgeting plans, saying the use of one-time money to pay for ongoing expenses is poor fiscal policy,” AP writes. Jindal goes anti-Washington in response: “Jindal spokesman Kyle Plotkin said the U.S. Senate hasn't passed a budget in nearly three years. Plotkin said, ‘Until they do, we'd encourage Senator Vitter to focus his efforts on fixing the problems in Washington.’”

MCDONNELL: GOP 12’s Heinze notes of McDonnell’s upcoming overseas trip: “Now, it's important to note that these trade missions are often fruitful for business development, but there's always a handy political element, as well. Christie's trip to Israel was ostensibly about economic development, but he got some killer photos of himself in the Holy Land, met with Bibi Netanyahu, and got everyone chatting about his future political designs.”

PORTMAN: He was in Pennsylvania speaking on Romney’s behalf at a county GOP dinner. NBC’s Jamie Novogrod reports that Portman heaped praise on Rick Santorum and urged the party to unite behind Romney, who he described as a competent manager of the Olympics who “made America proud” only months after the attacks of 9/11, and a tax-cutter as Governor of Massachusetts. Portman took no questions and left the dinner shortly after the speech.

RUBIO: Check out this interview with a local Miami station: “Is contraception wrong?” the local reporter “asked Senator Marco Rubio in a recent exclusive one-on-one interview. ‘In terms of?’ he responds. ‘Birth control,’ I said. ‘Of course not,’ he replied. ‘Who says it is?’ You’re going to get into this whole argument about contraception. No one has ever said that contraception should be illegal, that contraception should be discouraged, that people should be looked down upon for using it. The only argument that there ever has been about this issue isn’t even about contraception, it’s about religious liberty.’”

But the report points out: If Senator Marco Rubio sounds a little defensive on the issue it’s with good reason. Earlier this year, Rubio co-sponsored the Blunt Amendment, a measure that would allow any employer to stop providing insurance coverage for items such as birth control if the employer finds those items morally objectionable.”

RYAN: Jeffrey Kuhner writes in the Washington Times: “The Ryan plan is a hammer that will smash Obamaism. Mr. Romney has rightly embraced it. And there is no better way to prove his commitment than to choose Mr. Ryan as his running mate. A Romney-Ryan ticket is the Democrats’ worst nightmare, and it is our best shot at restoring the American dream.”