Romney on CNBC: “I can tell you that the one quality that comes to mind immediately is that you want someone who, without question, could lead the country as president if that were necessary. I think all of the political considerations pale in comparison with the consideration of who has the capacity to lead America at a critical time. And I hope if I'm the president that eventuality would never occur. But that has to be the key consideration.”
Politico’s Burns: “[T]he readiness/leadership-at-a-critical-time side of things does tend to raise the bar for the eventual running mate's background and qualifications, and maybe raise the stock of a Rob Portman- or Bob McDonnell-type selection, as opposed to, say, a Marco Rubio.”
CHRISTIE: He’s very open to talking about being VP. GOP12’s Heinze notes: “Christie and Bob McDonnell have been the only Veep possibilities who've publicly indicated that they'd listen or consider a VP bid. Everyone else is in laugh-it-off mode, although their private machinations are much more serious.”
HALEY: “Gov. Nikki Haley’s campaign will pay back thousands to the state this summer for the use of a state-funded security detail in connection with her fundraising trips, the state and the campaign said Monday,” the Columbia State reports. Salon: Is Nikki Haley’s book full of lies?
JINDAL: He’ll sign an education reform bill today at a school. “The wide-ranging measures to be signed at the school also make major changes to teacher tenure rules, while giving more hiring and firing power to school principals and superintendents,” local TV station KLFY reports.
National Review also picks up on it, calling his reforms: “Smart, comprehensive, innovative.”
Jindal’s doing a lot legislatively and building a resume, as his pension reforms move to the state Senate. “It was a battle of legal opinions as the Senate Retirement Committee combed through Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposals to push back the retirement age for about 50,000 rank-and-file state workers and public college employees and to charge them more for their pensions,” AP writes.
But he’s facing some criticism for support of a bill that would not allow expansion of “discrimination” laws. “Current state law bars discrimination against persons based on six factors — race, religion, national ancestry, age, sex or disability,” writes the Best of New Orleans blog. “If Crowe’s bill passes, no other classes of persons (gays, e.g.) could be protected.”
He’ll head to New Mexico next week to help Gov. Susana Martinez raise money.
MCDONNELL: The Washington Post: “Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican who is term-limited but a likely vice presidential contender, plans to air “positive” TV ads in the coming weeks as he looks to bolster his approval ratings and remind viewers of Virginia’s successes following a spate of bad publicity.”
The Richmond Times-Dispatch likes most the Virginia governor’s efforts in his veto fight. The Washington Post notes: McDonnell’s most substantial changes would make it easier to vote on Election Day and allow localities to spread the cost of new pension regulations over five years.
PORTMAN: “Just a day after the U.S. Senate defeated a measure that would have placed a 30% tax rate upon the nation's wealthiest Americans, a local group picketed outside Senator Rob Portman's Toledo office,” local TV station WNWO reports.
RUBIO: South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint is doing his own VP vetting. “DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund is hosting a poll on its website asking supporters who they would like to see as the party’s No. 2 on the ticket this fall…. With 3,000 votes (and counting) in, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is the clear leader with more than 40 percent of the vote, and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is second with 23 percent, according to results provided to” the Washington Post.
The Christian Science Monitor notes Romney’s Latino problem, but also posits that Rubio could help Romney without being on the ticket by pushing the GOP version of the “DREAM Act.”
AP notes similarly: “Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's push for a Republican version of immigration legislation looks like the answer to the election year prayers of the GOP — and Mitt Romney.”
RYAN: “GOP leaders are advancing the House Republican budget and its proposed changes to Medicare despite opposition in the Democratic-led Senate by using used a relatively obscure procedural move -- tucking it alongside an unrelated bill that would allow the importation of trophy polar bears,” Tribune writes.