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Veepstakes: All eyes still on Portman

Veeps often say no, but don’t mean it.

GOP12’s Heinze comes out with his veep power rankings – 1. Marco Rubio, 2. Rob Portman, 3. Chris Christie, 4. John Thune, 5. Mike Huckabee, 6. Bob McDonnell, 7. Kelly Ayotte, 8. Jim DeMint, 9. Jeb Bush, 10. Bobby Jindal, 11. Mitch Daniels, 12. Paul Ryan, 13. Nikki Haley.

(One important name is missing on this list: Tim Pawlenty’s….)

BUSH: Jeb Bush to Newsmax on being VP: "Well I'd consider it, but I doubt I'll get a call, and I don't know if it's the right thing for me to do. I didn't run for president for a similar kind of reason, so I'm all in to try to help him get elected." (h/t: Political Wire.)

George Will doesn’t like the idea of Jeb Bush on the ticket: “If Jeb Bush is to be Romney’s running mate, it would mean that in seven of nine presidential elections there would be a Bush on the Republican ticket. And it gets hard to argue that we’re not a tribal society at that point.”

MCDONNELL: His abortion stance is getting scrutiny. “As a legislator, attorney general and governor, Bob McDonnell has said he opposes abortion in all but one instance: if continuing the pregnancy would put the woman's life in danger,” the Washington Post writes. “But McDonnell, a possible vice presidential candidate, recently said through his spokesman that he would also allow it in cases of rape or incest.”

He’s also asking other governors to support tightening background checks.

PORTMAN: “An informal BuzzFeed survey of more than half of the Republican State Chairmen and national committee people at the GOP meetings in Arizona this weekend finds that two-thirds said they believe Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) is the most-likely and best-qualified running-mate for Mitt Romney,” Political Wire writes.

Is it a bad thing to be the insiders’ pick?

The Dayton Daily News: “If there’s one theme of Sen. Rob Portman’s Washington, D.C., career, it may be this: No sooner does he start a job then people start talking about tapping him for another.”

The Columbus Dispatch is asking readers if they think Portman would be a good VP.

True ratings from Politifact can’t hurt.

RUBIO: He’s looking like he’s leaving the door open wider to being Romney’s veep pick. He said on CNN Sunday: “Let me just say this about the vice presidential process. Up to now it’s all been theoretical. We have a nominee now, and our nominee, Mitt Romney, the leader of the Republican Party, has a vice presidential process in place. And I think from this point moving forward, I think it’d be wise for all Republicans to kind of respect that process, myself included, and say moving forward, we’re going to let his process play itself out.”

Charles Krauthammer really wants Marco Rubio on the ticket: "If Rubio passes the vetting process, assuming he does, I think he's the obvious choice. And if he says he doesn’t want the office, he'll find a horse's head in his bed. The next day he will accept. Romney's not going to take no for an answer. We have ways, we Republicans." (h/t: GOP 12.)