“Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio previewed their potential partnership atop the Republican ticket during an event in Philadelphia Monday, firing up a crowd of supporters with a town-hall meeting full of conservative red meat,” The Hill writes.
The L.A. Times’ Reston: “Marco Rubio took the stage with Mitt Romney and delivered what the presidential candidate wanted — a jolt of energy aimed at an uninspired Republican base and a message of inclusion to Latino voters, who have drifted away from the party in droves.” And: “[I]t was also a reminder of competing imperatives facing Romney after a combative primary season in which he moved far to the right on illegal immigration, a key concern for many Latino voters.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Tom Fitzgerald asks in his lede: “Was it an audition for the vice presidential spot?” He points out: “Rubio, a favorite of antitax tea party activists, is the first potential running mate Romney has campaigned with since sewing up the nomination.”
AYOTTE: Jon Sununu says the New Hampshire senator’s biggest downside is being from New Hampshire, “because with two people from the Northeast on the ticket, you don't gain anything geographically,” the New Hampshire Union Leader reports. (h/t: GOP 12.)
CHRISTIE: “With Mitt Romney under fire for hiring an openly gay spokesman, a growing chorus of conservatives are also voicing concern over his possible running mate’s appointment of an openly gay Republican to the New Jersey Supreme Court,” Matt Lewis writes. “Frequently mentioned as a possible veep pick, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s second appointment to the bench, Bruce Harris, has proven highly controversial, primarily because he wrote a letter to state legislators comparing opposition to gay marriage with segregation. Conservatives are not pleased.”
HALEY: Her approval rating is 37%-37% in a new Winthrop poll.
On being vice president, Haley said, "I would say thank you. But no thank you.”
MCDONNELL: “As the state's colleges and universities prepare to set their tuition rates, Gov. Bob McDonnell is asking school presidents and board members to keep hikes to the increase in the Consumer Price Index,” the Richmond Times Dispatch reports.
PAWLENTY: Time’s Alex Altman makes the case for Tim Pawlenty.
PORTMAN: Did the Portman buzz peak too early? Portman being too close to the Bushes to be picked as VP continues to get attention.
The Christian Science Monitor: “Sen. Rob Portman (R) of Ohio is the insider favorite to ride shotgun on Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. Taking a look back at the 2008 veepstakes, however, helps demonstrate that the conventional wisdom on vice-presidential picks is almost always wrong.”
SANDOVAL: Jon Ralston throws a big pot of cold water on any notion that the Nevada governor would be picked to be VP with this fake transcript of a phone conversation between him and the head of Romney’s veep search, Beth Myers. It highlights that Sandoval doesn’t speak Spanish, didn’t fair well with Hispanic statewide, that he’s pro-choice, and that Grover Norquist doesn’t like his tax policy. But he is handsome, as the fake Beth Myers points out. “No war on women with me on the ticket,” the fake Sandoval replies.