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Veepstakes: Boosting creds

The Hill has another look at how Rubio and Portman have been working to boost their foreign policy creds. A couple of interesting tidbits: Portman said he did not speak with Romney about his trip beforehand. “It’s a very difficult time right now in the Middle East; every one of Israel’s borders is under increased pressure, [with] the possible exception of Jordan, and even there, having gone to Jordan after Israel, they’ve got challenges,” he said. “It’s an important time to be there.”

Rubio says he would like to visit the Middle East before the election. He had tentatively hoped to do so this summer, but his schedule became too busy. “It will be hard to do at least until after the conventions,” said Rubio. … “I would love to go to Israel as soon as possible,” he said.

When you see “schedule became too busy” think BOOK TOUR.

AYOTTE: She’s defending Scott Brown’s vote against the “Paycheck Fairness Act.”

BUSH: A very interesting exchange on CBS that will air Thurs AM:

CHARLIE ROSE: Have you made the decision that you do not want to be president?

HEB BUSH: I've not made that decision, although there's a window of opportunity in life for all sorts of reasons, and this was probably my time. Although I don't know, given kind of what I believe and how I believe it, I'm not sure I would have been successful as a candidate, either.

And on VP: "I'm not gonna do it and I'm not gonna be asked and it's not gonna happen," he told CBS' Charlie RoseCHRISTIE: Ad him to the list of Republicans using Bill Clinton’s CNBC interview to push for lowering taxes.  The Christie folks blasted out an email with the title: Former President Bill Clinton Agrees: Assembly Democrats Giving Up On Raising Taxes “Probably The Best Thing To Do Right Now" To “Avoid The Fiscal Cliff”

And from Reuters: Environmental groups sued New Jersey on Wednesday for Governor Chris Christie's decision to pull the state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a 10-state compact that aims to cut air pollution from power plants.

The Philadelphia Inquirer: “A subdued and sparsely-attended town hall meeting with Gov. Christie in this Middlesex County township Wednesday had one noteworthy bit: several anti-Christie electronic traffic signs, set up by town workers at the behest of the Democratic mayor in apparent violation of state regulation. If you paused long enough as the words scrolled through, the signs read: ‘Welcome to P-Way Governor ... Please return ... 3.4 mil. in energy money back to taxpayers.’ Another sign on the way out of the church where the event was held read: ‘Come back soon Gov. with energy money in hand.’”

DANIELS: On Fox, he continued to use strong language to deny any interest in the VP slot: 

BAIER: How do you know that you're not on the shortlist for Governor Romney?
DANIELS: Let's just say that I have strong confidence that the nation will not face that problem.
BAIER: So you're not being vetted?
DANIELS: Well, you wouldn't know if you were, but I'm pretty sure 'no'.

JINDAL: Could Bobby Jindal’s star be on the rise in the VEEP stakes?  This NewsMax article says yes.  And did you know?  And did you know he took on the nickname Bobby after the youngest son in “The Brady Bunch.”

MARTINEZ: Along with Marco Rubio, she will also serve as a an honorary chair for Romney’s Hispanic Steering Committee.

MCDONNELL: Similar to the NBC-Marist poll, a Quinnipiac poll finds adding Bob McDonnell to the ticket has little impact. With McDonnell, the margin is Obama-Biden 48%, Romney-McDonnell 43%. Without him, it’s 47-42% Obama.

He got some bragging rights from last night’s Walker win, the Examiner reports.  On CNN, called Walker “a man of courage.” And on Morning Joe, he had this to say, per Politico: “It was about whether [Walker’s] reforms were working,” said McDonnell on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “To me the message is that a politician that stands up and says, ‘This is what we need, this is what we can afford, and if you do these things we’ll get results and bring in jobs and reduce our budget deficits’… and the voters will reward them for it.”

PORTMAN: In honor of D-Day, the Ohio Republican went bipartisan this morning and held a colloquy on the Senate floor with Sen. Lieberman.

RUBIO: This statement came from the Romney camp: “No community values entrepreneurship and small business more than the Hispanic community. Unfortunately, President Obama’s failed policies of new regulations, higher taxes, and Obamacare and his anti-business rhetoric have hit Hispanics especially hard. Big government really hurts those who are trying to make it.  And with unemployment still abysmally high, the Obama economy is crushing Hispanics' dreams for their children to live a better life. The Hispanic community cannot afford four more years of double-digit unemployment and higher levels of poverty. Mitt Romney will stop the attacks on job creators, encourage entrepreneurs to chase their dreams, and bring good jobs and a better future to all Americans.”

Today Rubio was named one of 4 honorary chairs for Romney’s Hispanic Steering Committee. There are 3 national chairs.

And today we found out he is colorblind, literally.

RYAN: Carrie Dann reports that the current VP had some harsh words for this potential VP: Even worse than GOP obstruction, he said, would be the other party's vision for the country as laid out by Rep. Paul Ryan, whom Biden called "a bright, handsome guy" whose budget would have "a devastating impact on America." "He is a fine guy but I think his ideas are not nearly as fine as he is a man," he said.

Gov. Scott Walker held his first event since winning the recall election last night, and Moe reports that he had this to say about VP: “I say if you want a great candidate for vice president from Wisconsin, pick my friend Paul Ryan.”