MONEY & VPs....National Journal looks the intersection between K Street and Cap Hill when it comes to the VP shortlist.
The Bain Game: Could the Obama campaign’s attacks on Romney outsourcing have an impact on the VP search? Yes, according to The Hill: “The Midwest and its perpetual angst over outsourced jobs would become ground zero in the presidential race, thus creating the demand for a running mate who could connect with Rust Belt residents and provide a counterbalance to Romney’s image as a wealthy executive — much as Vice President Biden is seen as a blue-collar offset to Obama’s professorial image.”
AYOTTE: She doesn’t like the Defense cuts that would be triggered by the debt-ceiling deal, aka, the “sequester” if Congress can’t reach a deal on what other items to cut. But she said it this way Tuesday, per The Hill: “I see this as a sleeper issue” in the election. "People react to burning fires ... [and] this fire is smoldering.” (Maybe not the best way to respond when there’s actually a serious fire in Colorado?)
She defended Romney while giving a keynote address to a conference examining democracy in Russia and, per CNN, Ayotte “said the GOP candidate's lack of direct foreign policy experience was bolstered by a strong team of advisers.” The New Hampshire Senator would NOT answer a question about the VP vetting process.
CHRISTIE: Per the AP: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says Mitt Romney didn't ask him to be his running mate when they appeared at a fundraiser on Tuesday. Christie also told a town hall audience in northern New Jersey on Wednesday that he has no inside information on who the likely GOP presidential nominee will pick as his running mate. He said he doesn't expect it will be him.”
And yesterday at a town hall, he gave an aspiring young politician some advice, which may give us some insight into why he ultimately decided not to run for president himself. Here’s the video, which was sent out from his office in a press release. The young man asks for advice, saying he hopes to one day be president. “Because the press is here I’m giving you no advice on how to be President of the United States,” said Christie. And here is some insight into why he didn’t pull the trigger: “Don’t do it because someone said now is your only time -- gotta run now. You’ll have all those people who are geniuses of politics. And the minute you lose, you won’t be able to get them on the phone.”
PORTMAN: On Romney, Portman said at the Reuters Washington Summit: "This is something I have never said publicly, I've told my wife this, but I think he'd be willing to risk being a one-term president in order to make the tough decisions that are going to be required.”
He also is taking steps to combat the zombie apocalypse.
RUBIO: “President Obama's decision blocking deportations of young illegal immigrants led to a swift branding effort by Republicans captured in a single, powerful word: AMNESTY,” the Tampa Bay Times writes. “But U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is refusing to the same.” He told the paper: "I think there are some people that would define amnesty as anything that involves not enforcing the immigration laws. But in my mind, amnesty has always been a special pathway to citizenship that circumvents existing law."
Rubio, like Scott Brown, said again that Eric Holder should resign, accusing him of “stonewalling.”
In a video message today, Marco Rubio said of Fast and Furious, “I think this has gone on so long, and the stonewalling by the attorney general has been so egregious that I think he has to resign.”
And here’s a Daily Beast opinion about the merits of a Romney/Rubio ticket.
RYAN: He’s heading to Quincy, IL, next month to fundraise for Romney.
And he may want another gig other than VP, per RealClearPolitics: “Senior aides on the House Republican leadership team worship Ryan, but when they discuss his prospects, they talk of how badly he wants to chair the all-powerful House Ways and Means Committee (where four Republicans currently outrank him), rather than the executive branch.”
THUNE: He won’t call for Holder’s resignation yet, but told the Daily Caller: “I am certainly following closely.” He’ll appear on FOX Business today to discuss his efforts to block a European tax on U.S. air carriers and passengers flying in U.S. airspace.
NBC’s Alex Moe and Andrew Rafferty contributed here.