GOP Governors Examined as Potential Running Mates
By Daniel C. Vock, Staff Writer
Not long ago, a string of Republican governors found themselves at the center of speculation that they would run for president. Governor after governor, including Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, New Jersey’s Chris Christie and Indiana’s Mitch Daniels, all declined to make a White House run. Even Rick Perry of Texas denied any interest before he ultimately launched an unsuccessful bid.
Now that it appears that Mitt Romney, himself a former GOP governor, is closing in on the nomination, another round of questioning awaits Republican governors. So far, though, few have expressed interest in becoming Romney’s running mate.
The Washington Post mentioned several current governors who could help Romney’s chances, if he emerges as the Republican nominee. Among those are Christie, Jindal, New Mexico’s Susana Martinez, South Carolina’s Nikki Haley and Virginia’s Bob McDonnell.
Martinez, in her second year as governor, says she is not interested. “I’m totally, completely focused on being governor and fulfilling my promises,” Martinez said during in Monday, according to the Las Cruces Sun-News. “It’s humbling, but I’m not interested.”
Haley, who just launched a book tour, told ABC News her answer would be, “Thank you, but no.” Besides, the Post points out, Haley leaving her job as governor would elevate one of her rivals to the executive office.
Christie, who endorsed Romney, is a favorite of the chattering classes to join the ticket. He has said, though, that he would be more ready to run for president in 2016. Jindal endorsed Perry over Romney while the Texas governor was still running. He said then that he would not be Perry’s running mate.
On the other hand, Virginia’s McDonnell, who is barred from seeking a second consecutive term, has done little to rule out a run with Romney. McDonnell, who is head of the Republican Governors Association, recently stepped up his criticism of the Obama administration when the current vice president, Joe Biden, visited Virginia.