10 people who won't be vice president
Why he won't be picked: For starters, he's currently the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President Obama - and abruptly stepping down from that position to join Romney's ticket would undercut his reputation as putting country before politics. In addition, his national security credentials would move the focus in the race away from the economy, the issue Romney clearly wants to talk about. And then there's Petraeus' repeated avowal that he will never run for public office: In Manchester, N.H., in March 2010, he noted he's said "no" many times.
"I feel very privileged to be able to serve our country," he said. "I'm honored to continue to do that as long as I can contribute, but I will not, ever, run for political office, I can assure you. And again, we have said that repeatedly and I'm hoping that people realize at a certain point you say it so many times that you could never flip, and start your career by flip-flopping into it."
Why he won't be picked: Where to start? Trump famously peddled discredited "birther" theories; with his personal and financial history, it's unlikely he could get through the vetting process; he's a wildcard who would not be likely to stay on message; he would overshadow the nominee and, with his four corporate bankruptcy filings, potentially undercut his message of economic competence; and, well, he's Donald Trump.
The reality star himself admitted in a Fox News interview he wouldn't make for a very good #2 in March. Romney, he said, "can do much better." He told the Daily News in May that his suggestion that the presumptive nominee should pick him was just a joke.
Why he won't be picked: West has some question marks in his past - he left the military after firing a pistol near an Iraqi police officer's head as part of an unauthorized interrogation - and his penchant for incendiary rhetoric could cause Romney headaches. West has suggested falsely that up to 81 members of the Democratic Party "are members of the Communist Party" and said Democrats should "get the hell out of the United States of America." Vice presidential candidates are supposed to be attack dogs, but West seems like a little too much of a Rottweiler for a national ticket.
Why he won't be picked: Pro-abortion rights, huh? That was enough to keep Joe Lieberman off John McCain's ticket in 2008. Add in Bloomberg's aggressive push for greater gun control and you'd have a nominee who alienates two major Republican constituencies: Those who oppose legal abortion and those who support the National Rifle Association. That's a headache Romney doesn't need.
Why she won't be picked: Brewer's link to the Arizona immigration law has a downside: Choosing her would turn the growing Hispanic voting bloc even more against Romney than they already are. Brewer is not seen as a particularly great campaigner and may have a hard time avoiding missteps - she famously had to retract her claim that law enforcement agents had found headless bodies along the border, and falsely suggested her father "died fighting the Nazi regime in Germany." And don't forget about that disastrous "brain freeze" debate opening statement.
Why he won't be picked: Democrats would be thrilled at the chance to re-air Gingrich's harsh attacks on Romney during the GOP primary, which includes shots at Romney's business career. (That's the same reason Rick Santorum is unlikely to be tapped.) And the former House Speaker with a tendency to expound at length on his pet issues would be hard to control and keep on message. "I am so much my own agent, it would be - it's inconceivable" Romney would ask him to join the ticket, Gingrich told Bob Schieffer in May. Gingrich added to Jay Leno when asked how he would respond if tapped by Romney: "I would be very flattered and I'd think he'd lost his mind."
Why he won't be picked: Shenanigans at the convention would cause Romney serious headaches, but Paul backers won't be able to force him onto the ticket. And the Paul campaign, which is trying to make nice with the mainstream GOP, is discouraging disruptive efforts. As for Romney choosing Paul, it would be, to put it politely, insane: Paul's nonintervention foreign policy views differ significantly from the presumptive nominee, he wants to decriminalize drugs at the federal level, his name adorned racially-charged newsletters in the 1990s, he'll be 77 years old on Election Day, and polls suggest he would be a drag on the ticket. Paul's son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, is slightly more likely to be picked, but his views align too much with his father for him to be seriously considered.
Why he won't be picked: For starters, putting Bush on the ticket would remind voters of his brother, former President George W. Bush, who remains an unpopular figure. Jeb Bush's son, George P. Bush, said flatly last month that his father is not being vetted, and Jeb has been pretty adamant that he won't be tapped. "I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to be asked. And it's not going to happen," he told CBS News' Charlie Rose in June.
Why she won't be picked: Because she seems to be sincerely opposed to doing it. Martinez has a developmentally disabled sister, and she says the impact on her of Martinez becoming vice president (and moving to Washington) would be "devastating." That's not the only reason: Republicans are reticent to tap an untested and unknown governor after John McCain's rocky experience with Sarah Palin, and Martinez has criticized Romney's immigration policy of "self-deportation," asking, " What the heck does that mean?"
Why he won't be picked: Unlike Marco Rubio, who would also likely attract some Hispanic voters to the GOP, Fortuno hails from a territory. That means he can't swing his home state's electoral votes to the GOP. Picking Fortuno would also mean spotlighting Romney's stance that Puerto Rico need not adopt English as its sole official language to become a state, a stance that doesn't play well with some on the right. And tapping a relatively unknown and untested governor, as John McCain did four years ago, carries with it undeniable risks.
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