CBSN

Past Statements Could Make Romney A Tough VP Sell

In his first interview since ending his presidential bid, Mitt Romney said he would "be honored" if John McCain were to select him as his running mate. Appearing on Fox News' "Hannity and Colmes," Romney said that he and John McCain had buried the hatchet since their bitter GOP primary battle.

"There are really no hard feelings, I don't think, on either side of this," he said. "There were no attacks and so forth that make people feel like we will never come together. Instead these campaigns are all coming together. We are supporting our nominee enthusiastically, aggressively. I intend to campaign for Senator McCain. I have already asked my fund-raising team to meet with his team. They've done so. We're laying out ways to support his campaign."

Some conservative pundits including Fred Barnes and Karl Rove have recently made the case that Romney would be a solid choice for McCain.

It's clear that the former Massachusetts governor would bring several assets to the table, not the least of which is the fact that he is well-regarded within the conservative establishment and solidified his standing with his fiery CPAC speech, which was the curtain call to his own presidential bid. Romney is a solid debater, well-steeped in economic issues (an admitted weakness for McCain) and a proven fundraising star. Though he wouldn't be expected to bring Massachusetts into the Republican column, Romney could certainly put Michigan—where he was born and raised and won his only major primary victory—into play.

But would McCain be able to stomach picking someone he metaphorically compared to a pig only a couple of months ago. Many presidential candidates have made running mates out of men who were something far less than their best friends, McCain seemed to have harbored a special kind of animosity for Romney that reared its head again and again in debates and press conferences.

And then there are those pesky past statements that pop back up whenever the VP speculation begins to swirl.

At a rally the day before the Florida primary, Romney was hammering home his usual criticism that McCain did not understand the economy, when he took it a step further than usual.

"He's said that a couple times and indicated that when he chose his vice president, it would have to be someone who really understood the economy," Romney said. "Well, I do understand the economy — I'm not going to be any vice president to John McCain either."

During last night's interview with Sean Hannity, Romney said that he hoped Barack Obama would win the Democratic nomination, since Obama would be the easier opponent for McCain to face in a general election, due to the Illinois senator's lack of experience. But at a press conference on the day before the New Hampshire primary, Romney was singing an entirely different tune.

"And I frankly don't think that Senator McCain, despite his service and his length of experience, that that's going to be able to stand up to the message that Barack Obama has brought forward," Romney said at the time. "I think Barack Obama would be able to do to John McCain exactly what he was able to do to the other senators who are running on the Democratic side."

  • Scott Conroy On Twitter»

    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.