Now that Mitt Romney has the delegates he needs to be the Republican presidential nominee, the vice-presidential wannabes have emerged with full force.
While seeking to be on the GOP ticket this year is a little like trying to find a tug to join Captain Romney on the bridge of the Titanic, there’s no shortage of ambitious Republicans who want to be Romney’s running mate. After all, if Romney wins, they get to be the front-runner to replace him after he leaves office. If Romney loses, they won’t have to wait eight years for their shot.
How could anyone resist?
Romney’s campaign is being tight-lipped about who’s under consideration, but the pundits have their own lists, based largely on who is auditioning as Romney’s attack dog against Obama—and, well, us.
So Queerty’s come up with its own list of the high-profile Republicans that are likely under consideration by the Romney campaign.
Click through to see the GOP Veep short list.
Who do you think is gonna get the call? Did we miss your favorite second-in-command? Vote your conscience in the comments!
Feature photo: Donkey Hotey
Portman, a Republican senator from Ohio, has a perfect track record on gay issues—perfectly odious, that is. He’s voted against marriage equality, gay adoption and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. His anti-gay positions led to graduates walking out on him when he was commencement speaker at the University of Michigan Law School in 2011. Portman may help Romney in a key swing state, but the Senator has some significant negatives as well. He served as George W. Bush’s budget director, and we all know how well that worked out. In addition, he brings new meaning to the word “colorless.”
One sign that Portman has the skill set needed for the job: When asked in a recent interview if Republicans were anti-gay, he was able to respond with a straight face, “I don’t think Mitt Romney is anti-anything.”
The freshman senator from Florida would certainly attract attention as the first Latino VP candidate—and give Romney a boost in another key swing state. And when it comes to gay issues, Rubio knows how to pander as well as the best of them. He recently accused President Obama of using his support of marriage equality as a way to push Republicans into the trap of “trying to prove we’re not haters.” Why would anyone suppose Rubio is a “hater”? It couldn’t possibly have to do with his opposition to marriage equality, federal nondiscrimination laws and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, could it?
Like Portman, Rubio carries some extra baggage: His son-of-Cuban-exiles story took a hit when it turned out his parents left Cuba before Castro assumed power. He’s had significant personal financial problems that include foreclosure. Plus, at age 40 he may lack the gravitas that voters expect from someone a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore
Governor of New Jersey and the butt of more fat jokes than Kirstie Alley, Christie has the love of the Tea Party base because he likes to yell at his constituents when he disagrees with them. (The Tea Party just loves bullies.) As a Republican governor in the increasingly Democratic Northeast, Christie also appeals to pundits who argue he has a relatively moderate record that appeals to independent voters.
Of course, moderate is a relative term. Christie vetoed a marriage-equality bill on the grounds that the public should get to vote on who to grant civil rights to. Christie says that he just vetoed gay marriage, not gay rights.
We’re relieved to know there’s a distinction.
Photo credit: David Shankbone
Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, had a short-lived run for the presidential nomination last year. He may have left too early: given how long it took for Romney to beat back the competition, Pawlenty could have emerged as the credible alternative.
As a presidential candidate, Pawlenty tried to establish his conservative credentials by calling for a return of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and suggesting that climate change and homosexuality were alike. The effort didn’t work—Pawlenty was gone from the race by August and threw his support behind Romney.
More recently, he’s been saying he has absolutely no interest in being Romney’s VP choice—a sure sign of interest.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore
The Republican governor of Virginia promises the state won’t discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, so why would we need a law when we have his word? And those laws that we do have—like the one banning gay adoption—we shouldn’t want to repeal. That kind of weasely approach would be just in line with Romney’s.
Plus, Virginia is another swing state that Republicans would like to take back in 2012.
The big downside with McDonnell is his support for a bill that would have mandated invasive ultrasounds for women considering an abortion, an effort that earned him the nickname Governor Vaginal Probe. No one with that name has run for national office yet (although San Francisco is looking for a member of the board of supervisors), but it’s a safe bet that it wouldn’t play well on either side of the aisle.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore
Ayotte, the freshman Republican Senator from New Hampshire, has been making the rounds with Romney in an effort to bolster Mitt’s favorables with women. She certainly has the anti-gay creds to be on the ticket: She wants to repeal the state’s marriage-equality law and ban gay adoption. But other than the homophobia, she may not have much to offer Mitt. Ayotte comes from a small state next door to the one where Romney was once a liberal, gay-friendly governor.
And as someone with just two years in the Senate, Ayotte would be hard pressed to live down the memory of another two-year-rookie brunette that was a GOP veep nominee four years ago.
Like Portman, the governor of Indiana shares some credit for the wild success of the George W. Bush presidency: In Daniels’ case, he was head of the Office of Management and Budget, a handy credential to use in an election—if you’re a Democrat trying to attack the GOP ticket. Daniels won the enmity of the right wing last year when he suggested that the party call a “truce” on social issues.
“We wouldn’t stop our disagreements or our passionate belief in these other questions, we just sort of mute them for a little while, while we try to come together on the thing that menaces us all” like the economy, Daniels suggested. For religious conservatives, this was the equivalent of surrender. (More importantly, it would hurt their fundraising efforts.)
Daniels backpedaled, but it’s a slight that won’t be forgotten. He’s also said he would “disconnect the phone” if Romney called with the VP offer.
Apparently no one has yet to inform the governor of the existence of cell phones.
Photo credit: Ray Taylor
The Representative from Wisconsin has the mainstream media believing he’s a serious budget hawk because he wants to eliminate all federal programs except defense while cutting taxes for the rich. But Republicans took a hammering because Ryan’s first stab at a proposed budget would have shifted the cost of Medicare from the government onto the elderly. (That seems fair).
His second attempt at a budget would mean the end of the FBI, the National Park Service, the FDA and just about everything in between. Needless to say, small-government advocates and wealthy Republicans consider him the intellectual giant of the age.
Ryan’s philosophy springs from Ayn Rand, who—surprise!—was really uncomfortable with homosexuality. He’d love to be on a national ticket for the exposure, conservatives would love to have him there to argue his case, and Democrats would love to have him there so that they could characterize the GOP as reverse Robin Hoods who’d cut food-stamp programs to put more money in the wallets of the rich.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore
The young governor of Lousiana had a less-than-auspicious national debut when he served up the GOP response to President Obama first address to a joint session of Congress: Being compared to Kenneth from 30 Rock is not the way to advance your political career.
Still, Jindal has managed to regain some credibility in the party by his performance during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Having some ethnic diversity on the ticket would help Republicans beat back those nasty (but probably true) accusations that the rabid right hates Obama because he’s, well, Kenyan.
For his part, Jindal has shown he’s just one of the guys: In 2008, he opted not to renew Louisiana’s nondiscrimination protections, proving that he can be just as homophobic as the rest of the party.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore
You would think that having a Bush on the ticket for every national election but one for the last 32 years would be enough, but lots of folks think the former governor of Florida would be the ideal running mate for Romney. It’s not clear that Bush would fit into the party landscape, despite his opposition to marriage equality and hate-crime laws. He said he found the GOP presidential debates “troubling” because of their appeal to “people’s fears.”
More recently, he said that gay marriage is a “distraction” from the real campaign issue of the economy. That may make sense politically, but it’s not the kind of red-meat rhetoric the base wants to hear.
Photo credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The former half-term governor from Alaska probably has zero chance of being Romney’s running mate, but it sure is fun to contemplate the notion. Since doing her best to rain disaster down on the GOP ticket in 2008, Palin has fancied herself the right-wing equivalent of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, selecting a series of anti-gay candidates—Christine O’Donnell, anyone?—while cashing in with a series of goofy ideas to bolster the family checking account.
But there have been some tantalizing hints that Palin may not be quite as homophobic as the rest of the party: There’s the time she retweeted a comment that suggested she supported repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. She also seem to have no problem with GOProud attending CPAC, even after support for banning the group became a litmus test for the right.
Of course, imagining Sarah going all pro-gay rogue on Mitt is fun, but there’s still that heartbeat-away business that we can’t quite get beyond.
Photo credit: David Shankbone
Apparently, the Donald thinks he should be vice president, a perch from which he can launch an in-depth investigation of Obama’s birthplace, host a reality show, and prove that the Earth is flat. Of course, it’s a lot more fun to cover Trump than the issues, so the media (including Queerty) will keep speculating about Trump’s future.
The association with Trump doesn’t make Romney look very presidential, to say the least. One thing Trump and Romney have in common, though, is an uncanny ability to change positions at will. Before become a conservative darling, Trump had expressed support for legal protections for gay couples.
Of course, Trump may not qualify as a VP choice because the nominee will have to have been born in America and it’s not clear from his current behavior that Trump ever resided in our universe.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore
The Romney’s Irish setter proved he has the right stuff to be on the ticket when Romney tied his crate to the top of the family car and then drove off on the highway for 12 hours. The petrified dog shit all over itself, which Romney kindly remedied by hosing it down and hoisting back onto the roof.
This is pretty much what the actual VP candidate will endure on the Romney ticket, so why not just go with the one being that has the experience to handle it?
They will have to wait 4 years, not 8.
Rob Portman barely won is Senate seat during the 2010 Republican landslide (a landslide based on FoxNews and hate radio lying about death panels and reaction to an African American president.) Portman endorsed Romney in the primary and Romney still had to outspend his opponents 10 to 1 to barely win Ohio in a squeaker. Bottom line, Portman is not that popular in Ohio. He abandoned his Ohio House district to Jean Schmidt to be Bush’s…wait for it…budget director! If team Obama can’t tie that to the ’08 collapse then they can’t do anything. Being boring should not be the primary skill set to be VP, let alone president. What else does Portman offer? Nothing.
queerty should make comments about yahoo being pro romney and ruining barack obama on its daily news…..im getting sick of it really…….
Apparently, wishful thinking trumps facts on Queerty. Last poll I saw, Romney was up 7 points over Obomber among Independants, which serves as a good omen for what’s to come in November. So, let’s sum things up: Black Jesus’s support of OWS has backfired, the Wisconsin recall effort backfired, and Obamacare is about to be razed by SCOTUS. Sure, if you want to call this presidency a success, go ahead, but that doesn’t change the fact that this time next year you’ll be referring to Romney as President Romney.
@Libertarian Larry: “Obomber” how mature of you. Did you use all your brain cells to think that one up?
No.4- You should really take your comedy act on the road. President Romney. LOL, priceless.
Romney could pick the most viruletnly anti-gay running mate and he’d still probably manage to get over 20 percent of the gay vote, just like Bush-Cheney and McCain-Palin did. McCain got a whopping 28 percent of gays but still got his ass kicked overall.
@Damian: That’s because not all of us drink the liberal Kool-Aid.
I think there must have been at least two national elections without a Bush no the ticket in the last 32 years. 1996 and 2008.
No, that’s because you’re a self-hating masochist who doesn’t mind voting for someone who has pledged to enshrine LGBTs as second class citizens in the constitution.
@vlad: I know Romney doesn’t want same-sex marriage (which I disagree with, but that’s for another discussion), but when did he say he was “pledged to enshrine LGBTs as second class citizens in the constitution”? Not only would he not have the power to enact such an amendment, but congress would never approve it if he ever proposed it (which he would not, because he’s not a hate-filled man). I’m curious to see if you’re right, so please provide a link for evidence of your statement. Thanks
FOURTEEN PAGES!?? Really now. It’s not worth it.
As far as Pawlenty goes, well, we can’t say “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, well, because that bridge collapsed do to poor maintenance and cost cutting.
Whoever Romney would pick as a VP, you know from the start, he will be a lot brighter, and better, than Joe Biden
I don’t know why Obama doesn’t see the danger of having Biden on the ticket with him, the man is a disaster, he has little understanding of what is going on in the world around him,he has made one flub after another
Add to that his spray tan, pulled face, eye job, and really bad hair plugs
He looks like one of the Old Queens who troll Wilton Manors
@Chuck: I’m glad to hear you defending black people just like they defended gays and their right to get married in california and north carolina.
Here’s hoping that any and all Republicant wannabee will have to wait long after I’m dead and buried. They would bring this country back to the stone age.
You all ought to be ashamed of supporting Democrats.
They promote political correctness that is used as a cover for Radical Islamists to murder gays.
Democrats have done nothing about countries like Iran killing gays. At least Republicans will fight Islamofascism.
Anyone who votes for Obozo is just a sellout and a self-hater.
Romney should pick his nose – he’d be sure to pick a winner from that superior field.
@Libertarian Larry: Yeah, he doesn’t hate gays, just want to use them for amusement and bullying “fun”. Oh yeah, and firing people – he enjoys that also! Why is the tea-party kidnapped Republican party so successful in convincing so many Americans to vote against their own best interests? Why do Republican gays and lesbians even exist? Lincoln would in no way be a Republican if he were alive today. He would be deeply ashamed at what his party has become.
@Gay Republican: What a retrograde you are. Republicans will fight islamofascists by creating and promoting christofascists. What the difference when it comes down to freedom for the rest of us? What about our constitutional guarantee (via Supreme Court interpretation) of separation of church and state? A plague on both their houses . . . actually on all of their houses – any religion that seeks to impose its beliefs on the rest of us through force or governmental decree are just that theofascists!
Romney actually doesn’t have the delegates to win the nomination and probably won’t get them. It’s more likely there will be a brokered convention and Ron Paul has a good chance of winning it.
Really? …no…REALLY? You want to demonize the Democratic party because they want us to show respect to everyone for who they are rather than what religion they belong to? You do realize that not every Islamic individual is radical, right? Just as every Christian isn’t automatically a member of the KKK.
Beyond that, how can you claim that Democrats don’t care about the treatment of homosexuals overseas? Where were you when Hilary spoke at the UN about the fair and equal treatment of all LGBT peoples across the world? And, unless I’m mistaken, I can think of exactly zero Republican politicians currently in office that have said anything about caring about gays being murdered in Iran…let alone hearing any currently in office saying anything about how LGBT people are treated poorly here in our own country.
You’d rather support a group that is actively trying to keep DOMA, reinstate DADT, and keep us from marriage equality than support President Obama and Biden who have both come out for our equality while repealing DADT and refusing to defend DOMA? I mean……REALLY?!?!?!
And lastly, and this goes to @Libertarian Larry too, it’s all fine and dandy to have your own opinions, but if you want us to respect you and not consider you immature, try referring to our President as Obama, at the very least. Not Obummer, not Obomber, and not Obozo. If I can write Romney without stooping to disrespecting the man that I have little respect for, I would hope that you can manage that too.
@Mike Kidding: I regret to inform you that you are delusional. Once Romney is nominated, I hope you will wake up and decide to support one of the best presidents this nation has ever had and a leader in the human rights movement.
@David Myers: I’m delusional? Then since you know so much, why don’t you start with telling me how many delegates Romney has.
@David Myers: If by “one of the best presidents this nation has ever had” you mean, “The worst president this country has seen since Jimmy Carter,” then you’re absolutely right. You slobber over Obama so much it’s easy to envision you masturbating over pictures of him, too.
@David Myers: The second part of your comment isn’t even worth arguing over since it’s so far fetched and inaccurate. Obama is one of the worst POTUS we’ve had by far. He’s done more harm to our citizen rights than any other president. His latest attack is his Kill List. If you think that’s an example of a human rights movement, i don’t even want to continue a discussion with you.
@Mike Kidding: Assuming your name doesn’t automatically mean nothing you say is worth reading, that’s an interesting claim. Would you mind explaining it?
@Hyhybt: Nope I’m not kidding. Obama’s secret kill list contains names and photos of individuals targeted for assassination in the U.S. drone war which can be used in total secrecy, without any due process, without transparency or oversight of any kind. Look up the New York Times which reported it about a week ago.
@Mike Kidding: @Mike Kidding: I was referring to this: “Romney actually doesn’t have the delegates to win the nomination and probably won’t get them. It’s more likely there will be a brokered convention and Ron Paul has a good chance of winning it.”
Would you mind explaining and elaborating on that, please?
It’s BOB McDonnell….not ROB McDonnell…..I know because he’s the governor of my state.
@Libertarian Larry: What an idiot you are. Do you really think I want to continue a “discussion” with you?
@David Myers: why do gay republicans exist? what do you think gays should do? should we all vote for warmed over marxism like Rachel Maddow.Communists were well known for their great treatment of gays.
@David Myers: I think you got a little too carried away in your angry posts, David, because I never suggested or offered we have a discussion on anything. You’re obviously waaaay too submerged in liberal ideology to have any sense knocked into you, so I wouldn’t waste my time trying. But thanks for being a typical liberal and referring to me as an “idiot” because we disagree. That alone speaks volumes about your pomposity.
@Mike Kidding: I agree with some of what you said, Mike, but realistically, at this point Ron Paul is not going to upstage Romney. It’s too late in the game, and Paul has so far been too invisible to the public at large.
Gay Republicans are a disgrace to the human race, because to vote for Romney is to vote for a Christo taliban supreme court. I think this puts the blood of young Gays on your hands. The Gay movement has another thing in common with the Black civil rights movement and that is we have Uncle Toms also.
@TxHeat: I resent being put in a category as the black civil rights movement, what have blacks done for gays when it comes to marriage? vote it down every time. What does the supreme court have to do with gays, because i’m gay means you think i should support a bench full of abortion loving marxists like Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Talk about the blood of young gays i would put that in the hands of liberals and their suppport of the teacher’s union since public schools are where the blood of young gays are spilled.
@joe: You are NOT in the same catagory. Being Black and being gay are two totally different things, you can’t come out as Black like you can as gay and gay people have done WHAT for Black people. You are a fucking clown man.
Big Effing Patriot
@TxHeat: Republicans have the blood of young gays on their hands? Do you really believe this? FYI, Republicans aren’t out there killing gays, nor are they driving them to suicide. And why would you think we’re Uncle Toms? Because we’re not as hysterical as you are about gay marriage? Maybe we’re just a little more mature and are more concerned with the real issues facing the country. Seriously, dude—stop listening to Rachel Maddow.
@Big Effing Patriot: Human right are real and series issues. Seriously, dude – stop listening to Fox News!
@MisterTwister: Race and Sexual Orientation are in the same category when it comes to fighting bigotry and for equal rights under the law. And by the way I fought in the civil rights movement, in the women’s rights movement, in the anti-war and anti-draft movement and finally in the gay/lesbian rights movement. I became involved in “human rights movements” because of my overwhelming distain for racism and racists, so don’t try to pretend that gay people haven’t done anything for black rights. Sure, there are gay and lesbian racists just as there are black homophobes – but all of them are idiots and we should all be standing up for each other. The rights of everyone are threaned when the rights of anyone are attacked. The most eloquent expression of this truth (retroactively) was made by Pastor Martin Niemoller when he stated in Germany in 1945:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.
@MisterTwister: And “Mister Twister”, you and I probably have more in common than we do with “Joe” who’s comments indicate he is a Republican gay person (a truly deluded position, in my opinion), as well as a bigot and a hater. Know your enemies, don’t imitate them.
@David Myers: How am i a bigot? and who do you think i should vote for. The position of Obama on gay marriage is pretty much in line with where Dick Cheney has been for several years. Should i vote for Cheney?
Big Effing Patriot
@David Myers: If by “series issues” you meant “serious issues,” then I agree, human rights are serious. Unfortunately, marriage isn’t a right, it’s a religious ceremony, and yes, there are more important issues facing us than the ability to have a quasi-religious ceremony that’s recognized by the state. And please be very aware that one’s sexual orientation does not dictate one’s political ideology, hence you’re wrong when you state that gay Republicans are “truly deluded”. That theory in itself is truly deluded.
@Big Effing Patriot: The problem with human rights it’s who’s defining human rights. There are many liberals who include polar bears but would exclude unborn babies. Yes it is true are court system gives more rights to polar bears than unborn babies.
@joe: our court system
So much liberal hatred for us Gay Republicans. Liberals are just really pissed that we refuse to live on their dreary soul-crushing collectivist plantation.
Being willing to think for yourself is the greatest threat to the liberal ideology. Our mere existence invalidates their worldview, that’s why they are no different from the religious nuts.
We are here, we are Gay Republicans, get used to us!
@Libertarian Larry: You’re pathetic to make such a immature sexual reference. No president has done more for GLBTQ rights. Meanwhile, what are the tea party republicans doing for us? Look to your own party’s bigotry and hate-mongering before criticising Obama on GLBTQ rights.
@Gay Republican: So how’s your program of getting republicans and tea partiers on board with GLBTQ rights? Not so good? So why do you continue to make excuses for them, or is the issue of GLBTQ rights really of any real concern to you? Just sayin’!
Jesus H Christ
The one man you left off is John Thune. He’s gorgeous, he’s right wing to the core. He’d be the perfect running mate, although he’s probably smart enough to stay away. Someone should out John Thune. It’s obvious both women and men are throwing themselves at him and, let’s face it, he’s no saint. I’d love to see a video of Thune and Aaron Schock, the closet case from Peoria. That guy is hot, but obviously hates who he really is. And Paul Ryan, the great white hope, probably has more than a few skeletons in his closet. My gaydar goes off the charts with him. I’d love to do any of these guys; it’s a hard job, but I’m up for it.
It took Joe Biden to get Obama to support gay marriage. Remember blacks stopped gay marriage is “Liberal” California. We are on our own. Too bad Mitt is worse.
gee the best bartender is hot. What a shock.
@tom: Wrong and wrong. No president has ever done more for GLBTQ rights. He was planning on coming on board on gay marriage in his own time and with his own planned announcement and Biden stumbbled into the mix, putting him on the spot before the planned announcement (probably during the Democratic convention – maybe even in Obama’s nomination acceptance speech). His speech to black America and the effect of numerous pastors coming on board is swinging the black vote not only behind him but on board with the issue of gay marriage (some reluctantly, admittedly) others see the logical connection to their own issues, and still others have always been on board. Your attempt to claim “we’re on our own. Too bad Mitt is worse” sounds suspiciously pessimistic and trollish. Now is the time to build the grand coalition not disparage our allies, including blacks, hispanics, women and Obama. Did you even watch Obama’s speech on gay marriage? How about Hillary Clinton’s speech to the United Nations (fully supported in both the speech and foreign aid policy on Obama’s direction – back on Dec 6th 2011 declairing GLBTQ rights to be human rights around the world and chastising African nations who claimed homosexuality was a “western problem” (and making foreign aid conditional on respect for human rights for the GLBTQ citizens of nations wanting foreign aid? Either you are seriously not up to date on the Obama administrations careful step by step strategic moves up to the plate on GLBTQ rights and gay marriage, or you are a troll trying to make Obama look weak on this issue, when in reality no president has ever been stronger. Which is it?
@David Myers: Can you be anymore naive? I have faith i’m sure you can be.
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