Ohio senator Rob Portman and Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney (right) wave to a crowd of supporters outside of K’s Hamburger Shop, in Troy, during a series of Ohio campaign events on Sunday, June 17. The Enquirer/ Amanda Davidson
Paul E. Kostyu reports:
In an 8½-minute speech in Lebanon Monday, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman blasted the economic policies of President Barack Obama, but what the supporters present really wanted to know is whether the Republican from Terrace Park will be the party’s vice presidential nominee.
The New York Times reported Monday that presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney could announce his vice presidential pick this week. Romney’s campaign denied a decision had been made.
Portman appeared in Republican-strong Warren County at the party’s headquarters adjacent to the historic Golden Lamb Inn, a regular stop for Republicans, including presidents. Portman appeared in the crowded and stifling hot Republican headquarters about two hours before Obama held a town hall meeting at Cincinnati’s Music Hall.
The fact that Portman is on the short list of Romney’s potential vice presidential candidates sits just fine with people here.
“Rob Portman is all about integrity,” said James Norris, a teacher and Lebanon city councilman, who attended the event. “He’s such a straightforward guy. It’s so refreshing. What a great vice president catch he would be.”
George Leasure agreed. He said he’s been telling Portman for 10 years that he should be in the White House.
“Rob Portman has enormous experience,” said Jennifer Sooy of Springboro, who was at the Portman event with her identical twin, Kathleen.
The two practically finished each others’ sentences as they talked about Romney and Portman.
“He has a business background,” Kathleen Sooy said of Portman. “He knows his public.”
Portman challenged Obama to come to Warren County to talk to the middle class and “workers on the shop floor.” He said people are worried about federal policies, the country’s debt and the economy.
“Tell the American people what’s going on with the economy,” Portman urged Obama. “American potential is not being achieved. American destiny is not being achieved.”
Portman said Romney “understands how to create jobs. He knows that government doesn’t create jobs; it’s the private sector that the creates jobs.”
Romney will make three appearances in Ohio this week, with fundraisers in Toledo and Canton on Wednesday with a public appearance in between in Bowling Green.
Vice President Joe Biden is also expected to visit Ohio this week, but details have not been announced.
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