Mitt Romney totally gets what is required of a presidential candidate’s running mate pick. Above all else, as he has said, he must pick someone who is obviously qualified to be president, a point he repeated the other day.
September 5, 2011 — APP Palmetto Freedom Forum
Moderator: Governor Romney, will the person you chose as your vice presidential running mate be someone who shares your pro-life and pro-marriage convictions?
Romney: I certainly imagine so, I haven’t made and selections in that regard…[as I look around at the people I would consider] I would expect that they would all be pro-life and pro-traditional marriage…but this is an important enough issue that the person that I would select in that position would share my views on those important issues.
Host: So more than just expectation — would share those views?
Romney: Yes … that person would share my views, yeah.
The first, vital measure of “ready to be president” can, of course, be a bit subjective. (Rob Portman obviously clears the bar; do Bobby Jindal, Kelly Ayotte, and/or Paul Ryan?)
Pro-life is not subjective. If Romney chose someone who was pro-choice as his running mate, he would be going back on his word, inflaming a key constituency, and risk turning Tampa into a four-day fight over an issue that has nothing to do with the economy and about which many convention delegates feel strongly.
So while Sarah Palin might think a pro-choice running mate is a-ok, I don’t think Mitt Romney will.
“Obviously qualified to be president” — focus on that.