It's often noted that Rob Portman's biggest liability as a Veep candidate is probably his stint in George W. Bush's Administration -- both as trade representative and budget director.
In Deirdre Shesgreen's new piece, Portman offers up one of the more expansive defenses of his time with Bush, but might be, unwittingly, damaging his prospects with statements like these.
Portman said he would have stayed in that job [Trade Representative], but Bush asked him to take on something else: director of the Office of Management and Budget.
It was a higher-profile post, with more direct access to the president.
"I would see him on a regular basis, like a couple times a week, rather than as a normal Cabinet member where you might be in the Oval Office once a month,” Portman said.
“And it was a much more intense job, because you’re in the White House meeting with the senior staff of the president every morning at 7:30 a.m., and involved in literally every decision that’s being made.”
Then there's this.
In an interview last week, Portman said he would relish a fresh argument about Bush’s economic policies versus Obama’s.
The last thing Romney wants to do is relitigate the Bush economic record, but that's exactly what picking Portman would probably facilitate.