Thursday, August 2, 2012

"Frustrated": Portman distances himself from Bush

Alexander Bolton reports on The Hill's exclusive interview with Rob Portman, in which the top Veep prospect talks about being "frustrated" during his time as George W. Bush's budget director.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who served as former President George W. Bush’s budget director, sought this week to distance himself from his former boss by saying he was “frustrated” in the high-profile post.

.... “I was frustrated when I was there about some spending issues — specifically, as you know, I wanted to offer a balanced budget over five years, and a lot of people didn’t,” he said in the interview, noting the decision to submit a balanced budget was ultimately the president’s. “I prevailed. The president sent his budget — not my budget, his budget — a five-year balanced budget. But it was a fight, internally.

Without a doubt, Portman's association with Bush (the most unpopular living president) is his biggest liability as a potential Veep prospect, so this is instructive and a possible preview of how he and Team Romney would deal with the inevitable link.

In essence, it's a finesse in a nation that doesn't pay much attention to finesse.

It's a second sentence in a nation that stops reading after the first.

The Obama campaign is already linking Romney to Bush in TV ads, and Portman would provide new material, and sure, PolitiFact and others have noted that Portman didn't play much of a role in exploding the deficit, but in this "Four Pinocchio" Election, will that stop the Obama campaign from making the claim in million dollar, swing state buys?

In fact, check out this new Obama TV ad, and think of how much more effective it'd be if the president could tack on "Now Romney's picked George W. Bush's budget director to be his running-mate."

Bush is toxic and skipping the convention, but Romney might pick one of his budget directors to give the prime-time speech?