THE CAPITOL COLUMN | July 16, 2012
Speculation about Ms. Rice’s future with the GOP skyrocketed after the Drudge Report listed the former Bush administration official as Governor Romney’s top vice presidential candidate. ABC News says that the Drudge Report’s list is especially noteworthy because there are ties between Matt Drudge and several Romney staffers.
Rumors about Ms. Rice’s future with the GOP have been increasing in number over the last few months, as the Romney campaign continues to vet potential running mates for the former Massachusetts governor. Selecting the former Bush administration official as a running mate would be a bold move by the Romney campaign, as she is a high ranking African American female who is well respected among Republicans.
However, Ms. Rise has categorically denied any interested in being Mr. Romney’s running mate. “I didn’t run for student council president. I don’t see myself in any way in elected office,” Ms. Rice told CBS “This Morning.” “I love policy. I’m not particularly fond of politics.”
Despite the political clout that would be gained by selecting Ms. Rice as his running mate, Mr. Paul thinks that the former secretary of state’s foreign policy is tied too closely tied to the Bush era. For that reason, Mr. Paul argues, Ms. Rice would probably be received negatively by the young college voters who have supported his campaign. His youth voters grew up during the Bush era and witnessed a decade of violent wars that saw thousands of young Americans killed.
“I don’t dictate anything to anybody, but they wouldn’t be very happy with her,” said Mr. Paul during an interview with the Fox Business Network. “She represents a foreign policy quite different than what energizes college campuses today.”
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, a 2008 vice presidential candidate, disagrees with the Texas Republican. Speaking to Fox News’ Greta Van Sustren this week, Ms. Palin said that Ms. Rice “would be a wonderful vice president,” adding that, “she has much more experience than our sitting President does today.”
Ms. Rice’s particular experience, Mr. Paul argues, is not what his supporters want. The Texas congressman’s political agenda favors a drastically reduced American military presence in foreign countries, something that he was heavily criticized for during the competitive stages of the Republican primary election. Mr. Paul has always countered that criticism by stating that he has received more campaign donations from active military members than any of his opponents including Mr. Romney and President Barack Obama.
Furthermore, Mr. Paul served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force and speaks on foreign policy matters with experience that is unrivaled by his opponents.
“I was really surprised. I would be pretty amazed if she were to be picked,” said Mr. Paul. “I can understand philosophically why she might because even though she talked along with Bush in the year 2000 about a humble foreign policy and no nation building, it didn’t turn out that way, so she would fit the bill for him, but it wouldn’t help the Ron Paul supporters because they would like a different foreign policy.”
Mr. Romney needs the Texas congressman’s supporters because independents will help decide the November election. By blending some of Mr. Paul’s message of liberty into his own strategy, Mr. Romney could win over some of the Texas Republican’s independents.
Mr. Paul has not yet revealed who he thinks Mr. Romney’s running mate should be. However, his supporters are urging Paul backers to show up in great numbers in Nebraska on Saturday to win the Texas congressman an official presence at the Republican convention in August.