Top Republicans are split over whether presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney should wait as long as usual to pick a running mate.
Since 1976, all but one of the 10 non-incumbent presidential nominees revealed his choice of a running mate within a week of the party’s convention, The Hill
reports. The GOP convention begins Aug. 27 this year.
Some GOP heavyweights want Romney to wait as long as possible to name his choice. That way he can see how the campaign evolves and score the biggest impact with his decision.
Others believe the former Massachusetts governor should act fast, boosting his fundraising and media coverage. That would also give Romney another hand in attacking President Barack Obama and presenting the GOP platform.
“I’d like them to drag it out as long as possible,” a top Romney fundraiser told The Hill. “The more he drags it out, the more press he gets, and the more press he gets, the better people get to know him.
The fundraiser sees a good chance that Romney will follow this advice. “It’s going to be a very deliberate process, and he’s going to come up with a very high-quality selection. When you’re a business executive you’re used to recruiting.”
As for the other side, Bradley Blakeman, who served as senior staffer for President George W. Bush, said that Romney should announce his decision in June. “If we stick to tradition over reality, we make a mistake. Right now we’re fighting with one hand tied behind our back,” he told The Hill.
The running mate would create “two moving targets to hit instead of just one,” allowing Romney to defend against the double-barreled attack of Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, Blakeman said. “You need to use every weapon in your arsenal. To roll the dice at the convention and leave Romney to be beaten up as the sole person out there the next few months is a big mistake.”
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