Republican senators say presidential candidate Mitt Romney should name his running mate soon to generate positive publicity, to gain a definitive surrogate for the campaign trail, and to boost fundraising.
They don’t want him to wait until the convention, which begins Aug. 27 in Tampa, The Hill
“No. 1, it will provide a week or two of hopefully favorable attention to the Romney campaign, instead of mixing it up with all of the other attention that goes on at the time of the convention,” Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., told the news service.
“No. 2, it will give two or three weeks to work out any problems or issues that are unexpected, so it wouldn’t be a distraction from the convention. And no. 3, perhaps most important, it would give Romney a very useful surrogate.”
The running mate could attend fundraisers, make speeches, and take President Barack Obama to task on policy issues, Alexander says. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see the governor make the choice in the next several days.”
Romney currently has several surrogates trumpeting his cause, including vice-presidential hopefuls Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rob Portman of Ohio. But the actual running mate carries more gravitas.
“He has no surrogate like this,” Alexander says. This person will be his No. 1 surrogate. It will be a celebrity of great interest.”
Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., agrees. “One of the advantages is he kind of doubles the team, if you will, and that would be helpful,” he told The Hill. “Get somebody else out on the campaign trail that has a major focus, somebody else who can cover fundraising.”
To be sure, not all Republicans favor an early selection. “The only problem is you miss a lot of the drama of the convention if you do that,” Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., told the news service. “The people who go to a convention are the ones who want to be a part of that. So I think that probably would not be a good idea.”
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