PITTSBURGH – Mitt Romney has not yet decided who he will choose as his vice presidential running mate, despite a report that says otherwise, senior Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom said on Monday.
“No decision’s been made on VP,” Fehrnstrom told reporters after the presumptive Republican nominee held a fundraiser at the City Club of Baton Rouge with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Fehrnstrom later told the Associated Press that his boss could potentially make a decision this week.
The remarks came after The New York Times reported that some of Romney’s friends believe he has reached a decision on who will join him on the Republican ticket in November.
Romney himself was mum on Monday on the selection process, even as he appeared at the fundraiser with Jindal, who is considered a potential running mate. “He met with Gov. Jindal but they didn't talk about VP,” Fehrnstrom said.
The fundraiser gave Romney a chance to paint President Obama as a crony capitalist who gives taxpayer money to political donors and supporters. As an example, he cited a $500 million government loan to Fisker, an electric-car company in which Al Gore is a partner.
“It doesn’t look right. It doesn’t smell right and that has happened more than once,” Romney told the 40 people who each paid $50,000 to hear him speak. He said that after receiving the loan, Fisker went on to assemble the first line of its cars in Finland (the company said it could not find a facility in the United States that was capable of handling the work).
“So the president not only took our money and put it with his friends, he also took our money and outsourced the jobs, so I'm referring to him as the outsourcer in chief,” Romney said.
The presumptive Republican nominee’s new attack on Fisker is part of a broader push by his campaign to portray the president as favoring his high-dollar donors at the expense of the middle class. The campaign released a new Web video called “Political payoffs and middle-class layoffs,” and held a press conference call in which they called the practice “Chicago-style politics and Chicago-style economics.”
When asked on the conference call how a Romney administration would avoid having donors who also expected something in return, senior adviser Ed Gillespie said Romney donors were giving money not for a specific reason, but because they believed that a Romney administration would spur economic growth for everyone.