"We've made significant reforms, and I think you're going to see more of that," McDonnell said. And he's very aware of his own political standing, citing polling that shows his approval rating north of 60 percent.
At the moment, McDonnell's time has been consumed by a fight over abortion legislation. Last week, McDonnell reversed his support for the legislation, backed by social conservatives n the state legislature, and said he wanted it reviewed and altered before it became law. McDonnell said Sunday that even though the economy will decide this year's election, social issues are a valuable debate to have,
"These issues of life and family and marriage and religious freedom and what you believe about traditional values, these are always important. And these issues are going to come up in a general election. Voters want to know, at a gut level, what do you believe in your heart about these critical issues," he said. "People want to know what's in your heart, what do you really believe."
And yet McDonnell, who has a good relationship with his party's social conservative base, has endorsed a candidate for president -- Romney -- who still struggles to convince social conservatives that they agree on those very issues. McDonnell said he's convinced Romney is sufficiently conservative, and that the circumstances of a very liberal state legislature in Massachusetts can account for Romney's earlier positions.
"Reagan said, 'If you agree with me 80 percent of the time, you're my friend.' So I call Mitt Romney my friend. He and I are included in the 80 percent camp together," McDonnell said.
But does he want to be Romney's vice president? McDonnell has said in the past he would be honored to be considered, and on Sunday he declined to give Romney any advice on what type of nominee he should consider. "Most people would say that your vice presidential candidate is somebody that might not be able to help you a whole lot, but they might be able to hurt you if you don't get the right person," McDonnell said.
And, he added: "I'm not running for anything."