Mitt Romney's Praise Fuels Rumors of Vice President Nod for Bob McDonnell

Called one of the great Republican leaders

Thursday, Oct 27, 2011  |  Updated 10:38 AM EDT
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Mitt Romney's visit to northern Virginia is fueling speculation about the potential role of Gov. Bob McDonnell in the 2012 elections.

Mitt Romney's visit to northern Virginia is fueling speculation about the potential role of Gov. Bob McDonnell in the 2012 elections.

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Mitt Romney's stop in northern Virginia Wednesday fueled speculation that  Governor Bob McDonnell could be tapped to join a Republican presidential ticket.

Romney, fighting for the GOP nomination, praised McDonnell while speaking at Fairfax County Republican headquarters.  He called the Virginia governor one of the "great leaders of the Republican party."

McDonnell has signaled for several months now that he would consider the vice president job if offered.  Romney said Wednesday that naming a running mate at this stage in the election would be presumptuous, but then he heaped praise on the Virginia governor.

"I say nice things about Governor McDonnell every time I have a chance," Romney said.  "He's a terrific governor doing a great job here in Virginia."

McDonnell, present at the appearance, said he would not endorse a presidential candidate until after Virginia's November 8 legislative election.  Gov. McDonnell did tell News4 that he'd like to see a former governor in the White House.

When asked if he should be on ticket, the governor was demure. "That’s somebody else’s choice," he said. "I’ll let you pundits to do your good work and analysis on what you think about that but right now I’m enjoying what I’m doing”

A recent Quinnipiac Poll found Virginia residents give their governor a high approval rating, even as the nation's economy falters.

Fairfax county GOP chairman Anthony Bedell said McDonnell's record puts him in prime position to move on to national politics.  Bedell said, "If Bob McDonnell isn't on everyone's short list, I don't know who is."

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