Drudge Report: Condoleezza Rice Near the Top of Romneys VP List

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (DAVID SILVERMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

As speculation continues to swirl around Mitt Romney’s pick for VP, Drudge is reporting former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is among the “handful” of remaining candidates.

Romney is expected to officially name is running mate in the “coming weeks,” according to his campaign.

More from the Drudge exclusive:

And a surprise name is now near the top of the list: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice!

It was Condi who received two standing ovations at Romney’s Utah retreat a few weeks ago, and everyone left with her name on their lips.

Rice made an extended argument for American leadership in the world.

In recent days, she emailed supporters:

“2012 is perhaps a turning point for the United States.”

“The upcoming elections loom as one of the most important in my lifetime,” she warned. “I’m very often asked to speak about our current foreign policy and challenges that lie before us. However, we as a country, are not going to be able to address any of those international challenges unless we first get our domestic house in order.”

Almost immediately after Drudge put the story up, the conservative world started reacting. Many are questioning whether or not Rice is seriously being considered for VP or if this is just a ploy by team Romney.

Robert Costa, a political reporter for the National Review, tweeted that a “top Romney source” told him “no Condi”:

Drudge Report: Condoleezza Rice Near the Top of Romneys VP List

RedState Editor-in-Chief Erick Erickson stopped just short of using an expletive to express his doubts about the Condi announcement:

I don’t know who is hitting the crack rock tonight in the rumor mill, but bull shiitake mushrooms.

Condelizza Rice is pro-abortion.

She worked for George Bush for eight years.

In those eight years at National Security and then at State, our relations with Russia deteriorated though she was an expert in that field. Central and South America went to pot as well, the ramifications of which still have not been sorted out. She was one of George Bush’s most trusted advisors and her supporters would have you believe that everything bad that happened, happened because of Cheney and Rumsfeld.

The problem is that this ignores the Americas and Russia, areas where State played a big role.

The Blaze’s S.E. Cupp was also skeptical and shortly after the story broke, she tweeted:

Drudge Report: Condoleezza Rice Near the Top of Romneys VP List

Further casting doubt on the report is a previous interview in which Rice said she would definitely not be Romney’s running mate, the Hill reports.

“It’s not going to happen — and no,” Rice told “CBS This Morning” host Charlie Rose on Tuesday.

She said Romney has a “deep bench” of candidates who would be happy to be his VP but added, “it’s really not me.”

There’s no doubt intense speculation will continue to run wild concerning Romney’s running mate until the presidential candidate finally decides to put it to bed by naming his pick.

This is a breaking story and updates will be added.