As it has become increasingly clear former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will be the Republican Party's nominee for the 2012 presidential election, everyone wants to know: Who will he choose as his running mate? Some have argued in favor of Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), while others have floated the idea of Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN), and some have even voiced their approval for former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
But while some are saying the list has been whittled down to three choices and everyone continues to focus on the best VP choices for the Republican presidential nominee, very few have focused on the worst.
That’s where we come in.
Rather than explain why someone like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) would be an excellent choice for vice president, let’s look at the people who, we think, would be terrible choices.
Jeb "Reagan Wouldn't Fit In" Bush
John Ellis "Jeb" Bush’s name has been thrown around a lot as a possible VP nominee and some think he'd be a solid candidate for the job. But wasn’t he the same guy who once said George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan would have a hard time working with today’s GOP (i.e. the Tea Party)? Yes, he was.
Really? Ronald Reagan would be more comfortable working with "reach across the aisle" moderates than with the folks responsible for the 2010 November Red Wave? So-called moderates didn’t bring the Red Wave. The Tea Party did.
We’re supposed to believe Reagan wouldn’t be able to work with these people? We doubt it. And we’re not alone on this one. Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer agrees.
“Reagan was a movement conservative, a leader of the movement. You would call him rigid. He was called worse than that in those eight years. Rigidity is a virtue. Today we use the word ideology as a pejorative. I think it needs to be resurrected. An ideology means a coherent set of ideas and policies, and Reagan had them, and he pursued them,” Krauthammer said during an interview on Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor.”
“And I think he would be very comfortable today with the Tea Party and the Republican Party,” he added.
Jeb Bush seems like he's more at home with the "Old Guard" (i.e. the Dick Luger and Colin Powell crowd) than he is with the people who are Romney's best shot at winning the White House. Think about it: Independents and "moderates" aren't going to be the ones raising and donating money, knocking on doors, and working the phone banks. "Scary" Tea Partiers are.
Like 2008's "Old Guard" candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Romney’s strongest and most active support will probably come from the same people Jeb Bush implied were a bunch of "right-wing" extremists.
Michael "The Nanny" Bloomberg
It’s difficult to type while laughing. No, we’re not joking. A few people have actually suggested New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a legitimate candidate for vice president.
Why would he be a terrible choice? Well, if Romney is even remotely interested in getting a boost from a fired up base, he should pick a likeable and outspoken advocate of conservative principles.
Bloomberg is neither likeable (Fox News' Sean Hannity once referred to him as the "ultimate political opportunist." Who likes those?) nor conservative.
Come on! The man is referred to as "The Nanny" for a reason. From banning salt, trans fats, and cigarettes, to wanting to ban large drinks, guns, and baby formula, Bloomberg is the poster child for all things big government -- something Romney is supposedly campaigning against.
True, the office of the vice president is a fairly ornamental one, but the VP pick still tells us something about the type of administration we can expect from the candidate. What kind of message would Romney send if he continues to campaign against the expansion of big government with, of all people, "The Nanny" at his side?
Donald "You're Fired" Trump
We know a few Blaze readers enjoy watching Trump run around and say incendiary things about the Obama administration. Sure, he’s fun to watch and, by all accounts, he’s a successful businessman. But although there’s a certain amount of entertainment value in what he does, haven’t we had enough of the whole celebrities in the White House thing?
Let’s be honest here: If we’re actually concerned about restoring some semblance of dignity to the country's highest office, involving a publicity-hungry real estate mogul with crazy hair doesn't seem like a good place to start.
President Obama and Mitt Romney are currently engaged in a bare-knuckle election brawl. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is running around telling everyone Romney went 10 years without paying his taxes and a pro-Obama PAC recently released an ad implicating the former governor in the death of the wife of a laid off steelworker. Meanwhile, the Romney campaign has, um, called President Obama a liar.
This no-holds-barred street fight between the vaunted “Chicago Machine” and the Boston "Death Star" is getting gruesome and, right now, it looks like Romney could use a little help from his base.
That being said, choosing a little-known candidate could be disastrous for Romney. Why? Do we really need to remind everyone of the “Anybody But Romney” game? From Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) to Herman Cain to Donald Trump, everyone got their chance in the spotlight because, let’s be honest, many conservatives have mixed feelings about the former Massachusetts governor. And by “mixed feelings,” we mean “not entirely comfortable with him being the nominee.”
Because many conservatives still have doubts about Romney, we think it would be in his best interest to pick as his running mate a well-known and trusted conservative voice to convince the base he’s worthy of their vote.
Sure, nominating someone like Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV) or Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) might help Romney win those important swing states, but we're talking about the national stage here. It’s not that Gov. Sandoval or Sen. Ayotte are bad conservatives, on the contrary. It's just that most conservatives aren't as familiar and comfortable with them as they are with, say, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) or Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC).
Nominating someone the conservative base already knows and trusts might give Romney the surge of enthusiasm he needs to win the aforementioned election brawl.
Paul "Atlas Shrugged" Ryan
An incredibly strong fiscal conservative, Rep. Ryan is a leading voice in the war against wasteful government spending, a major proponent of tax and entitlement reform, and he’s an unabashed champion of free market principles. He is also the chair of the House Budget Committee, meaning he is deeply involved in drafting and promoting the Republican Party’s long-term strategies to balance the budget and reduce the deficit.
And this is exactly why we’d hate to see him get the VP nod.
No. Leave Rep. Ryan where he is. He's needed there.
And there you have it. These are the five potential VP nominees that we think would be terrible mistakes. Feel free to sound off in the comments if you think we’re wrong or to add your own.
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All photos courtesy The Associated Press. This story has been updated.