Although he's repeatedly batted away suggestions he wants to ride shotgun with Mitt Romney in the GOP try for the White House, Ohio's Rob Portman seems to be already clocking time for the campaign.
In an interview with Politico, the Republican senator tried to defend the presidential candidate against attacks from the Obama campaign regarding Romney's days at Bain – a resume stretch when Romney repeatedly fixed his high-watt chompers to the necks of healthy businesses and slowly sucked them dry. We say Portman “tried” to defend Romney, because his coverage here was a wet noodle.
"My feeling's pretty simple.. that is capitalism. There aren't different kinds of capitalism, There's the free market," he said, adding, "Yeah there were some businesses that weren't in great shape when Bain got involved in them."
In case you need a refresher on Romney's Bain behavior, we suggest you dip into this account; you'll see Romney's version of capitalism has less to do with the free market than hacking the legs from companies and expecting them to still do a 10 minute mile.
But it's Portman's explanation here that's off. An GOP up-and-coming boot-licker like Marco Rubio or even Josh Mandel would probably cut off his right hand and eat it between two slices of white bread if it meant cementing his VP bona fides with the campaign. But the Ohio senator isn't sweating up his Oxford pretending he'll go to war for Romney or throwing counter-punchers. Maybe he's really not as interested in hopping in the sidecar as he says . . .