"I'm highly confident based upon the kind of people that Governor Romney surrounds himself with that he'll make a very good selection and somebody that will provide a very strong ticket for us as we head into the fall campaign." South Dakota Senator John Thune...talking about mitt Romney and who he may select as his running mate. Tonight, there is renewed speculation that Thune could end up on the Republican presidential ticket.
This weekend, Senator Thune will be headed out west to Utah. The purpose of the Utah trip is for Thune to meet with Mitt Romney and his top campaign staff for a planning session to discuss what happens between now and the November presidential election. One thing that has to happen is for Romney to select a running mate. And for months, John Thune's name has been mentioned as a possibility. And this weekend meeting is doing nothing to dissuade the discussion.
We caught up with Senator Thune in Sioux Falls as he made an appearance at the state GOP convention. During a sit down interview with the senator, we asked him about his Utah trip and what will happen when he meets with Governor Romney. "Well I think a lot of it is to get some of his major supporters together and talk about the path forward for the fall campaign. What's the plan and the strategy for winning in November?"
Why would Thune be attending such a meeting? As one of the highest ranking Republicans in Congress, it is natural that Romney would want to consult Thune on issues of policy and campaign strategy and Thune tells us, he is willing to offer whatever he can to Romney's cause. "It's really an opportunity to bring a lot of his people together in one place at one time and have a discussion and perhaps put everyone's heads together and help put forward a plan that we think can help us be successful in the November election."
Romney and Thune have shared a close political relationship for months. When the Republican presidential race was still wide open, Thune was among the first major republicans to endorse and support Romney, going so far as to campaign with him in Iowa in the days leading up to the January caucus...even taking to the campaign stage with Romney on the night before the caucus. And since then, the talk has been non-stop that Thune was in Romney's camp in a way that could lead to Thune being placed on the ticket as vice-president. "That's a decision that ultimately comes down to Governor Romney, perhaps his family. A few of his close advisors. There's a process the campaign has in place and he will make a good decision in his own time."
Thune was mentioned as a serious contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. He seriously mulled over a run for the top job this time around before concluding that this was not his time. And only time will tell if Thune passing up the presidency leads to the vice-presidency. During our time with him, we asked Thune how he feels about his name constantly being mentioned as a possible contender for the number two job. "It's not something I am aspiring toward, certainly not something I am pursuing or seeking but, sure, it's nice to be considered but it's not something that I am trying to get."
There has also been a lot of talk about Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio being on Romney's list for running mates. Earlier this week, there were reports that the Romney camp was not considering Rubio. The Romney camp says no final decision about v-p have been made.
2012 KSFY News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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