‘People have to see that the president is not taking elaborate vacations and spending in a way that is inconsistent with the state of the overall economy and the state of the American family,” Mitt Romney tells National Review Online.
Romney, the all-but-certain Republican presidential nominee, took a few moments to talk to NRO on Thursday.
NRO: Let’s begin with your process of selecting your running mate. As you’ve interacted with elected officials throughout this primary season, have you thought about any of them as potential running mates and whether you would trust that person to be a heartbeat away from the presidency?
Mitt Romney: [Laughter.] I’m not going to give you any names!
NRO: You don’t have to give names. Just . . . has anybody piqued your interest?
Romney: There are a lot of terrific people in our party, as I’m sure you know. We will begin to put together a list of folks to do a deep-dive vetting. That’s something which Beth Myers, my former chief of staff and former campaign manager, is guiding. I’ve been very impressed with a lot of folks I’ve worked with, and I’m impressed with others that have not been in battleground states, but who nonetheless are key leaders in our party. At this point, it is a wide-open process.
NRO: Is there one trait or quality that you think is particularly important for a running mate and vice president?
Romney: The vice president has to be someone who would be seen as having the capability to become president and lead the country if that were to become necessary. That is, without question, the most important quality that you consider.
NRO: Gas prices are averaging $3.90 a gallon regularly across the country, with prices much higher in many states. Obviously, a lot of factors influence gas prices, but what moves would a Romney administration be able to make quickly — let’s presume a cooperative Congress — and how quickly would your policy changes influence prices at the pump?
Romney: What we know we can do is to affect the global supply of oil to a certain degree by taking advantage of our own oil resources. That means on Day One, I would issue an executive order opening federal lands for licensing and permitting. I would also move to open ANWR, and move to drill in the outer continental shelf. All in all, my effort would be to increase our domestic supply of oil.
In addition, I would work to take advantage of our domestic natural-gas resources. The Obama administration is trying to federalize the regulation of fracking, which has the effect of making our supply of natural gas less reliable. I believe natural gas can ultimately be an extraordinary resource in our transportation sector.
I also would note that coal, and other energy resources like coal, which worked for our generation, should not be shut down, as they are under this administration, and under my plan [those resources] would be taken advantage of. Let’s use our natural resources for our own benefit. We know that will have a beneficial effect on pricing, and one thing we can be certain about is that it will keep hundreds of billions of dollars in our economy that otherwise are going to other [countries’] economies.