Rob Portman

Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), a former U.S trade ambassador, announced that he “opposes a sweeping 12-nation Pacific Rim trade agreement, dealing a setback to a deal that is seen as a key part of President Obama’s economic legacy,” the Washington Post reports.

“The Ohio Republican is facing a difficult re-election campaign against Ted Strickland, an anti-trade former Democratic governor, in a state that has seen a steep decline in manufacturing as a result of companies moving operations overseas. The announcement is a significant but not fatal blow to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which is protected by fast-track rules that ensure it cannot be filibustered in the Senate.”

Kasich Snags Portman’s Endorsement

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) soon will endorse Gov. John Kasich for president, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

“Top Ohio Republican backs another top Ohio Republican. That’s how it always works, no? In most cases you would be correct. But Portman’s case is somewhat special. Consider that he served in the White House under President George H.W. Bush and later returned for two high-profile posts under President George W. Bush. Family loyalties might have compelled Portman to get behind Jeb Bush’s candidacy.”

Strickland Expected to Launch Senate Bid

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) is likely to launch a long-rumored U.S. Senate bid this week, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

“Strickland is expected to issue a morning statement, and all indications are that he will confirm his intentions to challenge Republican incumbent Rob Portman. It’s a decision that could pit two Washington veterans against each other in a nationally watched race that could have ramifications on which party controls Congress.”

Portman Decides Against Presidential Bid

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said in a statement early Tuesday morning that he would not seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, ABC News reports.

Said Portman: “I have decided to run for re-election in 2016. I am excited about continuing to serve, especially with the change in the Senate leadership. With the new Republican majority, I see a real opportunity over the next two years to break the gridlock in Washington and actually get things done to help Ohioans and all Americans. That’s where I believe I can play the most constructive role. I don’t think I can run for president and be an effective senator at the same time.”

Is Portman Running for Vice President?

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) is “making all the right moves for a dark-horse presidential run. And even some of his top supporters say he could be a front-runner for the veep spot,” Politico reports.

“The low-key Ohio Republican is fresh off playing a pivotal role in the GOP’s Senate takeover; he’s traveled to early states Iowa and New Hampshire; and party insiders and fundraisers can’t speak highly enough of him. His résumé goes on and on: former House member, George W. Bush’s U.S. trade representative, director of the Office of Management and Budget and now a swing-state Republican senator.”

The Strongest GOP Ticket?

Longtime Clinton adviser Harold Ickes said a Republican presidential ticket of Jeb Bush and Sen. Rob Portman would be tough for Democrats to beat in 2016, the Daily Beast reports.

“A Bush-Portman ticket could doom Democrats in Bush’s native Florida and in Portman’s Ohio… and Bush’s Hispanic support would make Colorado a difficult lift as well.”

Said Ickes: “Bush has what appears to be very strong credentials with Hispanics. I’m told he speaks Spanish at home, and I’m told that he actually thinks in Spanish.”

Portman Gears Up for a White House Bid

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) “is mapping out a possible presidential run, creating a narrative, talking to fundraisers and looking to change his image from the senator who once ran George W. Bush’s budget office to the anti-Obama from Ohio with a serious resume,” CNN reports.

Said Portman: “I probably have more experience than other people who are running or thinking about running.”

“Portman certainly wouldn’t run as an outsider. He embraces his previous White House experience having worked for both Bush administrations. He went so far as to point out his executive branch background is both foreign and domestic… But his time in Washington is certainly a not-so-subtle counterpoint to that of President Obama, who clocked just two years, a month and six days in Washington before announcing his intention to run it — and the country.”