Commonsense Conservative For Ohio


The Washington Post: Rob Portman sounds a lot like a presidential candidate

By Chris Cillizza | October 1, 2014

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman was in Iowa on Wednesday, stumping for Senate candidate Joni Ernst while also stoking some speculation about his own interest in running for president in 2016. He called me to check in. "This looks a lot like Ohio," he said. "Except our cornfields are a little bit smaller." A lightly edited transcript of our conversation is below.

FIX: What is your timeline on making a 2016 decision?

Portman: I am all in on 2014. I am the national finance chair [of the National Republican Senatorial Committee]. I will be in New Hampshire, Georgia and North Carolina in the last couple weeks. I am putting this other discussion off.

After the election, I am going to have serious discussions with people I respect, and look at the field. I worry about the direction of the country. This is about our country, and figuring out how to get to 'yes' and solve some of these problems that have been sitting out there too long.  We need to deal with the underlying sources of poverty and lack of opportunity. To me it's about how best to move this country forward. I haven't taken the time to really do that analysis. I will do so after the election.

FIX: What does Washington look like if Republicans win the Senate in 34 days? What are the stakes?

Portman: Winning is incredibly important for the country right now. Washington is broken. It is dysfunctional. It is much more likely President Obama comes to the table to deal [if Republicans control Congress]. Republicans will have to be willing to find common ground with him as well.  This is no way to run a railroad.

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