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Veepstakes: 'Leave it to Mitt'

CHRISTIE: He railed against entitlements at the same event where former President George W. Bush spoke. He lamented a “paternalistic entitlement society.” “I’ve never seen a less optimistic time in my lifetime in this country,” Christie claimed, per the New York Post. He added, “Government is now telling people, ‘Stop dreaming, stop striving, we’ll take care of you.’ That will not just bankrupt us financially, it will bankrupt us morally, because when the American people no longer believe that this is a place where only their willingness to work hard and to act with honor and integrity and ingenuity determines their success in life, then we’ll have a bunch of people sitting on a couch, waiting for their next government check. … I think politicians get themselves into the biggest trouble when they care more about being loved than being respected.”

But, he also said, which makes him complicated as a VP choice: “Compromise is not a dirty word.”

“New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s approval rating reached its highest level since the first-term Republican took office in 2010, a Quinnipiac University poll shows,” Bloomberg writes. “Registered voters approved of how the governor is doing his job 59 percent to 36 percent, according to the survey released today. That’s four percentage points higher than in February and up from a low of 44 percent in June. He scored highest ratings among Republicans, at 92 percent, and was at 64 percent among independents. Democrats disapproved, 64 percent to 30 percent.”

JINDAL: The Louisiana governor officially backed Romney yesterday after Santorum dropped out.

MCDONNELL: “The head of the Republican Governors Association says Rick Santorum’s withdrawal from the presidential sweepstakes should signal party conservatives to unify behind Mitt Romney,” AP writes of McDonnell’s appearance this morning on CBS. McDonnell, who has already endorsed Romney himself, said, “conservatives, independents and clear-thinking moderates are now going to get behind” the former Massachusetts governor.”

“McDonnell, whose name has surfaced in speculation about the vice presidential nomination, tells the network ‘ultimately, that’s up to the nominee. I’m perfectly happy being the governor of Virginia.’” Of course, Virginia governors are limited to just one term.

“Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has proposed relaxing a high-profile voter-identification measure passed by the General Assembly this year — one of more than 100 bills he wants amended. He also issued seven vetoes,” the Washington Times notes.

PORTMAN: “As Rick Santorum exits the presidential race, attention will turn more to Mitt Romney’s choice of running mate. And the latest name to get significant buzz in Washington is Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio,” the Wall Street Journal writes.

RUBIO: The New York Post’s Schachter: “Why Rubio's DREAM means he can't be veep.” “Sen. Rubio has his own version of the DREAM Act that should get passed in the Senate so it can get passed in the House and get signed into law. And if Rubio become the vice presidential nominee, he can't get this important piece of legislation passed,” she writes.

RYAN: Paul Ryan on Mitt Romney, per BuzzFeed: "He reminds me of a lot of people I grew up with, a lot of people I know, who have that Midwest earnestness. He's kind of a throwback to the '50s" And: "He's a very funny dude."

Ryan then went on FOX and said his comments were “taken out of context,” saying he meant Romney is “principled,” “civil,” “honorable,” “earnest” but then he compared Romney to Ward Cleaver. “Yeah, Ward Cleaver. That’s what I think of. I grew up watching Leave it to Beaver, idolizing Mr. Cleaver, Ward Cleaver, and he has these great attributes, which is he’s a very nice, civil man and he’s very earnest.

On being VP: “It’s something you’d have to consider. If he asked me to consider it, I’d consider it. He hasn’t, so I’m not.”