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Published: Friday, 7/20/2012

Portman deflects discussion of possibly being V.P. choice

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) shed no light on the possibility of him becoming the Republican vice presidential candidate in a phone conference call with reporters Thursday.

"Nothing's changed," Mr. Portman said.

Asked if he plans to go this weekend to Boston, the headquarters of the Romney presidential campaign, Mr. Portman hesitated and then said, "No, no."

He said he balked because his aides don't like him answering such questions.

Mr. Portman is scheduled today to visit a Dannon Yogurt plant in Minster, Ohio, and a Crown Equipment Corp. facility in New Bremen, Ohio, both in Auglaize County.

In response to the question whether he might be declared Mr. Romney's vice-presidential running mate while at Dannon, Mr. Portman said, "I have plans to sample some of the Dannon yogurt, I will tell you that. I am a yogurt fan. I gotta admit that, put that out there."

Sometimes described, fairly or not, as having an unexciting persona, Mr. Portman was asked whether plain vanilla is his favorite flavor. He responded with a preference for yogurt with fruit in it.

"I'm a pretty wild and crazy yogurt eater. I like the fruit. We're talking peach, raspberry, blueberry, whatever. I could even mix fruit, I could go with a banana-strawberry," Mr. Portman deadpanned.

He said he has been consistent in saying that he feels fortunate to be in the U.S. Senate.

"Nothing's changed. I'm doing the work of our state and happy to be doing it. I just don't address that stuff. I leave it up to the campaign to talk about if they want to," Mr. Portman said.



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