Mitt Romney Addresses Swirling VP Rumors

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," August 19, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Joining us now, a man rumored to be on John McCain's short list for VP, former Massachusetts governor, former candidate for the Republican nomination for president this year, Mitt Romney.

Governor, welcome back to "Hannity & Colmes".


Video: Watch Sean and Alan's interview with Mitt Romney

COLMES: I know there's a big announcement you want to make right here tonight.

ROMNEY: Don't have anything for you tonight, Alan. Sorry.

COLMES: You know — I mean, you must be tired of the same — I know everybody wants to know are you being vetted, and can you say anything about what the process is like if that's true?

ROMNEY: Well, you know, the process that Senator McCain is going through is one that he can talk about, but I don't think anybody else wants to weigh in on. I'm certainly not going to.

He's got a lot of good people to choose from. My expectation is I'm going to be campaigning for the ticket, but I don't intend to be a member of the ticket. So, you know, I'm looking for John McCain to exercise his good instincts as he has in the past.

COLMES: You know we were talking earlier about how he considered people like Joe Lieberman. Would that be a mistake? Would conservatives go — get on board? Or another pro-choice candidate like Tom Ridge, would that be a mistake?

ROMNEY: You know I can't imagine someone like myself giving advice to John McCain as he makes a very critical decision. You know marriage is an important decision, and when you're the nominee of a party, who you're going to get married to as your VP is an important decision.

He's going to make that all by himself, and you know, he's done well in making decisions in the past. He's surprised people by the kind of decisions he's made, and they've turned out well, so, you know, I'd tell him just go with your instincts and choose who you're comfortable with.

COLMES: Philosophically, though, could you comment on whether it's a good idea or bad idea for the nominee — whoever it would be — to have a pro-choice running mate?

ROMNEY: You know I'll let Karl Rove do the discussions with regards to the process and the punditry, if you will. You know I'm happy to talk about policy, but I — you know, I'm just not going to give John McCain advice on the person he wants to be linked with in this campaign and ultimately in the administration.

COLMES: Are you going to be in Denver? I've read somewhere that you were going to be doing a counterdemonstration next week during the Democratic nomination.

ROMNEY: I'm not sure I'd call it a demonstration. I haven't participated in one of those in a long time, but I do plan on being in Denver and having a chance to talk about Senator McCain's positions and how they would differ from those of Senator Obama.



HANNITY: Hey, Senator, good, then we can walk through and offer each other, you know, moral support and mutual security. I like that idea considering we both need it.

Welcome back, Senator — Governor. Thank you for being with us. We appreciate it.

First of all, if asked by Senator McCain, you would accept?

ROMNEY: You know I think any Republican in this country who was asked by the nominee of our party to be their running mate would consider it an enormous honor and would accept that and do it with pleasure and pride.


ROMNEY: And I'm not going to describe my own sentiments, but I think you could expect that anybody who's asked is going to say they'd be happy to serve our party and serve our nation.

HANNITY: You had a hard fought primary against Senator McCain, but your relationship has developed. You're out there, you know, campaigning very hard for him, you spent a lot of time with him.

Tell us how your relationship has developed because it seems to be very friendly and very favorable that you guys are getting along great. Is my — am I observing that correctly?

ROMNEY: Yes, we get along fine. As a matter of fact we've known each other sometime. He'd campaigned for me when I ran against Senator Kennedy back in 1994. He campaigned for me again when I ran for governor. We worked together on the Olympics in Salt Lake City because his committee was responsible for some of the areas that we needed help on.

And so I've known Senator McCain for sometime. And, you know what, I think the —Saddleback, if you will, pre-debate was an interesting revelation to the people of the country about what John McCain is really like.

He's an easy guy to get along with, he laughs naturally, loves to tell good stories. It's really easy to sit down with John McCain and spend some time. I've had the chance to do that, we get along great, and I like him, and I wouldn't be campaigning for him if I didn't think.


ROMNEY: . he's the right person to be president.

HANNITY: Well, I got to tell you something. Wherever I go like Karl Rove, and I think you'd be the perfect choice, Governor. That might be the kiss of death. I shouldn't say it. But I think it would be a really good choice. I think it'd be a really strong ticket.

You did so well in Michigan in the primary. Obviously you have a history there. If you were the VP, how successful do you think you could be in campaigning in Michigan for Senator McCain?

ROMNEY: Well, I'm not going to speculate on what role I'd have other than being there campaigning for the ticket, but I can tell you that I think John McCain's message is going to connect with the people in Michigan because they have seen a — they've seen a troubled economy for a long, long time.

And John McCain recognizes if you want to see a stronger economy in Michigan and the Great Lakes states and around the country, you've got to get us off of foreign oil, you've got to be doing more drilling, you've got to have nuclear power.

Barack Obama is on the wrong side of those issues.


ROMNEY: John McCain wants to keep taxes down, business taxes down, that creates jobs. Barack is on the wrong side of that. And then trade. John McCain wants to open doors to American trade, and so I think — I think you're going to see the people in Michigan as they see the two candidates are going to get behind John McCain.

HANNITY: Governor, I have a sneaky suspicion, a pseudo sixth sense, that we're going to be hearing a lot more from you, and when you — if you become VP, don't forget us.

ROMNEY: I'll never forget — I'll never forget Sean and Alan, don't worry about that.

HANNITY: All right. Thanks for being with us, Governor Mitt Romney.

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