Virginia Mayo, AP
Matt Drudge is reporting that President Obama "whispered to a top fundraiser" that Mitt Romney has been courting General David Petraeus to take the VP slot. "The president wasn't joking," the source told Drudge.
"Director Petraeus feels very privileged to be able to continue to serve our country in his current position and, as he has stated clearly numerous times before, he will not seek elected office," CIA spokesman Preston Golson said Tuesday according to Politico.
Seeming to buttress Drudge's claim are rumors that Romney met with Petraeus in the New Hampshire, where both men own homes. When directly asked today if the rumored their meeting was true, Romney overtly dodged the question.
According to a pool report, the reporter said, "Governor, have you met with General Petraeus in New Hampshire?" Romney ignored the question, saying only, "Thank you so much, good to see you."
White House spokesman Jay Carney gave a stiff response on Tuesday to a reporter who asked about a rumor that President Obama had acknowledged awareness of the Petraeus option at a fundraiser.
“I can say with absolute confidence, such an assertion has never been uttered by the president.” Carney said. “And again, be mindful of your sources.”
Conservative blogger Ed Morrisey expressed doubts that this is a practical option, calling it "battleground shaping" to make the eventual choice seem less interesting by comparison.
The fact that the rumor came directly from an Obama fundraiser lends weight to Morrissey's interpretation.
"If Romney had an interest in Petraeus, and Petraeus had an interest in the job, he would have had to resign in May or June at the latest to resolve the practical difficulties of changing leadership in a time of war. I doubt that a man like Petraeus would leave his post without being properly relieved, especially in a time of low-grade war against terrorist networks, and even more especially to run against the man who appointed him to the slot," Morrissey wrote.
Eric Schulzke writes on national politics for the Deseret News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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