Updated Fri, Jul 11, 2014 9:40 am
Ohio’s Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has come closer this week to declaring he may run for president in 2016. Portman is also giving himself an out.
Speculation that Portman – a senator and former budget director and trade representative – is interested in a presidential run has been building for months.
And now he’s acknowledging he is among the speculators.
“We have to do some things to change the way Washington creates the disincentive right now for competitiveness and growth and instead creates an environment for success," Portman said. "And if I don’t see other candidates providing that who I believe can win a general election, I will take a look at it. But right now, I’m planning to run for Senate in Ohio.”
A Washington Post article this week credited Portman’s influence with helping Cleveland land the Republican National Convention – an influence he said is overblown. But as vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, he’s been meeting with GOP funders and figures.
He also made a high-profile speech this spring on fighting poverty. On other social issues, he’s opposed to abortion, but supports gay marriage.