Wolfeboro, N.H. — Mitt Romney’s wife has confirmed a tidbit about the vice presidential search process her husband largely has been keeping secret: He’s considering choosing a woman.
“We’ve been looking at that, and I love that option as well,” Ann Romney told CBS News in a joint interview with her husband that was broadcast Thursday. She added: “There’s a lot of people that Mitt is considering right now.”
The disclosure came as the Republican presidential candidate, vacationing with his family at their lakeside estate in Wolfeboro, faced mounting criticism from inside the party about the state of his campaign.
The down time is a chance for the contemplative Romney to consider who to tap for the No. 2 slot, how the campaign is going and whether to adjust strategy in a contest that polls show is close.
Romney declined in the interview to describe the status of the vice presidential search, saying: “That’s something I’m keeping close with my team.”
Ann Romney sketched out her own requirements for a running mate, saying the person should be “someone that obviously can do the job but will be able to carry through with some of the other responsibilities.”
She said the person should be someone who will have her husband’s back and who he will enjoy being around and have “the same personality type.”
Inside Republican circles there is speculation about who Romney will choose, with his self-imposed deadline for picking someone “before the convention” looming large. It’s the biggest decision he will make between now and when he accepts the GOP presidential nomination in late August.
Talk among GOP insiders has focused on men as likely top prospects, including Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
But other names have popped up, including New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte – who walked with Romney in a July Fourth parade – South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman.