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Government and Politics

Portman acknowledges he's interested in a presidential run if ...
Ohio's U.S. senator has been moving up on the list of potential GOP candidates

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M.L. Schultze
Portman's speech on poverty at the American Enterprise Institute was seen as a sign of his moving in a bigger way onto the national stage.
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Ohio’s Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has come closer this week to declaring he may run for president in 2016. But as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, Portman is also giving himself an out.

LISTEN: Portman on presidential considerations

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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 and environment for success. 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 says 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.

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