Mitt Romney praised his rival Newt Gingrich Wednesday on MSNBC but stopped short of saying whether he'd consider the former Speaker as a vice presidential pick.
"Of course I think that Speaker Gingrich has the qualifications to become president," Romney told Chuck Todd. "I've said before that anybody on the stage would be a better president than the one we have. I happen to think I'd be better than Speaker Gingrich; if not I wouldn't be running."
When asked if Gingrich possesses the qualities he would look for in a running mate, Romney avoided engaging.
"I haven't thought about my vice presidential nominee," he said. "If I'm lucky enough to get the nomination myself, I'll give that a lot of thought. For me the key is, is this a person who can be seen as an individual, who could take over if necessary."
Todd pressed, "I assume you wouldn't want someone you thought was a loose cannon."
"I'm not going to characterize anyone's qualifications for vice president," Romney said. "Obviously I think that the people on the stage could all do better than the current president. I sure as heck think they could do better than the current vice president."
It was an even-handed appearance for Romney, who has run a positive campaign while letting Super PACs do his dirty work. The Gingrich campaign, meanwhile, has grown increasingly angry in tone after positive tactics failed to maintain his momentum.