WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney's privileged background and personal wealth will not prevent Americans from voting for him in November's presidential election, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on Sunday morning.
"The American people do not want to vote for a loser," Boehner told CNN's "State of the Union with Candy Crowley." "They don't want to vote for someone who hasn't been successful. I think Mitt Romney has a chance to show the American people that they, too, can succeed."
The House speaker's own background offers a sharp contrast with that of the former Massachusetts governor. Boehner "grew up mopping floors and waiting tables at his family tavern" and "worked several jobs to pay his way" through Xavier University, according to the official biography on his website. Romney holds law and business degrees from Harvard and made a fortune with Bain Capital before turning to politics, and his father, George Romney, was a wealthy auto executive who went on to become Michigan's governor and later served in the Nixon administration.
Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama have traded barbs over who is more "out of touch" with ordinary Americans. The speaker did not enter that argument, instead choosing to laud the presumptive GOP nominee's character and career and to emphasize the two Republicans' shared goals of improving the economy.
"I've known the governor for for 15 years. He's a very likable person," Boehner said. "And frankly, he's had a very successful career. I think the governor should be proud of his accomplishments.
"He and I are both striving for the same thing: to make sure that our kids and grandkids have an opportunity at the American dream that he and I have had," Boehner continued. "Every American ought to have this chance. And I think he has a background where he can go and talk about how to create jobs, how to turn this economy around and how to give the American people what they want: more jobs."
Crowley also pressed Boehner for his thoughts on Romney's eventual pick for vice president.
"I think the number one quality is, are they capable of being president in case of an emergency," Boehner said.
Crowley asked whether Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), whose foreign policy speech at the Brookings Institution last week and proposed DREAM Act revision suggest he is angling for the spot, fits the bill. Boehner said he did, along with Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.).
"I could go down a long list of people," said Boehner. Ultimately, though, the speaker said that it is Romney's call.
"This is a personal choice for Governor Romney," Boehner said, "and I'm confident he'll have a running mate that will be helpful to the ticket."
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