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McDonnell believes GOP 2012 field is set

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Make no mistake, President Barack Obama‘s trip to Richmond on Friday has as much to do with 2012 as it has to do with anything else. President Obama is making an important visit to a key battleground to address perhaps the most important issue of the day.

But as the president arrives in Richmond, his eventual opponent is still unknown and may not be known for several months. Wednesday night the the republicans hoping to take on President Obama met for a debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell watched the debate with great interest, primarily because he believes the eventual republican nominee was on that stage.

“I don’t think anybody else is getting in, I think it is almost too late,” The governor told me during a wide-ranging one on one interview. “It’s September, it’s after Labor Day. There is kind of this top-tier that is being set and then some others.”

McDonnell will appear with Texas Governor Rick Perry, the current leader in the polls at a Republican party fundraiser in Richmond next week. McDonnell is close with Perry, but he isn’t prepared to endorse him or anyone else quite yet.

“I’m not going to endorse anyone until at least after November, because I want to focus on these elections here,” he said.

McDonnell reiterated his hope that the pick will be a fellow governor. He believes they contain the necessary “executive” skills that would be required of a president. Skills he believes are sorely missing in Washington.

Virginia’s governor told me that he speaks to all the candidates on a semi-regular basis, but the talk of a potential slot as a Vice-Presidential nominee has not come up.

“No, heck no,” he said. “That is a hypothetical thing down the road. I am going to let all the pundits take care of that, I am going to worry about governing Virginia.”

An extended clip from my interview with Governor McDonnell can be seen below:

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Written by Ryan Nobles

September 8, 2011 at 9:20 am