Portman to stump for Romney in Ohio ahead of Obama speech

Mitt Romney is deploying Sen. Rob Portman in Ohio on Monday to rival President Obama’s scheduled campaign speech in Cincinnati.

Portman will address supporters in Lebanon, Ohio, hours before Obama visits nearby Cincinnati. 

The Romney surrogate has hit the campaign trail for the presumptive GOP nominee frequently, in particular in his home state of Ohio, a key battleground in the 2012 election. On Father’s Day, Portman joined Romney at in event in Newark, Ohio; he has also attended Romney events in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

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The Ohio senator is the focus of frequent vice presidential speculation. Reports last week said Portman had met with top Romney campaign advisers six times over recent weeks.

In an interview, Portman also admitted meeting with Beth Myers, who is heading the campaign’s vice-presidential vetting process, but clarified that his meetings with Romney staff were related to fundraising.

This past weekend, Portman delivered the GOP weekly address, accusing the president of breaking his promises to boost the struggling economy and “doubling down” on his policy mistakes.

“The government-knows-best approach of the past few years has given us the weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression,” Portman said of the administration’s policies.