- (Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
David Petraeus, the current director of the Central Intelligence Agency and a highly decorated four-star general, is said to be under consideration as former Gov. Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate as he accepts the GOP nomination later this month. Interestingly, the origin of this information points back to President Obama.
Drudge Report first reported the story Tuesday afternoon, stating that President Obama told a top fundraiser that Petraeus is being vetted by the Romney campaign for the number two spot. "The president wasn't joking," the anonymous fundraiser told Drudge.
Petraeus, a West Point graduate who had a stellar military career before being tapped by Obama to head the CIA, has had his name tossed by the inside Washington crowd as a possible running mate for several weeks, but few considered him to be on the campaign's short list.
Petraeus has publicly stated on numerous occasions that he has no desire to run for public office. Nonetheless, so have other former military commanders, such as Gen. Ulysses Grant, who later became a U.S. president.
"I am not a politician, and I will never be, and I say that with absolute conviction," Petraeus said, quoting Ulysses S. Grant, who later became the nation's 18th president.
But when reporters attempted to contact the CIA chief for a direct response Tuesday afternoon, all they got was a quote from a CIA spokesperson supporting Petraeus' earlier statement that he was not interested in elected office.
"Director Petraeus feels very privileged to be able to continue to serve our country in his current position and, as he has stated clearly numerous times before, he will not seek elected office," CIA spokesman Preston Golson said Tuesday.
The Christian Post found a former West Point classmate of Petraeus who had not yet heard the news that he may be considered as a vice presidential candidate. However, the individual agreed to speak on the condition they not be identified. When asked if they thought Petraeus would accept the slot if offered, they were slightly pessimistic.
"My first thought is that he would not accept the offer to be a running mate," the classmate said. "Petraeus is one of the smartest men I know and he is a true leader. Settling for second place is not his nature and besides, he has as much or more power as director of the CIA as the president does in my opinion. I don't see an upside for him."
Others point out another obvious factor if he were to accept a GOP vice presidential nomination – he would have to campaign against his current boss, President Obama.
"Not going to happen," the classmate added. "One thing is for certain, General Petraeus has a detailed plan in place for the remainder of his career. If he does change his mind about elected office, it will be to run for president and nothing else."
Former Bush adviser Karl Rove thinks Romney could announce his decision as early as Friday, but no later than the early part of next week.
"We could get one on Friday because they've got a bus tour announced for four days in key battleground states that starts on Saturday," he said on Fox News. "My gut tells me though that it's more likely to come next week."