CLEVELAND - Sitting down for an 18 minute interview is almost unheard of for a local journalist in presidential politics. But, it happened with U.S. Senator Rob Portman. He sat down with NewsChannel5 for an extensive conversation ranging from taxes, to the Supreme Court, to race.
We met up with Portman at Tri-C Corporate College in Cleveland. Portman was invited by the US Attorney's Office to speak about efforts to reduce recidivism and prisoner re-integration into the community. It's something Portman has been involved with since 2004.
I asked the Senator about the impending decision by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the Affordable Care Act, and its expected decision to strike down the entire law or part of it. Portman felt President Barack Obama made a mistake by not including Republicans in the process from the beginning. Portman said the law doesn't deal with the explosive costs of healthcare.
"I ran into an employer in Cuyahoga County," Portman said, while sitting outside a conference room at the Corporate College. "[He] said, 'I'm going part-time, overtime. I am not bringing new employees and the main reason? Healthcare costs.'"
Portman said many companies are sitting on the sidelines because the Obama Administration is not giving business certain assurances before they invest.
"We need some certainty on taxes, regulation, on energy, on healthcare."
And of course, the elephant in the room was whether or not the Senator is going to be Governor Mitt Romney's pick for vice president. Portman did what actual candidates getting vetted for the job do -- evade the question.
"No, I'm probably best suited where I am," the senator said. So I asked if Romney asked him to be his running mate, what would he say?
Portman stuck to his guns. "Well, I'd say there are a lot of other great choices."
But as Portman continued to answer the question, notice what he did say.
"Over the years, my 12 years, I have been able to bring people together and solve problems."
Does that sound like he's telling the former governor why he should be his pick? Only time will tell.
You can watch the complete 18 minute interview by clicking on the video player above.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Fresh off his NBA Draft Lottery win, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert said Wednesday plans for Cleveland's second casino are still moving forward.
Cleveland-area churches gear up to help relief efforts in Moore, Oklahoma and they're looking for the community to help.