(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Rob Portman told ABC News today that he had six meetings over a six hour time span with some of Mitt Romney’s chief campaign advisors and did not deny meeting with Beth Myers, the woman charged with vetting a potential running mate.
“You know, I talk to those guys all the time on how things are going in Ohio and what the message ought to be back home in Ohio, so, it was a good-good day, we had six meetings in about six hours, so it was busy,” Portman told ABC News upon leaving the American Builders & Contractors Association in Washington, D.C., Tuesday morning.
Portman nearly immediately clarified his comments, saying that three of the six meetings were fundraisers on behalf of Romney where campaign staffers were in attendance and that they weren’t focused on the vetting process.
The Ohio senator said that three of the meetings were “more fundraising visits where [Romney advisors] attended them” with him and then he had “three meetings in between.”
Asked specifically if he had met with Myers, Portman did not deny that he had.
“Oh, I’ve seen pretty much all of them, you know, at one time or another,” said Portman.
When asked if Portman was with the candidate himself Monday, a Portman aide deferred to the Romney camp.
The Romney campaign, when asked about the meetings mentioned by Portman, said that Portman was in Boston for fundraisers.
Portman spent Monday in Boston, putting him in close proximity to both Romney himself – who was still vacationing in New Hampshire – and his senior staffers, who maintain a headquarters in the city.
Portman spent several days in New England touring colleges with his daughter and holding a Saturday night media roundtable in New Hampshire, where he told reporters he had “no plans” to meet with Romney.
The Ohio senator is at the top of the list of potential running mates for Mitt Romney, and has recently spent time campaigning with Romney during an Ohio leg of his bus tour.
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Z. Byron Wolf, CNN
Dylan Byers Sara Murray and Kevin Liptak, CNN
Dylan Byers, CNN
Dylan Byers, CNN