Ohio Sen. Rob Portman says he will not run for president in 2016, choosing instead to seek a second term in the Senate over the Republican nomination for the White House. The former White House budget chief says he feels he can play an important role as a member of the new GOP majority in the Senate, where he wants to help break the gridlock that has largely paralyzed Congress the past two years. "I'm excited about it," he said in an interview yesterday, adding that he didn't think he could be as effective as a senator while at the same time running for president.
Portman, who was on Mitt Romney's short list of potential running mates in 2012, was one of four senators considering a presidential run. The others—Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Ted Cruz of Texas—are still weighing a decision. Portman drew nationwide attention last year when he announced he had reversed his position on same-sex marriage and would now support it. He said the change came after soul-searching on the issue after his son Will, then in college, told his parents that he was gay. Portman says his decision not to run didn't revolve around that issue, although some conservatives, including leaders of the National Organization for Marriage, had pledged to oppose his potential bid.