Romney urged to pick CNBC’s Rick Santelli for vice president

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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CNBC reporter Rick Santelli’s biggest fan couldn’t talk him into running for the White House.

But Jeff Kahn of the Draft Santelli for President effort admits he’s now on a new mission: creating some buzz in favor of presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney choosing Santelli as his running mate.

“Gov. Romney’s best, if not only, chance of defeating President Obama in November will be with non-politician Rick Santelli as his running mate,” Kahn said Friday.

He elaborated: “Rick Santelli complements Mitt Romney as a candidate. Choosing any career politician to run with him will not counter the voters’ concerns with Gov. Romney.”

“Rick’s populist appeal is broadly-based and includes, but is not limited to, traditional Republicans, conservatives, Tea Party members, independent voters, disenchanted former Obama supporters, and disenchanted with Congress, if not disenfranchised in general, Americans,” he said.

Tea partiers often credit Santelli for helping to name the grassroots movement when, during a show in February 2009, he called on viewers to launch a modern-day tea party. He hasn’t been active at all in the movement since then.

In February Santelli told The Daily Caller that he’s flattered by Kahn’s efforts to draft him into the presidential contest, but has no plans to leave TV for electoral politics.

“I’m flattered by Jeff’s efforts but I really love what I do here at CNBC so I am not leaving anytime soon,” Santelli told TheDC.

Kahn told TheDC that he has spoken to Santelli about the effort before. He said Santelli even invited him to Chicago to discuss the draft effort at one point, the lawyer said.

“I gave him a full-blown presentation, which he was impressed by,” Kahn said.

On Friday Kahn made it known that he thinks Santelli should have run. “The 2012 presidential election is critical to the future of the United States,” he said. “If he had run, Rick Santelli could have beaten President Obama, hands-down.”

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