Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said Tuesday he has decided against running for president in 2016.
“I don’t think I can run for president and be an effective senator at the same time,” Portman said in a statement.
Portman, who has been on the vice presidential shortlist for past Republican presidential nominees, said he will focus on running for re-election to the Senate in the perennial swing state where he lives.
“With the new Republican majority, I see a real opportunity over the next two years to break the gridlock in Washington and actually get things done to help Ohioans and all Americans,” he said. “That’s where I believe I can play the most constructive role.”
“Among other things, we now have the chance to fix the out-of-date, uncompetitive tax code to increase pay checks of American workers rather than encouraging companies to take their jobs overseas, cut red tape to help small businesses grow again, and stop the overreach by the Obama Administration,” the senator said.
Back in the fall, Portman, who took a trip to New Hampshire, said he was thinking about running for the White House.
Portman was the former director of the Office of Management and Budget under George W. Bush. He is also a lawyer, a former congressman and United States trade representative.
During debate practices with Republicans over the last few presidential campaign cycles, Portman took on the the roles of Al Gore, Joe Lieberman, John Edwards and — in 2012, for Mitt Romney — Barack Obama.
He was also considered for vice president by Republican nominees John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.