Has Romney picked Gen David Petraeus to be his vice president? Report says Obama was overheard saying Mitt wants war hero as running mate
•Drudge Report says Barack Obama was overheard saying Romney was courting the popular general
•Petraeus was the most prominent military commander in the nation -- credited with stabilizing the Iraq War
•Tension between the general, who is now CIA director, and Obama over draw down of troops in Afghanistan
•Obama is thought to fear Petraeus' political power if he becomes a critic of the administration
By Michael Zennie
PUBLISHED:13:03 EST, 7 August 2012| UPDATED: 15:13 EST, 7 August 2012
Mitt Romney is courting Gen David Petraeus, the hero of the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, to be his vice presidential pick, it was claimed today.
The Drudge Report cites an unnamed source who overheard President Barack Obama talking about the Republican candidate's desire to name Petraeus as his running mate.
It remains to be seen whether the four-star general, who is currently the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, would even agree to such a proposition. In previous interviews he has said he has no interest in jumping into the political arena.
If Petreaus were tapped to be the Republican vice presidential nominee, it could shift the entire balance and momentum of the election -- electrifying Romney's campaign by picking a man regarded by most of the nation to be a war hero.
The pick: The Drudge Report says President Barack Obama believes Mitt Romney wants CIA Director David Petraeus to be his vice president
And Obama could find a fearsome political enemy in the retired general. The two men had a falling out after the president declined to follow Petreaus' advice on keeping American forces in Afghanistan longer.
The president is said to be nervous about giving Petreaus too much political power in his administration -- while at the same time worry about the damage he could mete out if he becomes an administration critic.
Drudge quotes an anonymous Democratic fundraiser, who says he overheard the president whispering this week about Romney courting Petreaus for the number two spot on the Republican ticket.
'The president wasn't joking,' the fundraiser told Drudge.
Romney is said to have met with Petraeus in New Hampshire, where both men have homes.
The White House swiftly batted down the report and said the president believes no such thing.
Game change: Picking the general, who has bipartisan popularity, could change the momentum of the race for Romney
'Warrior scholar': Petraeus, who holds a PhD in international relations from Princeton University, is regarded as the greatest military strategist so far this century
THE POLITICAL POWER OF THE 'WARRIOR SCHOLAR'
David Petraeus, 59, has become one of the most prominent military figures of the 21st century, thanks to a combination of political prowess and military savvy.
He was born in upstate New York and attended the West Point, where he graduated near the top of his class in 1974.
He quickly rose through the ranks as a promising Army officer and continued his education by earning a PhD in international affairs from the prestigious Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
His degree, along with combat command experience, led politicians and military officers to begin calling him the 'warrior scholar.'
In 1991, he was shot in the chest by an M-16 rifle when a soldier tripped during a live-fire exercise. After he recovery, he earned an early release from the hospital by impressing the doctors with 50 sit-ups.
He first gained combat prominence in 2003, when he commanded the 101st Airborne Division during the invasion of Iraq.
He became the father of modern American counterinsurgency after he oversaw the writing of the Army manual on the subject in 2007.
That spring, he was tapped by President George W Bush to employ his new tactics during the Iraq War 'surge,' which has been credited with stabilizing the country and allowing US forces to pull out.
The success of Petraeus' strategy, combined with his calm and diplomatic public persona, have made him enormously popular in Washington -- on both sides of the aisle.
In 2010, President Barack Obama tapped Petraeus to employ a similar strategy in Afghanistan.
He was appointed director of the Central Intelligence Agency and retired from the Army in 2011. The US Senate confirmed in with a 94-0 vote.
'I can say with absolute confidence, such an assertion has never been uttered by the president.' press secretary Jay Carney said during a daily press briefing.
'And again be mindful of your sources.'
The former Massachusetts governor overtly dodged a question about Petraeus while speaking with reporters this afternoon.
Allies describe Petraeus as a 'good soldier' who follows orders, but he and Obama had a falling out of sorts over the troop draw down in Afghanistan.
Petraeus opposed pulling American forces out of the war-torn nation when he was the top general in the country and asked the president to give the military more time to beat back the Taliban.
However, the president is believed to have listened to polls from a war-weary nation instead of his top general.
Petraeus confirmed that revelation during US Senate hearings on his appointment to the CIA.
The Romney campaign has been mum about its vetting process for the Republican vice presidential nominee.
Numerous names have been bandied around Washington, some seen as reasonable, others are long shots.
Petraeus, whose name had been mentioned by pundits but only in passing, is considered one of the long shots.
Ohio Sen Rob Portman is viewed as one of the most likely vice presidential picks.
Other possible names in the hat include: Florida Sen Marco Rubio, Virginia Gov Bob McDonnell, former Minnesota Gov Tim Pawlenty, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.
Petraeus could be a game-changer for Romney, who is beginning to trail Obama in some key battleground states.
The general hold a PhD in international relations from Princeton University and is celebrated as one of the greatest military strategists in a generation -- earning him the nickname the 'warrior scholar.'
He is wildly popular on both sides of the aisle. When Obama nominated him to lead the CIA, he passed senate confirmation with a 94-0 vote -- a nearly unprecedented unanimous vote in the heavily-divided Congress.
Petraeus is the author of the counterinsurgency strategy that turned the tide against insurgents in Iraq -- allowed US forces to leave the country with relative stability.
He also deployed the tactic in Afghanistan, to less success.
However, in 2011, he retired from the Army after a career that spanned four decades and assumed a post at the CIA.
When he took the CIA post, The Daily Beast speculated that Obama fears the political power Petraeus could wield.
Critics suggested promoting him to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the most powerful military officer in the nation, would have given him too large a podium -- one where he could control military policy by threatening to make disagreements public.
The Daily Beast also speculated that Obama feared Petraeus could become a deadly critic of the administration if he retired and entered public life.
Despite this, Petraeus has repeatedly denied he has political ambitions.
Read more: Drudge Report: OBAMA: ROMNEY WANTS VP PETRAEUS
The Daily Beast: Behind David Petraeus' CIA Detour
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