- - Sunday, May 6, 2012

President Obama invited French president-elect Francois Hollande to the White House later this month, expressing hope the two would work “closely,” a spokesman said Sunday.

In a telephone call to congratulate Mr. Hollande on his election victory, Mr. Obama “indicated that he looks forward to working closely with Mr. Hollande and his government on a range of shared economic and security challenges,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.

Mr. Obama and Mr. Hollande “each reaffirmed the important and enduring alliance between the people of the United States and France,” the statement read.

Mr. Hollande was elected Sunday as France’s first Socialist president in nearly two decades, dealing a humiliating defeat to incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy and shaking up European politics.

The U.S. president is scheduled to host the leaders of the Group of Eight at his Camp David retreat in Maryland on May 18-19, followed by the NATO trans-Atlantic alliance summit in Chicago on May 20-21.

In his call to Mr. Hollande, the president “proposed that they meet beforehand at the White House” for a bilateral talk, Mr. Carney said. 

PENNSYLVANIA

Romney is a grandfather again to twin boys

PITTSBURGH — Mitt Romney is a grandfather again, and he has a surrogate to thank.

Tagg Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s oldest son, announced Friday he has newborn twin sons. Tagg Romney tweeted “big thanks” to the surrogate who gave birth to the twins. David Mitt and William Ryder were born on Friday.

The two additions mean Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, now have 18 grandchildren. The oldest is 16.

Mrs. Romney tweeted her congratulations. “Grandchildren 17 and 18 are here,” she wrote on Twitter. “We can’t wait to meet David and William.”

Tagg, 42, and his wife, Jen, 39, have appeared on the campaign trail with the former Massachusetts governor, sometimes with their four other children. This is the second time the couple has used a surrogate. Their son Jonathan was born in 2010 via a surrogate.

Tagg Romney spoke with the Mormon Church about his family’s plans before the children were born, a campaign aide said. Michael Purdy, a spokesman for the LDS Church, said the church discourages surrogate motherhood but leaves the decision to individual members.

There is some opposition to surrogacy among social conservatives. The in-vitro fertilization that’s required can cause the destruction of embryos, a problem for some anti-abortion groups

MAINE

Paul wins majority of state’s delegates

AUGUSTA — Maine Republicans have handed Rep. Ron Paul of Texas a late state victory.

Mr. Paul’s supporters wrested control of the state party convention and elected 15 at-large delegates from Maine to the GOP nominating convention in Tampa, Fla. The other delegation seats remained undecided. Maine is allotted 24 delegates to the national convention.

The libertarian-leaning congressman is the last challenger to remain in the contest for the Republican nomination. Saturday’s turn of events in a neighboring state to where Mr. Romney served as governor would indicate the GOP has not yet united behind the presumptive nominee, and there are indications the infighting may last all the way to the national convention.

 

With 36 percent of the vote, Mr. Paul finished a close second behind Mr. Romney’s 39 percent in February’s GOP caucuses.

CAMPAIGN

McCain: Romney’s No. 2 pick must have his trust

Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, had some advice Sunday for his successor as Republican presidential nominee: Choose someone you trust for vice president.

Mr. McCain, who lost the 2008 election to Democrat Barack Obama, picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. His choice of the little known Alaska governor with limited experience on the national stage fired up the Republican Party’s conservative base, but failed to stem a Democratic tide.

Mr. McCain was asked on ABC’s “This Week” how he would advise former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney about picking a running mate.

“I think it’s a person that he knows he could trust, and the primary [-] the absolute, most important aspect is, if something happened to him, would that person be well qualified to take that place?” Mr. McCain said.

“I happen to believe that was the primary factor in my decision in 2008. And I know it will be Mitt’s,” Mr. McCain said.

WHITE HOUSE

Biden jokes about 2016 run with Hillary Rodham Clinton

Vice President Joseph R. Biden joked that he might be interested in running in 2016 paired on a ticket with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“I think we may run as a team,” Mr. Biden told NBC’s “Meet The Press” when asked to discuss his political future.

“I’m only joking obviously,” Mr. Biden quickly added. “I don’t know. I don’t know whether I’m going to run and Hillary doesn’t know whether she’s going to run.”

Mrs. Clinton, who ran a tight campaign against Mr. Obama in 2008 in a failed bid to win the Democratic nomination, has ruled out any further White House bids.

But Mr. Biden said he was entirely certain that he will be Mr. Obama’s 2012 running mate, despite speculation the president would try to strengthen the ticket’s appeal by choosing Mrs. Clinton instead.

“There is no question about it. There’s no way out. They’ve already printed Obama-Biden” campaign posters, he said. “You are looking at the vice presidential candidate of the United States of America.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports