The Washington Times - July 10, 2012, 02:11PM

Urged at a town hall meeting Tuesday to consider Rep. Allen West as his vice presidential pick, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney said he’s open to different ideas as he weighs his running mate choice.

“All suggestions are welcome,” Mr. Romney said at the campaign stop in Grand Junction, Colo., on Tuesday, after the questioner told the former Massachusetts governor that the outspoken freshman Florida Republican could strengthen the party’s ticket.


“We need a fighter out there. I’ve been listening to Allen West talk, he’d make a great vice president. He’s a fighter and that’s what we want,” the man said, sparking one of the louder ovations from the crowd.

Mr. West, an Iraq War veteran, has emerged as a favorite among some branches of the tea party movement.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the party’s 2008 vice presidential nominee, and former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain, who led the GOP primary race earlier this year before exiting the race, are among those who have suggested Mr. West as a potential running mate.

Mr. Romney, though, continued to remain tight-lipped about his plans, and few expect Mr. West to get selected.

Asked whether whether he would select his vice presidential pick before or after the Republican National Convention next month in Tampa, Fla., Mr. Romney quipped, “Yes.”

“I can’t give you the timeline for that. That is a decision we will make down the road, nor can I give you the individual. I can tell you that the person I chose you will look at and say, ‘Well, that is a person who can be president if that were necessary’ — and that for me is the most important single criterion,” he said.