VP contender Portman to counter Obama Wednesday in Colorado

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DENVER – One of Mitt Romney’s potential running mates will be campaigning up and down the Front Range on Wednesday, looking to run some interference on the first day of President Obama’s two-day campaign swing across Colorado.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, will be busy on Wednesday, starting with an early morning appearance at Johnson’s Corner in Loveland and finishing with an evening event in Pueblo.

He’ll be traveling south down I-25 with some of Romney’s top Colorado surrogates: state party Chairman Ryan Call, Yuma Congressman Cory Gardner and former Congressman Bob Beauprez.

After meet-and-greets with volunteers in Loveland, Adams County and Lakewood, Portman will lead a larger rally outside Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver around 3 p.m., shortly after the president finishes his event, scheduled to begin at 1:15 p.m., at the Auraria Campus nearby.

Portman comes to Colorado two days after Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, stumped here on Monday.

Portman, who could help Romney carry the battleground state of Ohio, is thought to be among a shrinking list of vice presidential candidates that also includes former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

An announcement could come on Thursday, before Romney embarks on a four-day bus tour across four swing states, or at the end of the tour Monday in Portman’s home state of Ohio.