With Donald Trump now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, questions have now emerged over who he will pick as his VP running mate? With Dr. Ben Carson tasked with leading the search committee, the former GOP presidential candidate has hinted that Trump may appoint a Democrat or an Independent to serve on the ticket!
From The Wall Street Journal:
Just days after his last two rivals quit the presidential race, Donald Trump’s effort to choose a vice president is beginning to take shape and it could provoke the ire of conservatives in the party.
While rank-and-file conservatives are searching for a signal that Mr. Trump shares their values, Ben Carson, a former GOP rival now helping the presumptive Republican presidential nominee pick a running mate, said Thursday Democrats may be among those considered.
Asked if Democrats and independents may be on the target list, Mr. Carson said “Yes,” then added, “We would consider people who are Americans and who put America first.”
Mr. Carson is the public face on the search process, while top campaign aide Paul Manafort is maintaining overall tight control, according to people familiar with the campaign.
A spokesman for Mr. Carson later said he “fully expects Mr. Trump to choose a Republican as his running mate.”
In the interview, the former surgeon took himself out of the mix. “I’m not interested in doing that for a number of reasons,” he said. “I don’t want to be a distraction.”
For Mr. Trump, his running-mate choice could be the most important signal that he is seeking to unify the GOP. House Speaker Paul Ryan raised the stakes on the process Thursday when he said he’s “not ready” to support Mr. Trump until he’s seen more evidence of his fealty to conservative doctrine. “I’m not there right now,” he said. Mr. Trump quickly shot back with a statement that he doesn’t support Mr. Ryan’s agenda, either.
Given that Republican National Convention delegates aren’t bound to abide by his choice, Mr. Trump could face an arena of delegates rebelling against his running mate choice if he sends the wrong signal. “He could get to Cleveland and designate someone as his vice president and have the convention lose its mind,” said Erick Erickson, an anti-Trump conservative activist.
“Three weeks ago, I was on a call with some conservative activists and this topic came up,” Mr. Erickson said. “The consensus was that if you couldn’t get Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio on the ticket, that they would give a Shermanesque refusal to Trump’s pick,” he added in a reference to two of Mr. Trump’s former presidential rivals.
Such a plan would almost certainly have to be led, publicly, by Mr. Cruz, who has so far shown no inclination to do so. His campaign aides didn’t respond to requests for comment Thursday.
Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, said it is implausible that Mr. Trump’s selection won’t be nominated as his running mate. “I can’t imagine any scenario where the GOP nominee doesn’t have the opportunity to pick his own vice presidential candidate,” he said. But such a scenario nearly did play out in 2008, when then-GOP nominee John McCain was considering tapping Sen. Joe Lieberman, a pro-choice former Democrat, to be his running mate. The campaign reached out to people influential with convention delegates and concluded such a pick would tear the party apart, McCain aides said.
Would you be troubled if Donald Trump picked a Democrat or an Independent as his running mate or would it show strength on his part? Who do you think Trump should pick as his running mate? Share your thoughts below!
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