Trump's Veepstakes Coming to a Close
With the Republican National Convention, a Trump VP announcement could be coming any day now. About ten contenders are up for the job, and while Trump has met with many of them numerous times, it’s still unclear who will get the offer.
Wednesday, Sen. Bob Corker made it known that he would not be Donald Trump’s veep pick after meeting with the presidential nominee yet disagreeing with his fiery rhetoric against Judge Curiel and Muslims. Corker expressed interest in working in Trump’s cabinet and plans to speak at the Republican National Convention. “I feel like I’m better suited to other kinds of things and I think there are probably better suited people for this particular job for now,” he told CNN. Corker recommended Trump’s daughter Ivanka as a running mate, calling her “most impressive.”
Corker’s out, but Trump still has a large pool of running mates to choose from. According to the Donald, he’s looking at about ten candidates now, some of which are generals. “I like the concept of the generals,” he said. “There are two of them under consideration.” All potential VPs are most likely politically experienced, as Trump is clearly lacking in that area and will need help getting legislation prepared and passed. As former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said, “Having someone who has those relationships in Washington is going to be a critical component of his presidency.”
Trump is expected to announce his VP pick next week to drum up excitement for the approaching Republican convention. As Lewandowski noted, many of his options are high on political experience and could give Trump the sway he lacks with the GOP.
Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama was the first senator to endorse Trump, and word is he’s under consideration for VP. Sessions is a strong supporter of Trump’s harsh stance on illegal immigration. He could help up Trump’s voting turnout in the south. He said it would be “an honor” to be picked by Trump, but “it sure won’t be me.”
Monday, Trump met with Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst and later tweeted, “It was great spending time with @joniernst yesterday. She has done a fantastic job for the people of Iowa and U.S. Will see her again!” Ernst has a lot to offer as an up-and-coming politician: she’s a woman, an Iraq war vet, and a retired National Guard lieutenant colonel. This means more female support (something Trump really needs) and military and foreign policy experience (two things Trump also really needs). Sources close to Ernst, though, have said she hasn’t expressed much interest in the spot. She herself told Politico, “I made that very clear to him [Trump] that I’m focused on Iowa. I feel that I have a lot more to do in the United States Senate. And Iowa is where my heart is.”
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is another possible pick. As Trump tweeted, “Spent time with Indiana Governor Mike Pence and family yesterday. Very impressed, great people!” Former Trump advisor Michael Caputo said, “I’m a Mike Pence guy.” Why? “First of all, he puts away some of the problems we have with the conservatives in the party who fear that Donald Trump is too moderate on certain policy issues.” When asked about the potential VP position, Pence simply said “I’m not going to get into hypotheticals.” Pence initially supported Ted Cruz, so he has not been a longtime Trump supporter.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is a big potential pick for Trump, as he’s been loyal to Trump for a long time. He’s also got the political experience Trump needs. On the other hand, he’s about as popular as Trump is, and that’s a problem.
And then there’s Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker. Gingrich has decades of experience to offer. But he was also forced to resign his speakership due to an ethics violation. Funny enough, Gingrich and Trump both have two divorces and three marriages under their belts. Gingrich is expected to campaign with Trump in Cincinnati as a sort of audition. CNN has reported Gingrich has already received vetting paperwork, and The Washington Post has reported he’s the leading contender, closely followed by Christie.
Vice President picks could be more important than ever this election with Trump and Clinton’s likability ratings so low. Candidates high on trustworthiness, poise, foreign policy, and political experience are optimal for both Clinton and Trump this year.