Carson: Trump's Considering Democrats, Independents For VP Pick

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: May 06, 2016 8:15 AM
Carson: Trump's Considering Democrats, Independents For VP Pick

Update: 

Donald Trump on Friday morning said he would rule out choosing a Democrat as his running mate. "I’m going to pick a great Republican,” he said. “We’re going to have a tremendous victory. We’re going to win.”

Original Post: 

With Donald Trump becoming the presumptive GOP nominee, focus for many has shifted to who he will end up picking to be his running mate. But one thing that’s been assumed based on the names thrown out is that Trump is only considering Republicans.

According to Ben Carson, this is may not be the case.

The Wall Street Journal reports

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.

Later, however, a spokesman for Carson said the retired neurosurgeon “fully expects Mr. Trump to choose a Republican as his running mate.”

Still, if Republicans aren’t supportive of his pick, some say it could cause chaos at the convention in Cleveland.

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.

On Thursday Trump said there’s “probably a 40 percent chance” he’ll choose one of his 16 GOP presidential opponents, but indicated it was “unlikely” to be Kasich.

In addition to choosing someone with political experience, Trump said rapport will also play a significant role in his decision. 

“I think having somebody that can get legislation through and help me with that would be good,” Trump told CNBC. “Of course, always the first reason is if something should happen, somebody that can serve and serve well and be a great president. And that’s always—you always start with that. And after that, it’s really a question of rapport. I think rapport is very important.”