Sen. Ted Cruz made a last-ditch effort to stop Donald Trump’s momentum by announcing Carly Fiorina as his running mate last week. So now the question is: Who would Trump choose to run with?
With the Manhattan businessman on the verge of possibly winning Indiana’s pivotal primary and further strengthening his claim to the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, it’s not too early to start speculating on potential running mates.
Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C.: Ellmers said she voted for Trump in North Carolina’s presidential primary and praised him in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list. She was first elected in the tea party wave of 2010, which could help Trump with those who remain skeptical of the business magnate’s conservative credentials. But Ellmers has also faced criticism from the right for helping to pull a proposal to ban abortions after 20 weeks from the House floor.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.: Trump and Rubio might have been rivals in the 2016 primaries, with Rubio the businessman’s main antagonist before he dropped out. But Rubio recently told a Florida newspaper that Trump has “improved significantly.” Rubio opted not to run for re-election this year, so he’ll be leaving the Senate. Having a former competitor could also show that Trump is working to unify the party. Still, Rubio failed to rack up any major victories, winning only Minnesota on Super Tuesday, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia and was beaten terribly by Trump in his home state.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich: Despite being low in the polls and failing to win anywhere outside of his home state of Ohio, Kasich continues to stay in the race. However, despite occasional sharp critiques of Trump, he has posed no serious threat and can be seen as an olive branch to moderate establishment Republicans. Kasich carries more political experience, having served in the House and elected governor twice in a swing state. But he has low name recognition and it is not clear he could even carry Ohio in a Trump-Clinton matchup. Kasich also says he’s not interested in the No. 2 job.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.: Sessions was the first senator to endorse Trump. He is a vocal opponent of immigration reform, and confirms Trump’s credibility on the issue. However, as a conservative senator from Alabama, there is little that Sessions adds to the Trump ticket as its VP candidate.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: Christie was the first of Trump’s 2016 rivals to back him and one of his first major endorsements. However, the New Jersey governor is more likely to be attorney general. Both men have similar reputations as a loud-mouthed Northeast Republicans. Christie was also famously ridiculed for the glazed look on his face during a press conference with Trump in March.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin: The former Alaska governor and running mate to Sen. John McCain is still loved in some conservative circles. She is also one of Trump’s most vocal supporters and could take some of the heat off Trump for his comments about women. However, Palin was harshly criticized for her performance in 2008 and there are few signs that she has improved her standing among critics within the GOP. In addition, Palin has not held elected office in six years.