Veepstakes: Who Trump might pick?

Getty

Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump shifts immigration plan: No 'mass deportations' Evangelical leader applauds Trump for 'relationship with Christ' George Will leaves GOP: 'This is not my party' MORE’s strong night on Super Tuesday propelled him closer to the GOP nomination, sparking speculation about whom he might ask to join his ticket.

If he can win the GOP nomination, Trump will have to decide what he wants in a running mate.

Is it someone with experience in governing who could round out a Trump ticket for voters worried about giving the novice politician the keys to the White House?

ADVERTISEMENT
Or will Trump be thinking about the nation’s demographics, and look for a woman or a member of a minority group to provide balance?

It’s also a fair question to ask who would be willing to join Trump, who has divided Republicans with his rhetoric. A number of people in the GOP have said they would never vote for him.

The GOP nominee will have less time to make a decision than in years past.

Moving the national political conventions to July means both presumed nominees are likely to be made about a month earlier than past cycles.

And that’s assuming Trump, or any Republican, can win the 1,237 delegates necessary to win the GOP nomination.

Here’s a look into potential picks for a Trump running mate:

 

Chris Christie

Christie has to be at the top of this list because of his high-profile endorsement of Trump.

Once a critic, the New Jersey governor now says Trump will provide the leadership the country needs.

Christie would add executive experience to the ticket and he echoes Trump’s criticisms of Washington.

A counterpoint is that he also seems like a carbon copy of Trump. Both are outspoken East Coasters who have been described as bullies.

“You don’t want to make a pick who’s going to reinforce negative things about you,” Joel Goldstein, a professor at Saint Louis University School of Law, who’s written about the vice presidency.

Critics have lashed out at Christie and he endured ridicule from the media and political observers as he uncomfortably stood behind Trump during the GOP hopeful’s Super Tuesday press conference.

That raises questions about how well such a political marriage would work.

When asked about joining a Trump ticket, Christie kept the door open to the possibility, but maintained that he hasn’t talked to the real estate mogul about it.

“You don’t interview for those jobs, you don’t campaign for those jobs,” Christie told reporters at a press conference on Thursday.

 

Nikki Haley

Haley is a rising star in the Republican Party and the governor received high marks for her handling of the Confederate flag controversy in South Carolina.

She’s frequently named as a leading vice presidential contender, but may be low on Trump's list after publicly criticizing him.

Haley took a shot at Trump, calling him one of the "angriest voices" in politics in her State of the Union response.

And prior to the South Carolina primary, Haley endorsed Marco RubioMarco RubioRubio: 'I didn't run for the Senate to run for president again' Sunday shows preview: Next steps after Trump upheaval O'Malley gives Trump a nickname: 'Chicken Donald' MORE, but the Florida senator ultimately fell short to Trump.

Trump has repeatedly attacked Haley for her positions on immigration and border security. Yet, the GOP front-runner said earlier this year he’d still consider her as a running mate.

Haley would also bring executive experience to the table and could help unite a party that has splintered over supporting Trump. She could also attract female and minority voters to the ticket.

“You unify the party by reaching out to somebody who maybe didn’t support you,” Goldstein said. “One of the attractions of an insider would be to try and unify a bigger part of the Republican Party.”

 

Susana Martinez

Martinez is another lawmaker who’s regularly floated as a potential White House running mate. The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce endorsed Martinez as a vice presidential candidate.

The New Mexico governor has endorsed Rubio’s campaign and hasn’t said whether she’d vote for Trump if he wins the nomination.

Martinez, who’s the first female Hispanic governor, could give Trump’s campaign a boost of executive experience and help bridge the gap with Latino voters. She’s been critical of his controversial remarks regarding Mexican immigrants.

But if invited, Martinez would also have a tough decision.

Goldstein cautioned that high-profile lawmakers, like Martinez and Haley, might be wary of joining Trump's ticket and will have to come to be ready to defend his controversial remarks and positions.

 

Herman Cain

A Trump-Cain ticket would combine two political outsiders and businessmen.

Cain soared briefly in the GOP presidential campaign four years ago, touting his "9-9-9" tax reform plan. He led the field in October and November of 2011 before falling back.

Cain could help Trump build his support among conservatives while also reaching out to black voters.

Cain has also been quick to defend Trump publicly and hit at his rivals. Last year, he mocked Jeb Bush in an op-ed, referencing his own run and saying "at least I was once winning."

Earlier this week, Cain said the GOP would be "insane and irresponsible" not to back Trump as nominee and accused the establishment and media of treating the front-runner unfairly.

Speculation has emerged about the 2012 GOP hopeful as Trump's running mate.

The retired CEO of Godfather's Pizza would bring additional business experience. A Trump-Cain ticket, though, could have trouble with voters worried about governing experience: both have never held elected office.

 

Scott Brown

Earlier this year, Trump floated Brown as a running mate, saying he’d make a “very good” vice president.

The former Massachusetts senator, who unsuccessfully ran for Senate in New Hampshire two years ago, endorsed Trump in February.

Brown could give him appeal among more moderate voters and help Trump make inroads in blue-state New England, opening up the electoral map.

His tenure in the Senate gives the ticket Washington experience.

Brown’s tenure in the upper chamber was short, helping him argue that he's not a career politician. But he also faced heated criticism for moving to New Hampshire to run for the Senate there, with Democrats labeling him a carpetbagger. 

 

Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnWhy won’t Obama’s FCC leave Us alone? Calls for Lynch to resign over claim that ‘love’ is best response to terror GOP targets net neutrality despite court ruling MORE

Blackburn, who’s leading the House panel investigating Planned Parenthood, could help boost Trump's standing among Republicans who worry the businessman isn't a true conservative.

She could also help Trump reach out to female voters.

Blackburn has brushed off rumors that she’s being vetted for vice president, but expressed her interest in having a woman on the ticket. “I don’t know of anybody that would not consider,” she said.

At CPAC on Friday, Blackburn said she’d consider sharing a ticket with Trump.

The Tennessee congresswoman was critical of Trump for not disavowing former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke in a recent CNN interview. Trump has since repudiated Duke’s support.

Blackburn has also been in Congress since 2003, a boost for Trump if he wins the nomination and looks to strengthen his ties with congressional Republicans.