Condi Rice rules out being Trump’s VP

Condoleezza Rice, Donald Trump. (Photo Illustration: Yahoo News, photos: AP, Jonathan Drake/Reuters)
Condoleezza Rice, Donald Trump. (Photo Illustration: Yahoo News, photos: AP, Jonathan Drake/Reuters

Condoleezza Rice, who served George W. Bush as national security adviser and then secretary of state, has zero interest in being Donald Trump’s running mate, her chief of staff said Friday.

“Dr. Rice has repeatedly said in past cycles as well as this one, she’s not interested in being vice president,” Georgia Godfrey told Yahoo News in a statement. “She’s happy at Stanford and plans to stay.”

Rice will also stay away from Cleveland, where Republicans are expected to anoint the volatile entrepreneur as their candidate. “She does not plan to go to the convention,” Godfrey said.

Since President Bush left office in January 2009, “Draft Condi for (TBD elected office)” speculation has never fully gone away. She’s the highest-profile African-American woman in the party and a former secretary of state who consistently rates well with voters. Various news outlets have recently fed that fire. In the past week, right-leaning Newsmax and Breitbart News each ran a story touting the possibility that Rice, now a professor of political science at Stanford University and fellow at its Hoover Institution, might run with Trump.

The statement also amounts to the former top diplomat’s rejection of any efforts to draft her for an independent run for the White House.

But she won’t be entirely on the sidelines in 2016, either, according to a source familiar with her plans.

“She plans on doing a few events to help her friends in the Senate,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “She’s concerned about down-the-ballot races and wants to be helpful where she can.”

The source confirmed that Rice’s efforts, which are expected to get under way in late summer or early fall, will overlap with Bush’s own attempts to help embattled Republican incumbents worried that anti-Trump sentiment will sink their reelection bids.

The New York Times reported earlier Thursday that Bush had headlined fundraisers for Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. The Times report also said that Bush would help Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Ron Johnson, R-Wisc.