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Fresh off an Indiana primary win that cemented him as the likely Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump says he’s leaning toward a politician for his vice presidential running mate — and will make a decision on fundraising for the general election in the next week.
“I have the business — let’s call it talents,” Trump said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday. “And I think I’ll probably go the political route, somebody that can help me with legislation and somebody that can help me get things passed and somebody that’s been friends with the senators and the congressman and all, so we don’t have to go the executive order route as much as Obama did, you know, where he can’t get anything approved so he just keeps signing executive orders.”
The real estate mogul said it was “too early” to discuss specific names publicly. But Trump did say at least one military general is on his shortlist.
“It’s something I thought of, and there’s one person I think is very good,” he said. “Look, my strength is going to be the economy and jobs and bringing jobs back and trade deals. We’re going to make great trade deals. We’re going to reverse it, because right now we’re a laughingstock all over the world with the dumb deals we make. But I think one of my strengths is going — one of my really great strengths will be the military, will be getting us out and winning and getting us out of the mess we’re in, in the Middle East.”
Trump victorious at Trump Tower in Manhattan on Wednesday. (Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
Looking ahead to the cost of running a general election campaign — which some estimate could be $1 billion or more — Trump said he will decide “fairly soon” whether to accept money from super-PACs.
“I do love self-funding. I don’t want anything for myself, but we do need money for the party,” Trump said. “And I will make a decision fairly soon as to that. I mean, do I want to sell a couple of buildings and self-fund? I don’t know that I want to do that necessarily, but I really won’t be asking for money for myself. I’ll be asking money for the party. And really, it’s something that we’re going to start on right away. I got a call last night from [Republican National Committee Chairman] Reince Priebus. And it’s something that, now that we’re in this position, we’re going to start on right now and start focusing on.”
Following Ted Cruz’s announcement that he was suspending his campaign, Priebus declared Trump would be the “presumptive nominee” and called on members of the GOP to fall in line.
“It’s time to unite. It’s time to come together,” Priebus said on CNN’s “New Day” on Wednesday. “You may recall, I said we’d have more clarity in our party than the Democrats do. And look where they’re at.”
Priebus pointed out that Hillary Clinton — who lost to Bernie Sanders in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in Indiana — is “spending money on primaries when she should be having to spend money on ground game in battleground states.”
Trump said the ongoing investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state should disqualify her candidacy.
“She’s only being protected by the Democrats,” he said. “She should not be allowed to run in the election.”
Ted Cruz suspends his election campaign on Tuesday night in Indianapolis; a worker clears the stage. (Photo: Michael Conroy/AP)
Both Trump and Priebus say they were surprised that Cruz decided to drop out of the race.
“I was surprised,” Priebus said. “And that’s hard thing to do. I mean, he ran a very, very serious operation, just an incredible ground game. His delegate operation was unbelievable.”
“I did not expect it,” Trump said on NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday. “I started hearing rumors in the afternoon. But in the end, look, he was a very tough competitor. He fought very hard. And it was a tough decision for him to make, [but] I think he did the right thing for himself and for the party. But it was a little but of a surprise to me.”
Trump said he hasn’t yet talked to the Texas senator, but that he would welcome his endorsement.
“It would be nice,” Trump said.
As for some of his other former GOP rivals, Trump isn’t looking for their support.
“I’ve been saying for a long time that there’s some people that I almost don’t want their endorsement,” Trump said on MSNBC. “I really don’t, because it was too rough and they were too nasty. And I don’t think it’s going to matter, frankly.”