Ben Carson and Donald Trump at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., in March 2016. (Photo: Lynne Sladky/AP)
Ben Carson says Donald Trump’s list of possible running mates includes some awfully familiar names for anyone who’s followed the 2016 presidential race: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
“Those are all people on our list,” Carson told the Washington Post.
The retired neurosurgeon, who endorsed Trump after dropping his own presidential bid, said that while he’s a member of the presumptive Republican nominee’s vice presidential search committee, he has no interest in being considered himself.
Carson “understands he’s a lightning rod for controversy,” the newspaper reported, “and Trump doesn’t need help sparking fires.”
But just last week, one of those people on Trump’s shortlist — Palin — said that she doesn’t want to a “burden” for Trump, either.
“I just want the guy to win. I want America to win,” Palin said in an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union.” “And I am such a realist that I realize there are a whole lot of people out there who would say, ‘Anybody but Palin.’ I wouldn’t want to be a burden on the ticket, and I recognize that in many, many eyes, I would be that burden.”
And the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee may have hurt her chances of reprising that role in 2016 when she vowed to put an end to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s political career for not immediately endorsing Trump.
“His political career is over,” Palin said of the 2012 vice presidential nominee. “He has so disrespected the will of the people, and as the leader of the GOP, the convention, certainly he is to remain neutral, and for him to already come out and say who he will not support was not a wise decision of his.”
Christie, who has appeared alongside Trump at numerous campaign events since endorsing the real estate mogul, is seen by many as a shoo-in for a cabinet post in a Trump administration, though not necessarily vice president.
Chris Christie, left, looks on as Trump speaks at a victory party in New York City in April. (Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
On Tuesday, Rubio said that while he will honor his pledge to support the Republican nominee, he’s not interested in becoming Trump’s running mate.
“I believe he would be best served by someone who more fully embraces the things he stands for,” Rubio told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “And that is certainly not me.”
Kasich, who sealed Trump’s presumptive nominee status by dropping out of the race, has repeatedly said he has no interest in becoming vice president.
“Zero chance,” he told the Fox Business Network in March. “I have no interest, I’m going to be governor of Ohio. There is zero chance I will be anybody’s vice presidential candidate — period, end of story.”
As for Cruz, he made no mention of Trump in a speech at the Texas GOP Convention in Dallas on Saturday afternoon.
“We may face some challenging days ahead,” Cruz said. “But I am convinced [the conservative] movement — the men and women gathered here — will be the remnant, will be the core of pulling this country back from the abyss.”
Carson’s comments notwithstanding, Trump has not made his shortlist of VP choices public, saying only that he is leaning toward a politician for a running mate.
“I think I’ll probably go the political route, somebody that can help me with legislation,” he said earlier this month on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “And somebody that can help me get things passed and somebody that’s been friends with the senators and the congressmen and all, so we don’t have to go the executive order route.”