The day after he became the Republican Party's presumptive presidential nominee with a resounding primary win in Indiana, Donald Trump started talking about vice presidential nominees.
He told The New York Times that he is likely wait until July
to announce his VP pick, and that Dr. Ben Carson would likely be part of the committee that advises him.
"I would like to have somebody who would truly be good with respect to dealing with the Senate, dealing with Congress, getting legislation passed, working toward something where we're not signing executive orders every three days like President Obama does," he told "Good Morning America" in a separate interview on Wednesday.
Gathered below are 17 people Trump could be considering for the vice presidential slot on his ticket.
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1. Ben Carson
3. Newt Gingrich
— While Trump said this week that the famed neurosurgeon and one-time rival would likely be part of the committee advising him on a VP pick, U.S. News & World Report noted
that when George W. Bush became the presumptive nominee in 2000, he said the same thing about Dick Cheney, the businessman, former congressman, and Nixon administration aide who ultimately got the nomination himself.
2. Jeff Sessions
— Trump namechecked the Alabama senator during his victory speech in Indiana, and Sessions remains the only sitting senator to endorse Trump, The New York Times reported
. When asked if he would like to serve as Trump's VP, he demurred, but did say he would undergo whatever vetting process may be required if asked.
— "It is an honor to be mentioned," the former House Speaker and presidential candidate told National Review
after The New York Times listed him as a possible VP pick. "We need a new Contract with America to outline a 100-day plan to take back Washington from the lobbyists, bureaucrats, unions, and leftists." Gingrich lost the 2012 nomination to Gov. Mitt Romney, but he has nearly universal name recognition across the country, and is generally seen as a successful politician who led the Republicans in flipping the House after decades of Democratic dominance. In recent months, he's defended Trump in the media, perhaps in an effort to win the VP nomination.
4. Ted Cruz
— "Would you consider Ted Cruz in your administration?" Fox News host Bill O’Reilly asked Trump the day after the Indiana primary, Politico reported
. "Well he’s certainly a capable guy, so it’s something we can think about," Trump responded. "It’s a little soon to think about it too much. It just happened less than 24 hours ago, but it’s something certainly we would think about."
5. John Kasich
— Ohio is arguably the most important swing state, and together Trump and Kasich could likely keep it from falling into the Democrat's column on Election Day. Kasich said in March that there was "zero chance" he'd be anybody's vice president, The Hill reported
, but things could look different for the governor now that he's out of the presidential race.
6. Chris Christie
— The New Jersey governor endorsed Trump in late February, and introduced the billionaire during his big Super Tuesday victory rally. He faced backlash for the endorsement, but his loyalty could possibly win him a spot on a Trump presidential ticket. Christie is relatively young, and his gubernatorial term ends soon, in 2018.
7. Marco Rubio
— "I have no intention of being vice president," Rubio said recently on Univison, The Tampa Bay Times reported in early May
. “I have said it clearly. And I’m always looking for a way to serve the nation, but I don’t believe that it will be as vice president and I’m really not seeking it, I’m not requesting it and it won’t happen." Though he may not be interested, the Florida senator is consistently mentioned as a possible pick for Trump.
8. Mary Fallin
— The two-term Oklahoma governor said that she is "100 percent" behind Trump after he clinched the Republican Party nomination this week, and welcomes any consideration as a vice presidential nominee. "It's a great honor just to be mentioned," Fallin said, according to KOCO-TV
. "My first and foremost goal right now is to finish our legislative session, but if I were to receive a call that said: 'I need you to help make America great again,' I'd be happy to take that call."
9. Nikki Haley
— "For Trump, Haley would help address lots of his weaknesses," The Washington Post wrote in February
of the South Carolina governor. "She's an Indian American woman who can help prove wrong the idea that Trump is simply the candidate of angry white men. She's in her early 40s while Trump will be 70 on Election Day. She endorsed Rubio in her state's primary, so picking her could put to rest the idea that Trump is vengeful and vindictive to anyone who crosses him. It almost makes too much sense."
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10. Susana Martinez
— The New Mexico governor is the first Hispanic woman elected to a governorship in the history of the U.S., and Politico reported that the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
has endorsed her for vice president on the Republican general-election ticket this year, regardless of who wins the presidential nomination. Martinez originally endorsed Rubio, but that doesn't mean Trump couldn't still choose her. As the governor of a state that borders Mexico, Martinez could help Trump navigate and execute his promise to secure the border.
11. Tim Scott
— The Republican senator from South Carolina and the only African-American in U.S. history ever to be elected to both the House and Senate, Scott would address many of Trump's perceived weaknesses, much like Haley. In February, however, Scott blasted Trump for not "immediately" condemning white supremacists, and told The New York Times in late April
that he was not interested in being considered.
12. Brian Sandoval
— The governor, the first Hispanic person elected to statewide office in Nevada, was reportedly being considered for a Supreme Court nomination in the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia's passing, but soon declined such consideration. Politico wrote in February, "let it be known
that his name was supposedly on a variety of vice presidential short lists."
13. Rick Scott
— Much like Trump, the Florida governor was a businessman with no prior political experience before running for public office. He even praised Trump in a January op-ed, and later endorsed him after the Florida primary, according to The Hill
. As the governor of an important swing state, he's a natural fit for the VP slot, but some say Trump already has plenty of ties to Florida, and would be better served by nominating the governor of another important swing state, like Ohio, for example.
14. James Mattis
— Retired Marine General "Mad Dog" Mattis, former commander of U.S. Central Command, could be a great military-focused VP pick for Trump, The Daily Caller reported
. A well-known intellectual, Mattis is currently a fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution.
15. Joni Ernst
— The first female combat veteran to serve in the Senate was asked by ABC News last year if she would be open to being vice president come 2016. Ernst demurred, but didn't say no. "Well, I think that's — that's nice," she said. "Did my mother pay you to say that?" After Trump's win in Indiana, The Washington Post wrote
that "Ernst has proven she is a gifted communicator and someone who might help sell Trump to the Midwestern voter he badly needs if he wants to be competitive with Clinton."
16. Sarah Palin
— Trump tapped the former Alaska governor and fellow reality television star to stump for him ahead of the Iowa caucus, and the event was well-covered by the media. While the pair might seem like a good match, Palin and Trump's constituencies may overlap too much. She might not widen Trump's circle of influence as much as others on the VP shortlist. After resigning her post as governor, it is also unclear if Palin is interested in holding elected office.
17. Oprah Winfrey
— Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in June of last year that he wanted the world-famous talk show host as his running mate. In a subsequent interview on Fox News' "Hannity," however, Trump said that, while he counts Oprah as a "friend," he mentioned the VP position as a "joke," Breitbart.com reported
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