Donald Trump on Sunday night denied the information about his search for a vice president that Ben Carson gave the Washington Post, saying that Marco Rubio is not being considered for the ticket.
Carson, who dropped out of the 2016 presidential race earlier this year and has since become a Trump surrogate, told the Washington Post that several of the New York real estate magnate’s former rivals were on the campaign’s list to be considered as potential running mates. After the Post told Carson about a poll of the best-liked potential running mates, Carson said John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin and Chris Christie were all under consideration.
“Those are all people on our list,” he said.
The @washingtonpost report on potential VP candidates is wrong. Marco Rubio and most others mentioned are NOT under consideration.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2016
Trump’s response Sunday night came in his usual form, on social media. He did not mention any of the other options by name, but said Rubio “and most others” were not under consideration. Most presidential campaigns keep their list of potential VP candidates fairly quiet until they have significantly narrowed the selection, but as the Washington Post noted, Carson gave his thoughts on the process with his typical candor.
Both when the retired neurosurgeon was running his own campaign for president, and since he has joined team Trump, he has often made controversial statements and seems to speak without concern for how the media will react. However, after his interview with the Washington Post, Carson apparently called to clarify his remarks.
“When it comes to who could be the vice president and you name a list of people,” he said. “I’m going to say yes to everybody, everybody could potentially be considered, doesn’t mean they are on the shortlist.”
The list of names Carson mentioned could be especially awkward for Trump because several are unlikely to want to join his bid for the White House. Rubio recently said he was not interested in being Trump’s vice president, and Cruz, who just exited the GOP primary race this month, often got into intense, personal fights with Trump, with Trump even suggesting Cruz’s father helped murder President John F. Kennedy.
Palin, Sen. John McCain’s running mate in 2008, also recently said she did not want to be a burden on Trump’s campaign despite her support for his candidacy. The former Alaska governor remains an extremely controversial figure and inspires significant animosity from liberal voters.
Trump has said Carson is on the committee to help decide his running mate, but it is still unclear who is under consideration to join Trump on what is expected to be a heated race to November.