Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee, he is considering “a bunch of people” to be his running mate, he said on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” Wednesday night, and on that list are several of his former rivals.
Despite frequently clashing with many other GOP contenders throughout the 2016 race, Trump told host Bill O’Reilly he would be open to looking at Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as potential running mates. Trump has been known to change his mind about positions and people, and just this week he went from suggesting Tuesday that Cruz’s father helped assassinate President John F. Kennedy to praising the Texas senator as a “smart tough guy” after he dropped out of the race that night.
O’Reilly noted this switch and asked if Trump would consider putting Cruz in his administration.
“Well, he’s certainly a capable guy, so it’s something we can think about,” Trump said. “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.”
O’Reilly then asked Trump about Kasich, who suspended his presidential campaign Wednesday after Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus crowned Trump the party’s presumptive nominee. “He would be a good VP because you’re going to need to win Ohio,” the Fox News host said. “If you don’t win Ohio, you’re not going to win the presidency. Would you consider him for that?”
“I would certainly consider him,” Trump replied. “He’s somebody that I’ve gotten along with during the debates. We’ll see what happens, but I have a good relationship with him.”
Kasich mostly stayed out of the fray during his 2016 run, focusing on an optimistic message and often delivering quieter debate performances as his rivals traded barbs over their personal habits and even the size of their genitalia. While Trump relied on insults from the beginning of his campaign, Rubio joined Trump with this tactic in March in a desperate bid to save his sagging campaign. But after alienating some supporters by stooping to Trump’s level and losing his home state of Florida March 15, Rubio ended his campaign.
When O’Reilly asked if Trump would consider Rubio as a running mate, the real estate mogul said he had gotten along “very well” with Rubio since the Florida senator exited the race. “I would certainly consider him but we do have a lot of candidates I think would be very good,” Trump said.
O’Reilly teased Trump, asking if their campaign slogan would be “Vote for Big Don and Little Marco,” recalling the nickname Trump gave Rubio during the final weeks of his campaign. Trump did not seem amused by the suggestion and retorted their slogan would be “Make America great again,” just as his slogan is now.
The New York billionaire has said retired neurosurgeon and former 2016 competitor Ben Carson will sit on the committee running his search for a vice president, but said he does not think Carson is interested in the position himself. Trump added he may also name other cabinet positions before the Republican National Convention in July to help appeal to others in the Republican Party.
Priebus said on Fox News Wednesday night now that Trump is the presumptive nominee, the party will have “time to heal.” He acknowledged the primary season was “contentious” but said he expects people to come together.
“A candidate can’t win without the RNC,” Priebus told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “The fact of the matter is, a functional, operational national party that has its act together on the ground is absolutely necessary. So without us, he can’t win.”
“He’s going to join the Republican Party and we’re going to be prepared when that happens,” he added.