With Donald Trump on the verge of possibly winning Indiana’s pivotal primary and having more of a case to proclaim himself the Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Sen. Ted Cruz made a last-ditch effort to stop Trump’s momentum by announcing Carly Fiorina as his running mate.
So now the question is: Who would run with Trump? Would he pick a member of Congress who could help with relationships there? Would he be able to find a Latino to repair damage he has done with that community? Here are a few possibilities being tossed around:
Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C.: Ellmers said she voted for Trump in North Carolina’s presidential primary and praised him in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list. She was elected in the Tea Party wave in 2010, which could help Trump with those skeptical of the business magnate’s conservative credential. But Ellmers has faced criticism from the right for helping to pull a 20-week abortion ban from the House floor.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.: Trump and Rubio might have been rivals in the 2016 election, with Rubio becoming the businessman’s main antagonist before he dropped out. But Rubio recently told a Florida newspaper that Trump has “improved significantly.” Rubio opted not to run for re-election this year, so he’ll be leaving the Senate. Having a former competitor could also show Trump is working to unify the party. Still, Rubio failed to rack up any major victories — winning only Minnesota, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia — and he was routed by Trump in his home state.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich: Despite being low in the polls and failing to win anywhere outside his home state of Ohio, Kasich has stayed in the race. However, despite occasionally making sharp critiques of Trump, he has posed no serious threat and can be seen as an olive branch to moderate establishment Republicans. Kasich carries more political experience, having also served in the House. But Kasich has low name recognitionm and it is not clear he could even carry Ohio in a Trump-Clinton matchup.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.: Sessions was the first senator to endorse Trump. He is a vocal opponent of immigration reform and confirms Trump’s credibility on the issue. However, as a conservative senator from Alabama, there is little Sessions adds to the Trump ticket.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin: The former running mate to Sen. John McCain is still loved in some conservative circles. She is also one of Trump’s most vocal supporters and could take some of the heat off Trump for his comments about women. However, Palin as a running mate was harshly criticized, and there are few signs she has improved her standing with critics within the GOP. In addition, Palin has not held elected office in six years.