Ben Carson inadvertently revealed who is on Donald Trump’s list of possible running mates in an interview with The Washington Post on Sunday.
A Post reporter told the retired neurosurgeon that a new Morning Consult poll found he was the most favourably regarded among a lengthy list of potential options. Carson, who mounted a failed bid for the Republican nomination before dropping out and declaring his support for Trump, then asked who else was on the list.
The reporter named John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, and Chris Christie as other possible vice presidential picks.
“Those are all people on our list,” Carson responded.
His wife, Candy Carson, then cut in and said “well, not you,” implying that Carson is not being considered.
Carson attempted to clarify his comments after the story ran, telling the Post that he would “say yes to everybody” as a potential Trump running mate.
“When it comes to who could be the vice president and you name a list of people, I’m going to say yes to everybody,” he said. “Everybody could potentially be considered, doesn’t mean they are on the shortlist.”
Christie, Palin, Kasich, and Rubio have all addressed the vice presidential chatter in recent days.
Trump told the Associated Press on Tuesday that his shortlist for a running mate is down to five or six contenders, and noted that Christie is on that list. Christie later responded that being on a shortlist “doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot.”
Palin was asked about the possibility by CNN’s Jake Tapper last week. She said she didn’t know if being Trump’s running mate would help the presumptive GOP nominee.
“I want to help and not hurt, and I am such a realist that I realise there are a whole lot of people out there who would say, ‘Anybody but Palin,'” she said. “I wouldn’t want to be a burden on the ticket, and I realise in many, many eyes, I would be that burden.”
“So, you know, I just — I just want the guy to win,” she continued. “I want America to win. And I don’t know if I would be the person that would be able to help him win, Jake.”
Kasich shot down the idea, saying there is “zero chance” he’d be Trump’s running mate, while Rubio told CNN that the real estate mogul would be better served by someone who agrees with him “on his issues.”
As for Cruz, he hasn’t warmed to Trump since dropping out of the presidential race following a big loss in the Indiana primary earlier this month.
“We may face some challenging days ahead,” Cruz said during a speech at the Texas GOP Convention in Dallas on Saturday afternoon. “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.”
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