Newt Out of the Running?
It’s the Donald Trump veep sweepstakes! Step right up and take your pick . . . The Morning Joe crew had fun playing the game this morning.
Mark Halperin pushed Indiana governor Mike Pence, saying he was someone that people would look at and say he was a responsible choice. Harold Ford, Jr. suggested a general, to shore up Trump’s military credentials—and retired General Mike Flynn’s name has been floated. Mika Brzezinski, without naming names, pushed hard for someone with foreign policy experience. Finally, Joe Scarborough made the case for Chris Christie as a tough, reliable campaigner: someone who is “not going to embarrass you and chances are pretty good he’s going to embarrass the other side.”
Weigh in, readers: who should Trump take as his running mate, and why?
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: With the Republican National Convention just a week away, Donald Trump’s decision on a vice-presidential running mate could come any day now. Robert Costa of the Washington Post reports that Trump did not hold any meetings this weekend with vice-presidential prospects, instead meeting with staff and spending time with family. He returns to the campaign trail today in Virginia with new Jersey governor Chris Christie at his side who was being formally vetted by the Trump campaign. And tomorrow, Trump campaigns in Indiana with Governor Mike Pence, who is also formally under consideration. An Indiana delegate to the convention says Pence has a 95% chance of being the pick. Do you think that’s true, Mike Halperin?
MARK HALPERIN: 95 seems a little high.
MIKA: That seems a tad high! Mike Pence?
JOE SCARBOROUGH: And a dark horse emerged this weekend with reports Donald Trump is seriously considering retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. He’s a registered Democrat and he raised eyebrows yesterday when he was asked where he stood on the issue of abortion.
MICHAEL FLYNN: Abortion, I think it’s, I think for women, and these are difficult issues. But I think women have to be able to choose what they, you know, that sort of a right of choice. But I think that’s a difficult, legal decision and I think that women are so important in that decision-making process.
. . .
JOE: Mark Halperin, is Mike Pence ahead in this thing? Is the General ahead? Who? We didn’t even hear Newt this weekend.
HALPERIN: My sense is that it’s impossible for any of the five of us to say who it is because I don’t think Donald Trump knows.
MIKA: It’s got to be someone with foreign-policy experience.
HALPERIN: He’s in a phase now, I’ve seen this before with other nominees, he’s in the phase where he recognizes there seems like a lot of good choices and then you start going one-by-one and it’s like: uh, everybody’s got flaws. And there’s a lot of pressure, and he understands. He’s asked about it all the time. He’s asking people about it all the time. He knows that a good pick really helps his chance of winning and a bad pick —
JOE: Who’s his best pick?
HALPERIN: Um, of the people under consideration, I think Mike Pence might actually be the best pick. Everybody has downsides; I could tell you all the reasons not to pick Mike Pence. But to me, from the beginning, he needs someone who the country will look at and say: that’s a responsible choice; you’ve picked someone who could step in if something happened to you.
MIKA: Does he have foreign policy experience?
HALPERIN: He’s got a lot of foreign policy experience from his time on Capitol Hill. His resume is very similar to John Kasich’s, which is to say, Washington and national security experience from his time in the House, and now the governor of a Midwestern state.
. . . .
JOE: VP pick, what do you think, Harold? What’s his best VP pick?
HAROLD FORD, JR.: Far be it for me to give him advice but someone in the military would be more helpful. I served with Mike Pence, he’s a good guy. We don’t agree on a lot of things but he certainly wouldn’t be a bad pick. Someone who can help shore up military experience in a direct and obvious way.
MIKA: How he would deal with ISIS and if he understands geo politics. I think he needs someone to fill that void.
. . .
MIKA: So who you think is going to be the vice-presidential pick, Joe?
JOE: Well I think of the names chosen, my concern about Mike Pence is, you never know how somebody’s going to act on the national stage. You know the national stage: it’s easy to get out there and say some pretty dumb things even if you’re a smart guy. Same thing with a general. I would warn everybody away from the general only because you look at what happened with Wesley Clark the first couple of days.
AL SHARPTON: I was in that race.
JOE: Yeah! You want somebody that’s been on the big stage, that excels on the big stage and, really, you’ve got Newt Gingrich who’s all over the place and then you’ve got the guy who was one in the best campaigners in the Fall and the guy who finished Marco Rubio’s campaign single-handedly and that’s Chris Christie. He’s got low approval ratings in New Jersey.
MIKA: Think you need a foreign policy —
JOE: You’ve got all that stuff but I will tell you Chris Christie’s a guy you know you can put out there, he’s not going to embarrass you and chances are pretty good he’s going to embarrass the other side. If Hillary Clinton were to pick Elizabeth Warren and then Elizabeth Warren and Chris Christie would be two able number twos going after each other.
MIKA: God, that’s just wishful thinking. Now you all just stop it.
JOE: Mark Halperin?
HALPERIN: I think picking a pro-choice person or someone who was never been in elective politics is just too big a risk.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.