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Morning Joe VP Sweepstakes: Pence, Flynn, Christie Touted

Morning Joe VP Sweepstakes: Pence, Flynn, Christie Touted

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.


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casualobserver | July 11, 2016 at 9:15 am

The result of Trump speaking less and being more measured when he does = the parlor game in the media “Guess the VP”.

Hopefully Trump won’t choose his VP based upon the wishes of MSNBC (or any of the lamestream media).

I can’t picture Newt as Veep. The press has spent tens of thousands of hours turning him into a negative so divorced from reality (sorry) that he’s almost a caricature. Also, the Republican establishment hates him, so a vote loser from both ends of the ticket.

Pence has the experience and ‘face’ for the job much like Biden performed the same role for our current president. “Yeah, we’re nominating a nut, but we have a stable VP in case he cracks.” Um. Relatively stable.

Senator Bluto Blutarsky | July 11, 2016 at 9:59 am

Hard nope on Christie. I can barely imagine Trump winning with the lemming-like nature of many Democrats, and Christie won’t help any in a general.

buckeyeminuteman | July 11, 2016 at 10:16 am

15 or so of the brightest minds in conservative politics were already in the primaries. If Trump wants to earn votes from people who have serious reservations about him, he needs to pick someone that is going to win hearts and minds on the right. Pence already endorsed Cruz (half-heartedly), Flynn is a Democrat, and Christie is a joke.

To unify the party, he ought to let #NeverTrump choose his VP. [/sarcasm]

    For the Morning Trump VP Sweepstakes I choose John Miller – if Trump can get that one voice out of his head.

      VaGentleman in reply to jennifer a johnson. | July 11, 2016 at 10:54 am

      Jennifer, that one voice has done OK for him so far. Better than the wise counsel of his opponents.

      BTW, have you figured out how to get your candidate elected yet? In case Trump doesn’t take your advice, your guy can jump in and win it all.

I wanted Newt to be president 4 years ago, but he’s a bad fit for Trump’s VP. He tries too hard to please everybody and goes all in on his favorite ideas.

If he’s interested, he would make a fantastic chief of staff.

Serious question: should Trump use his VP to attract #NeverTrumpers or #Berniebros?

I kind of take the #NeverTrumpers at their word, which means that they really will not vote for Trump no matter what, while the Berniebros seem to be just looking for a socially acceptable excuse to vote against Hillary.

    VaGentleman in reply to rotten. | July 11, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Serious answer: He hasn’t gotten where he is by playing the traditional political power game. If he chooses a vp based on his vision of resurgent American greatness he avoids the charge of pandering, doesn’t alienate either constituency and could well widen his appeal to the center as Hillary moves left to get the Bernie crowd.

    Whoever he chooses, the left will say it’s too far right and #NeverTrump will say it’s too far left.

    Barry in reply to rotten. | July 11, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    ” should Trump use his VP to attract #NeverTrumpers ”

    Might as well use it to attract left wing commies, as there is little difference based on their tactics.

1. Let us begin with the obvious. Cruz. Cruz’s behavior especially in the final weeks of the campaign was too hostile. He burned his bridges.
2. The oddball/dark horse is Ivanka. A much better liked version of Trump. I don’t know if anti nepotism charges apply here. Eric Trump said she would be Trumps best VP pick, but that it was out of the question.
3. Trump has said that he wants someone who can help grease legislation.
4. I think there are a lot of people you can rule out eg Rubio. They make impeachment/assination -uhm- for lack of a better word, rooters hopeful. He wants to pick someone who is close enough to his position to protect himself.
5. Christie makes the team too regional, otherwise would be a good pick. I seem him more as AG.
6. Sessions is out for similar reasons. Trump needs him in the Senate.
7. Pence is too GOPe.
8. Flynn?? I don’t know that much about him.
9. Newt. Too globalist.
10. On the antioglobalist front. Is Ross Perot too old? Is he still alive?
11. Pat Buchanan?
12. I predict Trump won’t announce till after the nomination is sealed. One way of controlling things.
13. 3 and 4 are diametrically opposite, but they are far apart enough to make predictions very hard.
14. Rand Paul would be good, but he has taken himself out.

    rotten in reply to RodFC. | July 11, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    The 900 pound elephant in the room that nobody seems to notice is that, by rule, the VP is chosen by the delegates and the delegates are packed full of Ted Cruz #NeverTrumpers.

    I suspect that is why Trump met with Cruz 2 weeks ago. He wants the right to pick his own Vice President!

    I suspect that is why John Fund is still writing about convention shenanigans over at National Review.

    The conventional wisdom is that the VP pick only hurts and doesn’t help, so Trump should get a loyalist without too much negative baggage in the role.

      RodFC in reply to rotten. | July 11, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      I suspect there may be some attempt, but…
      A lot of GOPe delegates won’t go against Trump to get Cruz as VP.
      A lot of Cruz delegates will want to give Trump who he wants.
      That means that as long as Trump doesn’t choose someone like Harriet Miers he will get who he chooses.

    Free State Paul in reply to RodFC. | July 11, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Your #4 is a critical point.

    Barry in reply to RodFC. | July 11, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Trump will pick his VP. The delegates will affirm it.

    The nevertrump crowd, a very small crowd, will just be disappointed. Since they are all saints, they will always be disappointed.

    Milhouse in reply to RodFC. | July 11, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Interesting constitutional note: if Trump (despite his bragging) doesn’t really believe he has any chance of carrying NY, then there would be no constitutional bar to his running with Ivanka, or with any other NY resident. You will often see the careless claim made that a presidential and vice-presidential candidate can’t come from the same state, but that isn’t true at all. They can, but then if they carry their home state its electors can’t vote for both of them. So if Cheney had not moved back to Wyoming, Texas’s 32 electors would each have had to choose between Bush and Cheney.

    Since the Republican majority in the Electoral College was only four votes, one would think they would choose to all vote for Bush and someone else, thus throwing the VP election to the senate, which would have to choose between Lieberman (267) and Cheney (239). But a D-controlled senate (with Gore’s casting vote) would then have elected Lieberman. Therefore the correct decision would have been for Texas’s electors to vote for someone else and Cheney. This would have elected Cheney as VP, while the presidential election would have gone to the House, which would have elected Bush 28-18 with 4 abstentions.

      RodFC in reply to Milhouse. | July 11, 2016 at 10:56 pm

      More Constitutional stuff. Didn’t Congress pass a law after RFK preventing relatives from serving on the staff of the President? Would the law apply to VP? Would the law be constitutional?

        Milhouse in reply to RodFC. | July 11, 2016 at 11:45 pm

        No. The the president doesn’t appoint the VP, and the VP doesn’t work for the president, so there’s no way the Anti-Nepotism Act could apply.

        For that matter it wouldn’t have prevented JFK from appointing RFK as Attorney General, because that is not “a civilian position in the agency in which [the president] is serving”. Its chief sponsor specifically denied that he had the Kennedy situation in mind. He said it was aimed at “smaller post offices”, and at members of Congress who were employing their wives.

    Milhouse in reply to RodFC. | July 11, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Further to the above: Suppose Cheney had not moved back to Wyoming, but the Republicans also carried Wisconsin and New Mexico (the two closest states that they lost), thus giving them a total of 287 electors. In that case Texas’s electors could have split. 16 could vote for Bush and someone else, giving Bush 271 votes, while the other 16 could vote for someone else and Cheney, giving Cheney also 271 votes.

    What’s more, Cheney didn’t have to make this decision before the election. He could have waited until the result was known, and then, if necessary, moved before the electoral college voted on December 18th.

4. I think there are a lot of people you can rule out eg Rubio. They make impeachment/assination -uhm- for lack of a better word, rooters hopeful. He wants to pick someone who is close enough to his position to protect himself.

See, that rat thar is darkly hilarious and a sure sign of a T-rump cultist!

Der Donald does NOT have AAAAAAAA position on anything. He lies constantly, but you can read his “core values” in his LOVE of BIG GOVERNMENT and his urge for authoritarianism.

It’s just who he is, and always has been.

If Trump wants Pence, the conservative with the one-syllable name (a really stupid criteria rule that Donald would like), the choice has to be made before Friday. Pence, you see is running for another term as governor and Indiana law prohibits candidates to run for more than one office at a time.

If Indiana means anything to Trump, which it likely does not, then the Hoosier GOP is in a pickle. Birch Bayh is rumored to be entering the US Senate race as the Dem candidate and if there is no name-recognition candidate for the GOP governorship, both Senate seats and the governor will likely be Dems unless Mitch Daniels can be enticed to quit at Purdue to reenter politics.

Personally, I think that Mike Pence should stay away from Trump because he is just not equipped to defend Trumpian lies.

Newt was the only name I heard mentioned that I was excited about.

Flynn is an actual Democrat, and supports their positions on literally everything except national defense.

Christie is almost as bad – nominal R that supports the D’s on every issue other than the NJ Teacher’s union having a death grip on his state’s government.

Pence isn’t horrible, but his caving on our 1st Amendment Rights was really pathetic. Couldn’t manage to issue a single statement defining the issue either. Communication skills of your average rock. Seems really – boring. What’s the point?

    Barry in reply to Aarradin. | July 12, 2016 at 9:59 am

    “Flynn is an actual Democrat, and supports their positions on literally everything except national defense.”

    Where have you found his positions, other than the social BS? I’m not coming up with much.