With the 2016 Iowa caucus results behind us, Ted Cruz’s vice president choice may soon become the topic of the hour. Donald Trump and Marco Rubio trailed close behind Cruz, with both grabbing seven GOP delegates to Cruz’s eight. Ben Carson also managed to pull in three delegates, putting him ahead of most of the Republicans, including Jeb Bush and Rand Paul, who each only secured one delegate a piece.
At this point in time, all of the Republican candidates are tossing verbal mud at each other, which is not unusual for this portion of any American election cycle. As time passes, one winner will emerge, and then it will be time to forgive and forget. Assuming the Iowa results are an indicator for the future, it’s possible that Ted Cruz’s vice president pick may come from one of the major runner-ups in the field.
Donald Trump For Vice President?
In the fall, Laura Ingraham asked about Donald Trump’s vice presidental pick, and it seemed almost certain that a Trump/Cruz ticket would emerge since he responded, “Ted Cruz is now agreeing with me 100 percent… I like him. He’s backed everything I’ve said.” According to the Hill, the two Republicans do seem fairly compatible, since their positions on illegal immigration, Mexican border security, the Iran nuclear deal, and other issues are largely the same.
At the same time, Trump admitted that “we’ll have to go to war” if Cruz’s polls and delegate results began to catch up with Trump’s then-leading position. With war declared, the recent mud-slinging has included Trump calling Cruz a “total liar” since a recent Cruz ad claimed a “vote for Donald Trump is a vote for Obamacare.”
“Look, Ted Cruz is a total liar. I am so against Obamacare. I’ve been saying it for two years in my speeches, I’m going to repeal and replace Obamacare,” Trump said, according to ABC. “I don’t even know where he gets this.”
Trump’s attacks have even included calling Cruz an “anchor baby” over the whole birther scandal, which took the election bickering to a whole new low.
Was the inevitable fallout between the leading Republicans enough to remove Trump as a potential choice for Ted Cruz’s vice president pick? It’s too early to say, but in the past Cruz has suggested Trump could help him with trade negotiations and be put in charge of constructing the planned Mexican border wall. Cruz hasn’t specified whether Trump would fulfill these responsibilities as VP or as part of Cruz’s administration, but the opportunity remains.
Marco Rubio For Vice President?
Based upon the Iowa results, the second VP possibility is Marco Rubio. Ted Cruz has not discussed Rubio as a potential vice president pick yet, but he has stated that he would “of course” put Rubio in a cabinet position within his administration.
“Marco is a very, very talented leader. He’s a friend of mine, he’s charming, he’s an incredible communicator,” Cruz said back in December, according to the New York Daily News.
Rubio, on the other hand, did not reciprocate the compliments and went on the attack, so it’s hard to say whether he would be open to considering a VP offer on a Cruz/Rubio ticket.
In November, Rubio also made it clear that his VP brainstorming did not include Cruz. Instead, Marco Rubio’s vice president choice would be Republican New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, which would help with both Latino and female voters. [It’s also been speculated that Donald Trump may consider Martinez for VP.]
Ben Carson For Vice President?
Back in September, the Washington Examiner says Donald Trump would be open to having the retired neurosurgeon as a 2016 running mate since they had a “very good relationship,” despite having a “different style”.
“I have some great assets and he has some great assets,” Trump said at the time. “But we are both resonating, there is no question about that.”
By October, the polls of time had the media asking about Ben Carson’s vice president choices, but Carson believed he and Trump were not “compatible” enough.
“I believe that Donald Trump has been very useful because he brought in a lot of people, a lot of curiosity and enthusiasm,” Carson said, according to Time magazine. “And whoever the eventual nominee is will benefit from that. But in terms of Vice President, I would obviously want somebody who is compatible with me.”
The question is whether Ted Cruz would also find Carson compatible at this time. Based upon the number of Iowa delegates, Carson represents a distinct middle ground in GOP popularity, but that doesn’t mean Cruz’s campaign won’t target Carson. In fact, yesterday Carson accused Cruz supporters of telling caucus voters that Carson dropped out entirely from the race.
“I was reasonably happy today, until I, you know, discovered the dirty tricks going on — spreading rumors I had dropped out,” Carson said, according to MSNBC. “That’s the reason I got into this race, looking at the level of deceit and distrust going on in country.”
Otherwise, compatibility between the two Republicans seems to be high. Both men hold their Christian values in high regard, so it could be argued they would compliment each other as running mates. Reuters reported that socially conservative Republicans “have their eye on Senator Ted Cruz of Texas for the party’s presidential nod and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson for the Republican vice presidential nominee.” They would also have the potential to draw a diverse set of demographics since Cruz is half-Cuban and Carson is African American.
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Ben Carson The Best Vice Presidential Pick?
The retired doctor rose to popularity years ago based upon his comments about Obamacare, but his lack of political experience, and his willingness to speak frankly about hot button issues like homosexuality, has caused him to go from front-runner to fourth place. Conservative website Human Events claims Carson’s lack of experience holds him back from being POTUS, but they also argue Carson would be the best option for vice president, since “droves” of evangelical Christians would be excited to support him.
“Despite his lack of political know-how, Carson has a lot to offer on a presidential ticket—just not at the very top of it. Carson has an incredible personal narrative much of the nation will admire and relate to. He’s perhaps the only candidate on the Republican ticket in the past 30 years or more who can walk into devastated urban environments such as Detroit, Carson’s hometown, and deliver a message of hope and prosperity. He can also sell himself as an expert on health care reform and the need to provide an alternative to Obamacare.”
Who would you pick as Ted Cruz’s vice president assuming he wins the Republican nomination?
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]