Donald Trump could make his pick for vice president public sooner rather than later, if polls and predictions of his massive, five-state sweep in the April 26 Super Tuesday primaries turn out to be accurate. The big wins would likely put an end to the “Stop Trump” movement and clear the way for Trump to focus on the general election.
With his opponent on the Democratic side now overwhelmingly likely to be former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pressure appears to be mounting on Trump to select a Republican woman as his prospective vice president — even though when Trump himself revealed his three-person “short list” earlier this month, it contained names very familiar to Republican voters because all of them ran or remain running in the part’s presidential primary, and all of them men.
Those three names were Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, one of the first casualties of the Republican race; Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a former Republican candidate who was derided as “Little Marco” by Trump; and Ohio Governor John Kasich, who continues his campaign against Trump.
“There are people I like, but I don’t think they like me because I have hit them hard,” Trump said back on April 12.
But Trump also recently expressed support for Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin — a woman who was once described by MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes as “the country’s worst governor,” for her hard-line opposition to gay rights and other ideologically right wing policies.
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The 61-year-old Fallin, while not ruling herself out of the running as the Donald Trump vice president pick, said that she is instead focused on serving Oklahoma.
Mary Fallin talks about if she will be Donald Trump’s VP. pic.twitter.com/rprcHVMHfn
— Anthony West (@antdwest) April 25, 2016
While Trump has been criticized by conservatives as taking stands that seem insufficiently far to the right, a pick of Fallin as his potential vice president would go a long way toward alleviating that concern. Fallin is one of the country’s most conservative governors, strongly favoring rights to gun ownership, the death penalty — even in the case of botched lethal injections — and privatizing social security.
Watch an interview with Mary Fallin in the video below.
She is firmly against a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and a woman’s right to obtain abortions.
But there are several areas on which Fallin breaks with the conservative party line as well. She is a strong advocate of the type of free trade deals that Trump has outspokenly opposed, even voting while a member if the United States House of Representatives in 2007 against a bill to aid workers who lose their jobs when companies move overseas.
But the name of another Republican woman was thrown into the Donald Trump vice president pick pool last week when popular Fox News TV host Bill O’ Reilly all but demanded that Trump select New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.
“That is the only choice if Mr. Trump, with all due respect, wants to be president, he must give it to the governor of New Mexico. She cuts across all ethnic boundaries that he’s weak in, she’s very bright, she is a Republican conservative.”
Watch an interview with the 56-year-old Martinez, in which she criticizes Donald Trump, in the following video.
Other names that have been “floated” as possible Donald Trump picks for vice president include Bush administration Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — whose name was suggested by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani — former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and even TV personality Mike Rowe.
But one name that has not been mentioned would be the biggest surprise of all. In fact, it was surprising to see Trump himself post a tweet expressing sympathy for this particular candidate.
Bernie Sanders has been treated terribly by the Democrats—both with delegates & otherwise. He should show them, and run as an Independent!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 26, 2016
Would Bernie Sanders, who has spent his political career as an independent prior to his presidential run, be willing to form an alliance with Donald Trump and be open to serving as the Trump pick for vice president? His supporters may think so, with numerous Sanders supporters saying that they would rather vote for Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton in the general election.
[Featured Photo By Win McNamee/Getty Images]