Ben Carson was named as one of the prominent members of a committee to vet vice presidential candidates for Donald Trump’s Republican nomination, but already the two are in conflict over whether or not an Independent or a Democrat should be vetted as a candidate.
“I would rule him out. Or her out,” Trump said in a telephone interview with “Fox & Friends.”
Expanding on that, Trump cast a critical eye on the Democratic party.
“The Democrats have been in there a long time, the economy is terrible. The real unemployment rate is probably 20 percent. Jobs are leaving. Look at Carrier, look at so many companies. They’re leaving.”
Trump said that he is “going to pick a great Republican,” vowing to “have a tremendous victory. We’re going to win.”
Only minutes later, however, Trump surrogate Ben Carson went on “Morning Joe” and told host Joe Scarborough that he wasn’t ruling out anybody, including Democrats, reiterating an answer he gave to the Wall Street Journal:
“Certainly we would look at everybody,” Carson said.
“You know the question came up when I was interviewing with the Wall Street Journal if we would look at a Democrat. We’ll look at them.”
Carson continued, pointing to a candidate’s ability to uphold the Constitution and a consistency with Trump, the presumptive nominee of the Republican party.
“If there was a Democrat who strongly upheld the Constitution, believed in personal responsibility, hand up rather than a hand out, fiscal responsibility, strong military. We’d be willing to talk to them. If you know of any such Democrats let me know. But clearly you need people who are consistent with the views the President has.”
A spokesman for Mr. Carson was later quoted in the Wall Street Journal article saying that Carson “fully expects Mr. Trump to choose a Republican as his running mate.”
Since the Indiana primaries there has been an increase of speculation and scrutiny over who Trump will choose as his running mate. In response, Trump set up a committee to vet candidates:
“I’ll set up a committee,” Trump told the Times. “I think on the committee I’ll have Dr. Ben Carson and some other folks.”