Here’s The Pros And Cons Of All Of Trump’s Potential Running Mates

Donald Trump is in need of a running mate who can help him win the White House.

But who should he pick?

On July 4, Breitbart, perhaps the most well-known and most popular pro-Donald Trump news media website, launched a straw poll for users to state their first, second, and third choices for Donald Trump’s running mate.

The choices distilled from that online poll are listed in the below chart, as are the potential pros and cons.

Information courtesy of The Atlantic, other cited sources, and personal knowledge I have known for a long time.

Candidate Name Pros Cons
Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona Joe Arpaio Is well-known for his hardline stances on illegal immigration. Brings virtually nothing else to the table. Would also be by far the oldest vice president ever elected, being 84 years old on Election Day (the current record-holder is Alben Barkley, Harry Truman’s Vice President, who was elected at age 70).
 

Representative from Tennessee Marsha Blackburn

Is a woman. Is experienced with the legislative process, and therefore fits the profile of a VP who could, in Trump’s words, “get things done” with passing legislative agendas. Was a member of House leadership during the John Boehner era, which is derided by many conservatives as being one of the most, if not the most ineffective Republican congressional leadership in the history of the party.
Neurosurgeon from Florida Ben Carson Is well-liked due to his friendly personality. Is popular with social conservatives. Is African American. Is very inexperienced in politics; would bring little to the table if Trump wants a VP that would help him with policy, which he does.
Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie Is experienced in politics, being a two-term governor and a former U.S. attorney. Is a very dynamic campaigner. Is very similar to Trump personality-wise. Is deeply unpopular in his home state.  Is despised by social conservatives. Has been accused of covering for members of Hamas by prominent conservative activists. His support of a state-level version of the DREAM Act goes against one of Trump’s biggest campaign positions.  And of course, Bridgegate.
 

Senator from Tennessee Bob Corker

Like Trump, is a real estate businessman who entered politics and has bragged about “the art of the deal.” As chair of the Senate Foreign Relations committee and a member of the banking committee, he could help Trump in those areas of policy. Is not well-known, and is despised by hardliners who do know him.
 

Senator from Arkansas Tom Cotton

Is a military veteran who could assist Trump on foreign policy matters. Is young and well-known. Is highly inexperienced with the legislative process, as he has only been in the Senate for a year and a half.
Senator from Texas Ted Cruz Would end the Trump-Cruz schism that has divided the party. Is Hispanic. Would turn off moderates, who find him too extreme on social issues. Is despised by the Republican Senate leadership, and this would be a problem for Trump’s efforts to pass legislative agendas.
Senator from Iowa Joni Ernst Is a woman. Is a former lieutenant colonel in the National Guard. Is young and charismatic. Has name recognition. Is inexperienced as a politician, having served only a year and a half in Washington. Would turn off some fiscal conservatives due to her positions on trade.
Governor of Oklahoma Mary Fallin Is a woman. Is experienced in the political process. Does not bring much else to the table due to low name recognition. Would also turn off some social conservatives.
 

Former Lieutenant General Mike Flynn

Is a military man; would give Trump defense credentials. Is a registered Democrat, despite being an adviser to the Trump campaign. Would turn off social conservatives with his positions on same-sex marriage and abortion. Some say he’s too extreme on Islam even by Trump standards.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich His intellect and experience as former Speaker of the House fits the profile of a VP who could, in Trump’s words, “get things done” with passing legislative agendas. “Has been known to say wacky things on his own part, in addition to Trump’s statements.” Is despised by some social conservatives over his two divorces, Brings little to the table for demographic reasons as well as a lack of foreign policy experience. NAFTA, a free trade agreement despised by many Trump supporters, was passed under his watch as House Speaker.
Governor of Ohio John Kasich Is experienced in politics as a two-term governor and former Congressman, and therefore fits the profile of a VP who could, in Trump’s words, “get things done” with passing legislative agendas. Has a temperament that would balance Trump. His presidential campaign results have indicated that he has not capable of bringing much to the table.
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin Would increase Trump’s appeal with women and social conservatives. Is a woman. Would turn off Republicans who were alienated by her being on the ticked in 2008.
 

Governor of Indiana Mike Pence

Is experienced with the legislative process, and therefore fits the profile of a VP who could, in Trump’s words, “get things done” with passing legislative agendas. Is very popular with social conservatives. Has recently run afoul of some social conservatives over a controversial religious liberty bill. Would be forced to immediately resign his office if he decides to run with Trump, as per Indiana law.
Senator from Florida Marco Rubio Is young and charismatic. Is a Hispanic, and could increase Trump’s appeal among that ethnic group. Is experienced with foreign policy. Is Hispanic. He and Trump did not get along well during the primaries, and Rubio has expressed a lack of interest for that reason. Also was a sponsor of the Gang of Eight immigration bill, which is despised by most Trump supporters.
 

Senator from South Carolina Tim Scott

Is African American. Is well-liked by conservatives who know about him. Is relatively inexperienced, only having been in Washington since 2011. Has low name recognition. His main focus as a legislator has been on education, which is not a core issue of Trump’s campaign.
 

Senator from Alabama Jeff Sessions

Is well-known among die-hard Trump supporters. Is widely viewed as being in lock-step with Trump on immigration. Is disliked by libertarian-leaning Republicnas due to his positions on the PATRIOT Act and government spying.
Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker Has high name recognition due to his hard-line positions on taxes and spending and his infamous 2011 standoff with Democrats over a budget bill that sparked a walkout of Democratic legislators. Is weak on immigration, and is hated by some Trump supporters over this. His disastrous debate performances during the primaries cannot be overlooked.
 

Representative from Montana Ryan Zinke

Is very socially liberal; could appeal to moderates. Is inexperienced, having served in the House for only a year in a half. Is despised by social conservatives.

 

Regardless of your political positions, which of the above candidates do you think would help Trump the most in the long run?

Feel free to comment below!

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Cover Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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About the Author
James Kardys is a fourth year student at the University of Miami. He majors in political science and international relations. He has written articles for RISE NEWS since May 2016, and for Turning Point USA since November 2014.
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