Ben Carson

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!

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

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

Ben Carson’s Supporters Are Really Pissed He Endorsed Trump

Ben Carson, the former famed neurosurgeon apparently can’t see into the heads of his strongest supporters.

Moments after confirming his endorsement of Donald Trump, Carson supporters rushed to social media where many bashed him for the perceived betrayal.

“I’m absolutely heartbroken that you have chosen this path! It destroys everything I believed about you,” Vicky Snider wrote on Carson’s Facebook page.

“I could not be more disappointed in you Dr. Carson. You are not the person I thought you were,” Lori Nea Trybus wrote on Facebook. “I feel misled and betrayed by you. I thought you had an unwavering moral compass, but your support of Donald Trump proves that you do not.”

“No no no no no!!!!!! Please Dr. Carson no!!! He has made a mockery of all you fought so hard for!!!! I am beyond shocked and disappointed that you would stoop to endorse that wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing……
I am SO disheartened by this!! You didn’t have to endorse anybody, let alone hiM!!,” Debi Sweet wrote on Facebook.

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

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

“Well I have just lost all respect I had for you Dr. Carson,” Brenda Koppenhaver wrote on Facebook. “My husband and I were going to vote for you and you had to end your campaign, which we understand, but to we cannot back a schoolyard bully like Donald Trump.”

Carson for his part said that the country is at a crossroads and in the middle of a moral crisis.

“We must be careful not to continue our current path, which is littered with uncertainty at best and ruination at worst,” Carson wrote in a Facebook post. “It is with that in mind that I endorse Donald Trump for President.”

Tell us what you think about Carson’s endorsement of Trump in the comments below!

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!

BEN Times: Carson Campaign Collapses All Around Him

Some twenty of Ben Carson’s top aides resigned last Thursday, throwing Carson’s campaign into turmoil with less than a month before the Iowa Caucuses.

According to CNN, Carson’s campaign manager Berry Bennet, deputy campaign manager Lisa Coen, and communications director Doug Watts all resigned following speculation of a staff shake-up.

The Carson campaign has been dogged for months by internal conflict and rumors of personnel change. According to Reuters, Bennet said his resignation was due to differences with another top adviser to Carson, Armstrong Williams.

Bennet blamed Williams for an interview given by Carson to the Washington Post in which Carson spoke openly about the problems in his own campaign, as well as a number of articles detailing Carson’s weakness on foreign policy.

“It’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen a candidate do,” Bennett said.

Williams has blamed Bennett as well as former communications director Doug Watts for not adequately preparing Carson for public appearances, and said that they chose to leave Carson’s campaign over being fired. Carson and Williams have both stated their belief that a change in campaign staff will reinvigorate the neurosurgeon’s campaign.

According to Politico, Robert Dees, a Carson foreign policy advisor and retired Army general, will now chair the campaign, filling another leadership role that’s been vacant for months. It is still unclear who will fill the newly vacated positions, but it is widely speculated that veteran campaign strategist Ed Brookover may fill the position of campaign manager.

Carson was in stiff competition with businessman Donald Trump for the position of GOP front runner in mid-October. Carson has since fallen to a distant fourth place behind Trump, Texas senator Ted Cruz, and Florida senator Marco Rubio in most national polls over concerns surrounding his lack of experience in foreign policy.

Williams stated his belief that Dees’ foreign policy and national security experience will be a vital asset to the Carson campaign and that his leadership will help to reinvigorate it.

If Dees does take over as chairman of Carson’s campaign, the decision may come with some degree of controversy.

In the former army general’s 2014 book, “Resilient Nations”, Dees argued that the greatest threat to the United States isn’t an external threat but rather the loss of the nation’s “spiritual infrastructure.”

In 2014 Dees also stated in an interview, “trying to appease the Muslim religion by saying that they are a peace-loving religion is problematic,” and that, “they need to demonstrate how their religion does not lead people to a final end state of violence and oppression.”

Despite sliding poll numbers and internal conflict, Carson’s campaign on Wednesday announced that it had raised an impressive $23 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. With the Iowa Caucuses only a month away, time alone will tell whether this staff-shake up will be a fresh start for the Carson campaign or the beginning of its end.

Cover Photo Credit: Marc Nozell/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Do The American People Like Liars?

By Alex Austin

Every four years, Americans go to the polls to decide who will be the leader of the free world. The process to get there is long, arduous, and full of talking points.

These talking points always have something in common, no matter which election cycle you look at. Partisan news outlets mud-slinging candidates they don’t agree with, while at the same time propping up those they do. Political ‘analysts’ who throw around buzzwords as if there was a bargain sale on them. And the collective populace left to try to sort out what is fact, what is fiction, and what is just plain ridiculous.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, the American people literally have over a year to make their decisions. The candidates for this particular cycle began announcing they would run in April of this year, and the first primary is February 1, 2016. That is a long time. A time where many things will be said, argued, and debated.

However, this length of time is good for one reason: it allows plenty of time for candidates to separate themselves, to show why they are different (read: better) than their peers. This desire for separation, to say and do things that each candidate thinks will get them votes, is both the most interesting, and the most unintentionally hilarious, part of the process.

This cycle, more than any other I can recall, has the most clickbait-worthy headlines.

If you thought that eight years-worth of Republicans asking whether President Obama is an American (he is) or a Christian (he is) was a lot of political toxin to swallow, then the sheer tonnage present in this cycle, most of it coming from those same questioning Republicans, may just be beyond your comprehension.

This woman has degrees from Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But that doesn’t mean she’s smart enough not to lie in this information age.

Interestingly, unlike the above examples concerning President Obama, where lies were spread to make a candidate look bad, this cycle has been home to a plethora of candidates who are lying to make themselves look better.

What’s even more interesting is that the majority of these incidents are coming from people with no political background. Instead, they are taking advantage of the partisan, paranoid, nature of unsure voters to buoy their campaigns.

Let’s begin with the most famous Republican candidate: Donald Trump.

Trump has had a hand in politics for decades, being a large contributor to campaigns from Ronald Reagan to Mitt Romney (and some Democrats along the way).

However, it seems that he has learned nothing about how to conduct an interview in all that time, as every time the man sits down, he seems to say something so jaw-dropping, so unbelievable, that you would think the video you’re watching was cropped together.

For example, his infamous rant on Mexican immigrants drew heavy backlash, including his firing from NBC. Many years, this would mark the end of a campaign, where people turn on you so heavily that nothing you can say can dig you out of the whole you have put yourself in.

However, in this instance, not only was Trump praised by fellow candidate Ted Cruz, but he is currently the front-runner. What does that say about the people voting for him? I’ll leave that unanswered.

Next, I will draw your attention to Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. This woman has degrees from Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But that doesn’t mean she’s smart enough not to lie in this information age.

As the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, and these three candidates along with their peers quite simply take this to heart.

During the September 16 Republican Debate, Fiorina claimed there was footage of a Planned Parenthood clinic killing, and harvesting the organs of, a still-alive fetus. However, within days, fact checkers tore her allegations to shreds. However, just like with Trump, after these comments, her poll numbers improved.

Finally, there is Dr. Ben Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon. Unlike the two candidates I have already highlighted, the questions concerning Dr. Carson have less to do with his positions, and more with his personal history.

His 1990 autobiography Gifted Hands has come under a lot of scrutiny, and for a good reason: most of it is fabricated. From claiming to be raised dirt-poor, to overcoming his anger issues, to being offered a scholarship to West Point, all of it is false.

What did Dr. Carson do in light of these facts? He accused the media of conducting a ‘witch hunt’, which prompted his supports to give donate $3.5 million to his campaign in a week.

So the question remains: why do candidates feel the need to make such allegations and accusations in bad faith? Well, it’s quite simple.

Earlier in this piece, I jabbed analysts who throw around buzzwords like candy in a Christmas parade. As the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, and these three candidates along with their peers quite simply take this to heart.

They know that the American public will take many things at face-value. They know that fighting against the ‘liberal media’ will gain them support and money. And they know that a million people shouting lies will always be louder than a million shouting truths.

Cover Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

This piece is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Rise News. 

New Poll: Trump and Cruz In Iowa Dead Heat

By Alex Austin

A poll published this morning shows businessman Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz neck-and-neck among Iowa voters.

The results of the most recent survey by Quinnipiac University of 600 likely Republican Iowa Caucus participants has Trump leading with 25 percent of the vote, and Cruz just behind at 23 percent. Ben Carson is third at 18 percent.

This is a major shift from just a month ago, when a survey done by the same university published on October 22 showed Carson in the lead with 28 percent, Trump with 20 percent, and Cruz at 10 percent.

Terrorism and foreign policy were the most important issues to the voters sampled, with 30 percent of those polled citing one of these two issues as the deciding factor in who they would vote for.

Of that 30 percent, 27 percent would vote for Cruz, enough to give him the lead on that front.

According to The New York Times, issues of foreign policy in the wake of the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris has played a major part in Cruz’s surge, noting that he has “aggressively criticized President Obama’s handling of the rise of the Islamic State”.

Furthermore, Cruz is against allowing refugees from war-torn Syria into the United States, an opinion he shares with 81 percent of Iowan Republicans polled.

Cruz was also seen as the most capable of handling foreign policy, garnering 24 percent of the poll, in comparison to Trump at 18 percent. He was also seen as the candidate with the best experience, as 75 percent of those polled agreed that he had the experience needed to be president. This compares to Trump with 62 percent and Carson with 49 percent.

The Iowa Republican Caucus takes place on February 1 of next year.

Cover Photo Credit: Marc Nozell/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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