GOP Candidates Deny VP Interest As Veepstakes Heat Up

From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

With the 2016 presidential primaries beginning to wind down, speculation is growing as to who the GOP nominee will eventually pick as a running mate. But current and recent candidates are doing their best to emphasize their lack of interest.

Earlier this week, both John Kasich and Ted Cruz were asked about the possibility of joining a Donald Trump ticket – and both vociferously denied they would accept such an offer:

“There is zero chance that I’d be vice president with either of them,” Kasich said in an interview on CNN. “Below zero, actually. Not interested.”

Asked the same question in a separate interview with CNN, Cruz also said he had “zero interest whatsoever” in being Trump’s vice president.

Given the increasingly hostile campaign being waged between Trump and Cruz, and the fact that Cruz still has a chance at beating out Trump for the nomination, it’s unsurprising that the Texas Senator would rule out the possibility of joining forces with his present rival.

Kasich, on the other hand, has been floated by multiple pundits as a possible Trump VP pick, and even Cruz suggested Kasich might be staying in the race as a way of “auditioning” for the role. But if the Ohio governor is truly not interested in consideration as a potential vice president, as he says, then his reasons for continuing to wage an increasingly quixotic 2016 bid are almost indecipherable, at least to this writer.

Meanwhile, Politico reports that, despite a concerted effort to construct a “unity ticket,” Marco Rubio has rebuffed all attempts to draft him as Cruz’s VP:

In recent days, Cruz’s team has begun to investigate how the two would fare on a prospective ticket. Over the past week, according to a person familiar with the Cruz team’s internal deliberations, the campaign has conducted polling in forthcoming contests — including the one on Tuesday in Utah — in which questions are posed about the two running side-by-side.

[…]

But Rubio’s camp is uniformly dismissive of the idea. “Different combinations have been floating out there for a little while — who could partner up with whom,” said Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Rubio endorser. “But I didn’t take it too seriously.”

Of course, much could still change between now and the convention to render these early comments meaningless. However, for now, it seems likely that the eventual VP pick will come from outside the current GOP field rather than from within it.

Paul Dupont is the managing editor for ThePulse2016.com.