The field of choices for Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick just narrowed as two possible candidates have declined the position.
Flying with Trump to a rally in North Carolina, Sen. Bob Corker told the presumptive Republican presidential nominee that he was taking himself out of consideration as a running mate, The Washington Post reported.
“There are people far more suited for being a candidate for vice president, and I think I’m far more suited for other types of things,” Corker told the Post. The Tennessee senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reportedly told Trump that he was more policy-oriented than political.
“It’s a highly political job, and that’s not who I am,” Corker said. “We had a very open conversation about that, and actually, we have been very candid about it from the very beginning of our meetings. I left there feeling very good about him as a person but also realized that at age 63, I know the things I’m good at doing. And knowing what a candidate for vice president has to do, it’s just not the right thing for me, and I don’t think it’s the right thing for them.”
Iowa Senator Joni Ernst laid rumors to rest, clarifying that she would not be in the running as Trump’s vice presidential pick either. Though she had not received vetting papers from the Trump team, her meeting with him sparked speculation that she soon would.
The freshman senator wants to help Trump but is more focused on her home state and her Senate position.
“I made that very clear to him that I’m focused on Iowa. I feel that I have a lot more to do in the United States Senate. And Iowa is where my heart is,” Ernst said Wednesday in an interview with Politico. “I’m just getting started here. I have a great partner with Chuck Grassley, we’ve been able to accomplish a lot. And I think that President Trump will need some great assistance in the United States Senate and I can provide that.”
Ernst is expected to give a speech focusing on national security at this month’s Republican National Convention, according to Politico, and will help Trump by offering advice.
“I will probably participate more as an advocate,” Ernst said. “I would love to assist him out on the trail.”
With a narrowing list of possibilities, including former House speaker Newt Gingrich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, the Trump campaign has its focus on a running mate choice as the GOP convention looms.
Speaking to a packed crowd in Cincinnati, Ohio on Wednesday, Trump said Gingrich would definitely be part of his administration.
“We like Newt,” Trump said, as the crowd cheered. “In one form or another, Newt Gingrich is going to be involved with our government.”
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