7 Potential Running Mates for Donald Trump

Whoever wins the nomination will have a long list of possibilities to choose.

— -- Donald Trump is not yet the Republican presidential nominee, and he may not end up winning the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination before this summer’s GOP convention.

If he doesn't, he may be ousted at the convention in favor of another contender.

But, then again, he may end up being the GOP pick after all.

If he does, one of the biggest questions will be: Who will he pick to be his running mate?

His two remaining rivals, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, have each said they’re not interested in the job. In an interview on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Cruz said he has “absolutely zero interest” in working with Trump. In an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” Kasich declared: “There’s no way I would team up with Donald Trump.”

But Trump -- or whoever ends up winning the nomination -- will have a long list of possibilities to choose from. Here’s a look at seven potential running mates:

Chris Christie

In an announcement that surprised almost everyone, Christie endorsed Trump in February.

As Trump’s running mate, Christie could be an effective attack dog against Hillary Clinton.

A Trump-Christie ticket would also reinforce the narrative that both men are tough Washington outsiders who “tell it like it is.”

Rick Scott

When he ran for Governor of Florida in 2010, Scott self-funded his campaign and spent upwards of $75 million of his own money.

Scott, who recently called for his fellow Republicans to “coalesce behind” Trump, could help the New York billionaire in Florida -- a key swing state.

Scott’s personal wealth, career in finance and governing experience could also be a plus for the ticket.

Ben Carson

Carson could energize Christian and evangelical voters to turn out for Trump.

Carson first came to national attention in 1987 when he successfully separated conjoined twins. In 2013, Carson’s conservative critique of health care in the United States, standing near President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast, brought him back into the national spotlight. His own presidential campaign also boosted his profile.

Kelly Ayotte

With Hillary Clinton the Democratic frontrunner, some political observers believe Trump should seriously consider adding a woman to the ticket should he be nominated.

Like Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk and Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte is Republican senator who faces an extremely difficult bid for re-election. Ayotte is being challenged by New Hampshire’s sitting governor, Maggie Hassan, who is popular in the state.

As a running mate, Ayotte, would help Trump appeal to moderate and independent voters, as well as counter the narrative that Trump is too controversial to win in the general election. In the Senate, Ayotte voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act in 2012, and in 2015, Ayotte was the first Republican to endorse President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which called for a 32 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

Jeff Sessions

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III has been active in national politics since before Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz graduated from high school.

Prior to his election as a senator 1996, Sessions served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama and later was appointed by President Reagan to be the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama in 1981.

Sessions’ experience in the U.S. coupled with his expert knowledge of foreign policy could ease voter concerns about Trump being too inexperienced on matters of national security and how to work with Congress.

Nikki Haley

Haley would be able to tout her credentials as the first female governor of South Carolina and the youngest governor in the United States. Haley would cite her fiscal credentials and her leadership in the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina’s Capitol after the Charleston church shooting.

But she’s a longshot.

Haley urged Americans to resist Trump’s message and the “call of the angriest voices,” in response to President Obama’s final State of the Union. Before the South Carolina primary, Haley endorsed Marco Rubio, and following the end of his campaign, Haley decided to back Ted Cruz.

Condoleezza Rice

Rice, a former secretary of state, would bring vast foreign policy experience to a potential matchup with Cltinon.

However, with Trump’s previous comments about President George W. Bush Bush failing to keep America safe on September 11, and his harsh critique of the Iraq War, Rice might not be interested in the job.