Trump Puts Odds at 40% for Picking Vice President From 2016 Field


2016 Republican presidential candidates Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson arrive at the Republican presidential debate in North Charleston, South Carolina, on Jan. 14, 2016.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
  • Republican candidate tells CNBC Kasich `unlikely' to be asked
  • Carson, Christie and Giuliani possible cabinet picks, he says

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, said there is a 4-in-10 chance he will choose a vice president from among the 16 candidates he bested in the presidential primary.

“I’ve gotten to be friends with a lot of those people and I guess, perhaps enemies with a couple,” he said Thursday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” program. “I would say there’s a good 40 percent chance.”

Trump said that while it’s “unlikely” he’ll choose Ohio Governor John Kasich, he’s looking for someone with legislative experience.

“I’m a business person and I’ve got that covered,” he said. “I think having somebody that can get legislation through and help me with that would be good -- rather than signing executive orders all day long.”

Trump praised Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, saying he “would make a good anything.” He also named several supporters he would consider for cabinet positions, including retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

During the 47-minute interview, Trump discussed how he would spend his first 100 days in office, saying he’d focus on repealing regulations and renegotiating everything from trade deals to terms of the U.S. debt.

‘King of Debt’

Calling himself “the king of debt,” Trump said he would use his business skills to revisit terms of the more than $19 trillion in debt owed by the U.S.

Trump said he agrees with Janet Yellen on the need to keep interest rates low, but would probably replace her because “she’s not a Republican.”

He also said he would be willing to negotiate on his proposed overhaul of the tax code, potentially doing away with provisions that now disproportionately benefit the wealthy.

“The wealthy have done well -- I’m not complaining. It has been an unbelievable period of time for me,” he said. “But the middle class people haven’t had a wage increase.”

Clinton or Sanders?

Trump vacillated on whether he would prefer to face Hillary Clinton or Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the general election, at turns saying each would be “easier” to defeat.

Both Clinton and Sanders have turned their attention to Trump, as the former secretary of state has gotten closer to securing the Democratic nomination.

Clinton in an interview with CNN on Wednesday, said Trump would be “scrambling” to revise some of his offensive comments before the general election.

“He’s a loose cannon,” she said. “Loose cannons tend to misfire.”

Trump called for more debates with Clinton during the general election, saying three is insufficient.

“I think the debates are going to be positive to me,” he said.

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