Trump Wanted Daughter Ivanka Trump As Vice President, Former Top Adviser Rick Gates Says
Before choosing to run with Mike Pence, Donald Trump was considering making his eldest daughter Ivanka Trump his running mate. The discussions he had with his campaign staff about making Ivanka VP are just a few of many Rick Gates plans to detail in his new book Wicked Game: An Insider’s Story on How Trump Won, Mueller Failed and America Lost, which is slated for release in October.
“I think it should be Ivanka. What about Ivanka as my VP?” Gates quotes Trump as saying. “She’s bright, she’s smart, she’s beautiful, and the people would love her!” Gates and the rest of the team Trump was talking with were reportedly trying not to laugh.
Apparently, it took Trump awhile to settle on a running mate – others on the short list included former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) were all considerations. Rice and Corker took themselves out of the running, and Trump dismissed both Ernst and Sessions. For a long time, he apparently dismissed Pence too, calling him “a loser” and criticizing his gubernatorial re-election campaign.
Over the course of several weeks before he ultimately went for Pence as his running mate, Trump continued to suggest Ivanka as VP, proudly and repeatedly declaring that she would make a good commander in chief. His campaign tested her approval ratings in internal campaign polls, and were allegedly surprised by the results.
“She didn’t poll tremendously high, but higher than we expected, and that only added to the seriousness of her consideration,” Gates wrote.
Many on Trump’s campaign liked that her more moderate political outlook could serve as a kind of counter to her father, and that it could potentially win over independents. However, Ivanka herself recognized her own political inexperience, and reportedly asked Trump to take her out of consideration.
“She went to her father and said, ‘No, Dad. It’s not a good idea,'” Gates wrote. “He capitulated.”
Ultimately, Trump settled for Pence in 2016 after his plane broke down and he was stranded in Indiana. The pair had an unplanned breakfast where Pence apparently asserted his strong disdain for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, which Trump enjoyed. He announced on July 15 that Pence would be his running mate.