Republican National Convention delegates from the District of Columbia who are bound to or supportive of Marco Rubio tell Breitbart News that they are open to supporting Donald Trump instead.
Some are making the pitch that they want Trump to pick Rubio as his vice presidential candidate, but nonetheless the warm comments many of these Rubio delegates are making about Trump—instead of about Ted Cruz—is perhaps a sign of a turning tide in the delegate game after Trump captured at least 89 delegates in New York last night.
“I think him choosing Marco [as vice president] would make me more inclined to support him, in a more positive way, a more active role in campaigning because I really love Marco,” said Teri Galvez, a bound delegate from D.C. who the D.C. GOP says is bound to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, in an interview with Breitbart News this week.
“I am going to support whoever the nominee is because I’m Republican first and foremost, and it would be very hard for me to ever support a Democrat,” she said. “When I was single I never even dated one. I don’t get excited about Trump. He is the one candidate that I get excited the least about. Again, if Marco was chosen as VP I would warm up to the idea more.”
Even though she’s bound to Kasich according to the D.C. primary results, Galvez is much more of a Rubio supporter. And she’s hardly the only D.C. delegate and Rubio supporter open to backing Trump at the convention.
When asked if she would support Trump at the convention, Maureen Blum, another D.C. delegate who is bound to Rubio, also made a pitch for Trump to select Rubio as his vice president:
Senator Rubio would definitely bring sanity to the table, and he would bring a cautionary temperament to foreign policy. I think one of the fears of Donald Trump is that he’s reactionary and emotional and doesn’t think things through. I’m not saying that’s what he does. But it comes off, appears that way, that he is very reactionary. I think Senator Rubio would be a cautionary temperament and a solid process in the decision making. He would build confidence in that.
One D.C. alternate delegate who supports Rubio told Breitbart News on condition of anonymity that:
If Rubio is not the nominee, and Trump becomes the nominee, asking Marco Rubio to be the V.P. candidate would unite the convention and the Party. Additionally, it will help to balance a New York, very moderate to liberal Republican with a Christian conservative V.P. If the convention and Party do not unify and come together, I do not see how we can win in November. If Trump is the nominee, I see Rubio as the best option to balance Trump’s northern, moderate to liberal version of Republican because of Rubio’s proven conservative record in the State House and the U.S. Senate. He can help Trump navigate the intricacies of policy-making in Washington.
That alternate delegate and Rubio supporter also suggested that Trump bring in Dr. Ben Carson—who’s already endorsed him—as the leading figure to undo Obamacare, and that Trump place Cruz on the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Whatever happens, it’s important we have a unity ticket at the convention and leave Cleveland united and energized,” the alternate delegate and Rubio backer said. “Whatever combination emerges, with Cruz or without, a unified Republican front is the goal.”
In recent interviews, Trump has suggested that he may pick Rubio, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Ohio’s Kasich as his vice president. He walked that back somewhat shortly thereafter, and it certainly would end up being difficult for Trump to bring aboard Rubio after a brutal primary where the two attacked each other on the debate stage with allusions to the other’s manhood. But that doesn’t mean that an alliance couldn’t be formed, and although that alliance might not mean having Rubio as vice president—which is the opening ask of many of these Rubio supporters—it could mean having Rubio involved in the campaign in some significant way. It could also mean Rubio may get a senior spot in a Trump administration, like Secretary of State or some other cabinet slot.
Rubio dropped out of the presidential race after his devastating loss to Trump in his home state of Florida in mid-March. Since Rubio had to abandon prospects of re-election to the U.S. Senate in order to run for the White House, he’ll soon be a former U.S. Senator. So, when this process is finished, Rubio is most likely going to seek to use his share of delegates—and his base of support in the party’s conservative wing of the D.C. establishment—to negotiate a better future for himself.
Rubio likely wants to remain relevant in the national discussion and continue to grow the support structure he’s carefully built nationwide by working to get people like Cory Gardner, Joni Ernst, and other high profile Republicans elected. Leaving the national stage for a few years could jeopardize Rubio’s ability to keep command of his team heading into a potential future White House bid, and as such—and for that reason alone—he may even work with Trump as the nominee and potential future president even if he isn’t selected as vice president.
It’s been largely assumed that Rubio’s 171 delegates were firmly in the #NeverTrump camp. That was the impression given when Rubio-bound delegate Rina Shah Bharara from D.C. told on Fox News that she would support Hillary Clinton over Trump if Trump wins the nomination. Shah Bharara is now under investigation by the general counsel of the D.C. GOP regarding her delegate eligibility status after Breitbart News exposed that she is actually a resident of Virginia and not the District of Columbia. She might be alone in her absolute opposition to Trump, and she very well could lose her spot as a delegate because of her decision to present herself as a resident of D.C. when she actually lives in a more-than-million-dollar-home in wealthy northern Virginia.
Meanwhile, however, her fellow D.C. delegates like Galvez and Blum are warming up to backing Trump at the GOP convention in Cleveland in July. These D.C. delegates speaking out in potential support of Trump—with conditions attached, of course—cast doubt on the conventional wisdom that Rubio supporters are solely backing Cruz or Kasich at the convention in Cleveland. And although these statements are a long way from being an endorsement of Trump, they do show a willingness to unite the party at the end of this process.
It’s important to note, too, that these statements certainly don’t mean that these delegates are opposed to Cruz or Kasich either. In fact, Galvez explicitly said that she’d support Cruz over Trump—but she questions whether Cruz has the energy needed to win.
“I actually like Ted Cruz,” Galvez said. “I would be inclined to support him. I would be inclined to support him over Trump for sure. I think he would make a good candidate. One thing that I think he does lack what I call Chispa… He lacks the spark. It’s funny, you would think for a Cuban he would be more exciting. I would like to see a little bit of enthusiasm, a little bit more of a personality. But I think he is a very, very, very smart man.”
Blum said, too, that she’s been personal friends with Cruz for years.
“Ted has been a personal friend of mine for many years,” Blum said. “I have known him since he clerked for Chief Justice Rehnquist, and I worked with Jeb Bush, so this election was very difficult for me to choose a candidate because of my personal relationship with all three. I believe Ted is brilliant. If he is the nominee, I will support him 100 percent.”