The Slatest

Ben Carson Is Helping Trump Find a Running Mate, Says He Won’t Pull a Cheney

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump shakes hands with former presidential candidate Ben Carson as he receives his endorsement at the Mar-A-Lago Club on March 11, 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida. 

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Ben Carson is on Donald Trump’s vice presidential search committee but says he won’t be the running mate, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

“I’m not interested in doing that for a number of reasons,” Carson told the Journal. “I don’t want to be a distraction. I’m sure you remember how crazy the media was about me, I don’t want to be a distraction, it’s too important a time in our life.”

The Journal reported that Carson will be the “public face on the search process” but that top campaign aide and friend to tyrants everywhere Paul Manafort will be “maintaining tight control over the process, according to people familiar with the campaign.”

So even if he wanted to, Carson probably couldn’t just pick himself as the vice presidential candidate, a move formally known as “pulling a Cheney.” (Other forms of “pulling a Cheney” including shooting close friends in the face and encouraging people to believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11.)

The Journal also reported that Carson said that the search would not be restricted by party, which theoretically means that the campaign could pick a Democrat. “We would consider people who are Americans and who put America first,” he said.

Trump has already been rejected by former presidential rivals John Kasich, Jeb Bush, and Lindsey Graham, as well as South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake from being considered as running mates, the New York Times reported late last month before Trump had sewed up the nomination. The Journal also reported that Ohio Sen. Rob Portman would not accept a spot on the ticket, but that Maine Gov. Paul LePage and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich have expressed interest.

Reminder: Paul LePage once used an anal sex metaphor to attack a political opponent and blamed “black dealers” for his state’s drug epidemic. Sounds like he’d get along swimmingly with the presumptive Republican nominee!