Donald Trump‘s vice presidential list is ever growing. But at least one prominent candidate has a special challenge: Marco Rubio, a senator from Trump‘s own home state of Florida.

The U.S. Constitution and the rules of the Electoral College discourage running mates from the same state. That’s actually why Dick Cheney changed his residency from Texas back to Wyoming in 2000 as George W. Bush made him the vice-presidential nominee.

Trump aides said he does not have a VP shortlist − he has a long list that is getting longer by the week.

They also said he’s not close to making a final announcement and may not do so before the opening of the Republican National Convention on July 15. Rubio appears to be a serious contender for the VP nomination, though, and again fanned speculation over the weekend when he said he’d be “honored” to do the job despite once calling Trump a “con artist.”

“I think anyone whose offered the opportunity to serve this country as vice president should be honored by the opportunity to do it if you’re in public service,” Rubio said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

Two Trump advisers, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Rubio is among many people being considered for running mate.

At the present time, two officials said, Trump is more focused on the hush money criminal trial that he faces starting on April 15 than picking a running mate. Another priority is raising money both for the campaign, and for the massive civil judgments that have been entered against him.

That said, Trump is getting lots of advice about his running mate from supporters of the various prospective candidates, including Rubio.

As with other politicians, Trump has blown hot and cold on Rubio.

He criticized the Florida senator for holding off on an endorsement − but has been effusive in his praise since Rubio actually did the deed right before the Iowa Caucus.

Trump aides are aware of potential Electoral College problems with picking Rubio but said they can be dealt with. Cheney is the most prominent example,  they said.

Rubio’s constitutional problem

The Constitution doesn’t prohibit a presidential ticket from having two people from the same state, but it makes it complicated.

The 12th Amendment states that electors for each state “vote by ballot for President and Vice President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves.”

That means if Trump carries Florida, as expected, the state’s 30 electors could vote for Trump or his running mate, but not both if they reside in Florida.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, picture here at an event in Miami on Nov. 8, 2022, is among the GOP leaders being discussed as a possible running mate for former President Donald Trump.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, picture here at an event in Miami on Nov. 8, 2022, is among the GOP leaders being discussed as a possible running mate for former President Donald Trump.

“Because of that provision, parties generally don’t nominate candidate for president and vice president who are from the same state,” University of Virginia constitutional law professor John Harrison said in an email.

The are a few different ways that a campaign could try to work around the limits of the Constitution.

Rubio could change his residency, as Cheney did in 2000.

“Simply switching your residency would probably be enough but you can never know,” said Florida Atlantic University political science professor Kevin Wagner, who noted that could face a court challenge.

Harrison also speculated about a scenario where Florida electors vote for Trump as president and not Rubio as vice president, but noted that has “serious drawbacks” because Rubio might not get a majority of the Electoral College votes.

In that case, the Senate would decide. And “if the Senate is controlled by the party other than the party of the president-elect, it might choose as vice president the party whose candidate for president lost the election,” Harrison noted.

Another potential solution would be to have Florida’s electors be residents of another state, Harrison said, adding that he’s not sure if that would be possible under state law and the 12th Amendment.

So while the Constitution doesn’t require running mates to live in different states, it “gives parties strong incentives” not to go down that path.

Angling for VP job?

The constitutional questions aren’t quieting VP chatter about Rubio, though, and he isn’t doing anything to discourage it either. His behavior points toward him wanting the job, Wagner said.

“He’s had plenty of opportunities to say he is not interested in the job and he has chosen not to, so more than anything else he’s done that suggests at the very least he’s considering the possibility,” Wagner said.

A Cuban American, Rubio could help Trump appeal to Hispanic voters. He also may appeal to other GOP voters and leaders who are nervous about Trump. Rubio has been deeply engaged on foreign policy issues in the Senate.

“Rubio’s also well-considered in the establishment, especially among the foreign policy establishment, and that might be calming for the foreign policy establishment in the party,” Wagner said.

Trump is not likely to shutdown speculation about most potential VP candidates, aides said.

During a recent trip to the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump said he would consider Texas Gov. Greg Abbott as a running mate. He is considered a long shot.

On the other hand, Trump and his aides have dismissed the chances of former presidential candidates Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis (another Floridian).

Rubio was strongly critical of Trump when he ran against him in 2016.

“What we are dealing with my friends is a con artist, he is a con artist,” Rubio said of Trump back then in a clip ABC played Sunday. “First of all, he runs on this idea that he is fighting for the little guy, but he has spent his entire career sticking it to the little guy.”

“Friends do not let friends vote for con artists,” Rubio added in the 2016 clip.

Asked about those comments on ABC, Rubio said: “It was a campaign.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: All Florida presidential ticket? Trump/Rubio ticket faces hurdles

2024 © Network Today. All Rights Reserved.