Diary

Northeastern values? Trump suggests Scott Brown, Chris Christie as VP picks

As the political geography of America has changed over the years, the trendy term used to describe moderate/liberal, establishment Republicans is “RINO,” or Republican In Name Only. But before RINOs, there were “Rockefeller Republicans,” a term coined in reference to New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. Rockefeller Republicans were heavily concentrated in the Northeastern states, and to some extent they still are.

Despite Donald Trump’s recent populist campaign tactics, historically he would be considered a Rockefeller Republican (if not a Democrat). Even today, many of Trump’s domestic policy positions align with the Rockefeller Republicans. Indeed, Trump has yet to even hint that he is interested in reducing the size and scope of the federal government, and his cultural shift in the past few months is not remotely believable.

Lately, Mike Huckabee has been desperately campaigning to be Trump’s running mate. Trump hasn’t so much as acknowledged his existence. Huckabee has historically been moderate to liberal on fiscal issues, however his religious perspective on culture and his heartland heritage do not endear him to the Rockefeller Republicans.

When asked about who his VP would be, Trump has suggested Oprah Winfrey, although he later said he was joking. Trump also mentioned Ted Cruz, in what might have been an effort to defuse his surging campaign. But two other names Trump has suggested are telling.

Recently, Trump put former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown’s name out there:

After Trump asked Brown whether he would consider running for public office again, a member of the audience floated the idea of a Trump-Brown ticket in 2016.

“Vice president – hey, that sounds like it could, hey, hey, very good,” Trump responded.
“Hey, you know what? And he’s central casting. Look at that guy. Central casting,” he added. “He’s great. Great guy and a great, beautiful, great wife and family. So important.”
Was Trump trying to be flattering? Perhaps, but he could have dodged the question without embracing Brown as a possible running mate.
Previously, Trump has said he would consider New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for the job:

As Trump made an appearance at a political speaker series in Manchester, a man in the crowd asked the billionaire businessman and Republican presidential candidate if he’d given any thought to whom he might consider as his running mate if he wins the GOP nomination, the report said.

Then, the man jokingly coughed and mentioned the name of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, one of Trump’s 14 rivals for the GOP nod.

“He did very well last night,” Trump replied, according to the report. “Good guy. Well, there certainly could be a place for him — I can tell you that.”

Again, maybe he was trying to play nice. But wait-isn’t Trump the guy who tells it like it is, regardless of people’s feelings?

We have to take him at his word. Briefly, let’s look at the records of Brown and Christie.

Brown supported a federal assault weapons ban in 2012. He’s pro-abortion. Christie has flip-flopped on both issues, and it’s worth noting that he didn’t become a hardliner after flipping either. Read more about their records here and here. Both, of course, are establishment politicians from the Northeast.

The fact that Trump has floated Scott Brown and Christie Christie as running mates should be a red flag to conservative, non-establishment Republicans. Unlike Ronald Reagan, who underwent a philosophical conversion to conservatism (See: “A Time For Choosing“), it should be abundantly clear that Donald Trump is telling people what they want to hear. Don’t expect him to govern as a moral and constitutional conservative if he gets elected, because there is zero evidence he would, and a bucket full of evidence to the contrary.