Idaho congressman Raul Labrador, who will be going to the national Republican convention in Cleveland as a Ted Cruz delegate, called Thursday for Donald Trump to choose Cruz as his running mate.
Labrador, whose district includes North Idaho, said that would take “the two guys who got about 70 percent of the votes in just about every primary, every caucus … and bring the team together. That would be historic, it would be something akin to what Abraham Lincoln did when he brought a team of rivals together.”
The third-term GOP congressman’s comments came after Trump met Thursday with congressional Republicans in Washington, D.C.
Labrador said he mentioned the Cruz VP idea to Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, but didn’t reveal the response he received.
Cruz has not been among those considered a likely VP pick for Trump, who during the campaign repeatedly referred to Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted.” Cruz, for his part, referred to Trump as a “pathological liar,” a “narcissist,” a “serial philanderer” and “utterly amoral.”
Labrador called Cruz a “solid choice” for Trump. “And I think you could see the convention completely unify behind a ticket like that,” he said.
He made the suggestion after he and other “Freedom Caucus” members were asked by reporters if they’d support moves at the July 18-21 convention to unbind delegates and allow them to “vote their conscience” in order to nominate someone other than Trump. None expressed support for that idea.
“I keep hearing all these names – those people have 1 percent name ID, nobody knows who they are,” Labrador said. “Let’s get somebody like Ted Cruz. … Then he could give Donald Trump the assistance that I think he needs on policy and on the Constitution and these other issues.”
Labrador also said he is “not a huge fan” of Trump. But he said he thinks Trump’s saving grace is that he’d nominate conservatives to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Most of the recent speculation on Trump’s likely pick of a running mate has Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich as the leading contenders.
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