Late last week, and throughout the weekend, speculation mounted that the Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting was considering retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his running mate.
Flynn has been advising the Trump campaign on matters of national defense and national security since at least February, and has been a vocal critic of President Obama's policy—particularly with regard to the administration's handling of radical Islamic terrorism. Those all fall within Trump's existing wheelhouse, but the problem—particularly for evangelicals—are the general's views on "social issues."
The Rhode Island native is adamantly pro-abortion and has refused to say specifically where he stands on biblical marriage. Instead, he has said "the world won't come to an end" on those issues. He's also a "lifelong Democrat."
"I grew up as a Democrat in a very strong Democratic family, but I will tell you that the Democratic Party that exists in this country is not the Democratic Party I grew up around," he said in a recent interview with ABC News.
The Washington Post says sources within the Trump campaign insist the candidate is seriously considering Flynn as a running mate. But is he really? Nominating Flynn would all but scuttle the new and very fragile relationship he has built with evangelical Christians, who—whether he wants to admit it or not—he desperately needs in his corner in order to win in November.
There is, however, a growing consensus that Trump is "throwing out names" to various media outlets as a means to test the reception before locking in his final decision. He often used this approach in picking the winner each season of his reality television program The Apprentice.
There may be a role for Flynn in a potential Trump Administration, but it seems unlikely the GOP nominee-in-waiting would risk everything to make the general his running mate.
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