On "Morning Joe" Tuesday morning, host Mika Brzezinski threw out an interesting theory: Donald Trump and Marco Rubio are playing nice with one another -- and savaging Ted Cruz -- because a backroom deal has been cut between the two to form a ticket with Trump as the presidential nominee and the Florida senator as the second in command.Cillizza goes on to produce an odd list. It doesn't include Ted Cruz, because "The Donald seems to genuinely loathe the Texas senator," yet it does include Carly Fiorina, despite their obvious mutual enmity, as well as Nikki Haley, who used her State of the Union response to attack Trump in front of a national TV audience. Cillizza's other names are more plausible -- Sarah Palin (yes, she's box-office poison, but Trump may not realize that), Florida governor Rick Scott (a fan and a guy who's survived in politics a lot longer than he should have, given his checkered past in the private sector), and businessmen Carl Icahn and Jack Welch.
I don't think that deal has been cut. But Brzezinski's speculation did get me to thinking about whom Trump might pick as his vice president.
But one possible choice isn't on Cillizza's list -- in fact, Cillizza's lede almost seems to be an attempt to divert attention from this candidate:
Recall that in late January, in a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt, Scarborough refused to rule out a VP draft:
HEWITT: If he did ask you. It's just a hypothetical. It's just an if. If he asks you, would you say yes?Scarborough, however, did subsequently tweet this:
SCARBOROUGH: I don't know. I don't think he would ask me. Again, you always get me in trouble with these questions. So let's move on.
HEWITT: No, Joe, pause with me for a second. It makes perfect sense. You're not the first person I've told this to. I've told a number of people. Trump will ask Scarborough to be his running mate. For a whole variety of reasons, especially Florida. And you're not a stranger to Virginia. And you know your way around politics. So just really -- would you say yes?
SCARBOROUGH: I will say this, and I've said this on the air. And so this is not really any secret at all. I'll do anything that will get -- will stop us from eight more years like the past eight years we've had.
HEWITT: Amen. And so if that included saying yes, you'd say yes?
SCARBOROUGH: I think I'd put myself in your category. I would do just about anything to try to get the White House back.
HEWITT: Alright, that's a yes! I mean, that's a yes Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: That's not a yes
I rule it out. Now on to more important things. What's REM's best album? 1/ Murmur 2/ Reckoning or 3/ Fables? https://t.co/q92WudtDye— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) January 28, 2016
But Scarborough's decision to host a not-exactly-hard-hitting Trump town hall last week led Fox's Greg Gutfeld to speculate:
will be tweeting the trump/joe scarborough vice president application process.— GregGutfeld (@greggutfeld) February 18, 2016
To be fair, Gutfeld also speculated about other jobs Scarborough might be seeking:
Joe is really holding Donald to the fire tonight. JK! Excellent work maintaining your goal as his future driver.— GregGutfeld (@greggutfeld) February 18, 2016
Please note that Gutfeld was tweeting on the night of the town hall -- in other words, before the public heard the fawning between-segments banter of Scarborough, Trump, and co-host Mika Brzezinski, which was leaked by Harry Shearer a few days later. (Go read Matt Taibbi's piece on that shameful event if you haven't already.)
Maybe Scarborough wouldn't want to risk a secure gig by running for VP (although there's been speculation in the past about a possible Scarborough run for the presidency). But I think he's in the mix. Though this is Trump we're talking about, so who the hell knows who'd be on his list?