The New York Times and other newspapers have picked up on speculation that U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine might be considered as a running mate for GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. For her part, Collins has doubts.
Collins says she is honored that her name has come up. It’s not the first time she’s been mentioned for a high post, including cabinet positions in previous administrations. But she doesn’t believe she’ll be asked to join the Trump ticket.
“First of all, I have never even met Donald Trump and we obviously have very different styles,” she says.
Collins endorsed Jeb Bush early in the race and says she will not formally back any of the remaining candidates. She says it has been a bizarre political year and finds it hard to believe that out of all the Republicans seeking the presidency, it’s now down to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich.
“I’ve been wrong in virtually every prediction that I have made during this political cycle, and at this point I am going to sit back and watch as things unfold,” she says.
Several political commentators have suggested that Collins, who is well-liked, could help Trump by bringing very high favorability ratings. And as a woman and a moderate she could help balance the ticket, or so the argument goes.
But others point out that she is from a small state with few electoral votes and that Trump, if he gets the nomination, will likely be looking for someone more like him to help energize his supporters.
The social media reaction has been mixed, with comments ranging from those urging Collins to accept a nomination if it comes to warnings that she would be committing political suicide if she were to become Trump’s running mate.
Collins chuckles when asked whether she would accept the nomination if offered.
“I have learned not to provide hypothetical answers to unlikely scenarios so I really am not spending my time thinking about that,” she says.
Collins jokes that she is not waiting by her phone for a call from Donald Trump or his campaign staff. She says she has plenty of work to do in the Senate, which is her focus at the moment.