Donald Trump Wants a VP Who Looks Good on TV | Video

CNN’s Erin Burnett interviewed The Bulwark’s Marc Caputo on Friday, who reports that as Donald Trump seeks a vice presidential running mate, his top ask is for someone who comes off well on television. He described Trump’s VP hunt as “‘The Apprentice’ on steroids.'” Caputo’s reporting of the Top 3 finalists matches that of the New York Times: Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen J.D. Vance and the lesser-known Gov. Doug Burgum.

Burgum has done the most media appearances as a Trump surrogate, appearing 33 times on TV and in webcasts since May 1 on the former president’s behalf, while Vance made 20 appearances and Rubio made just 13 in the same period of time.

“It just means, who is going to defend and prosecute my case the best?” Caputo said. “Now the thing with Donald Trump is, he asks a lot of questions, he doesn’t answer them — so we really don’t know, what does Donald Trump think about the answers, who looks best on television?”

“There’s a lot of things that MAGAville really likes about J.D. Vance,” Caputo told CNN of the Ohio senator. Representing one of the Rust Belt states that Trump could utilize to win the presidency goes in his favor, he noted, while his youth — he’s only 39 years old — and former criticism of Trump could work against him.

In his reporting, Caputo cited conservative MAGA insiders who’ve heard directly from Trump. Caputo said that female Trump supporters pointed to Vance’s eyelashes as one of the things they liked about him, as well as his blue eyes, when it comes to how he comes across on-screen.

“So he does have more of the look that Donald Trump is looking for,” Caputo said. However, Caputo said that he was told by another Trump confidante, “J.D. Vance looks like if you shave his beard, he’ll be about 12 years old and he’s lucky he’s got those flecks of gray in there.”

The independently wealthy North Dakota Gov. Burgum has what was described to Caputo as a “buddy-buddy” relationship with Trump and is the closest in age at 67 years old, but he’s not as vetted or well-known.

When it comes to Rubio, he’s remained more standoffish. While Trump wondered at one point whether Rubio actually wanted the gig, according to Caputo, Rubio got word back to Trump that the answer was “yes.” He remains distrusted by the far-right with conservatives skeptical of his past work on behalf of immigrants, but is seen as someone who could help in states including Arizona and Nevada. His bilingual skills could lead some to be skeptical, but could also help with Latino voters, as shown by a media appearance Rubio did for Trump recently on Telemundo.

The Bulwark is a conservative but anti-Trump media outlet.

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