Joni Ernst says she hasn't been contacted by the Trump campaign about serving as his running mate
Says she thinks he has someone else in mind for the position
Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst is rebuffing the idea that she may be asked to join Donald Trump’s presidential campaign as his running mate, saying she hasn’t been contacted about joining his ticket.
Ernst, speaking on a conference call Thursday with the Des Moines Register’s Jason Nobles and other reporters, added, “If I was being considered, somebody, I think, would have reached out to me. Nobody has reached out.”
When asked if she would accept if offered the position by Trump, she said, “I don’t think an offer is going to be forthcoming so I really haven’t considered that option, to be honest.”
“I think his intention is to announce at the convention, and that’s coming right up,” she added. “I think he must have his eyes set on somebody else, and that’s OK.”
Ernst is a currently serving her first term in the Senate and would be a relatively inexperienced choice for Trump, who has stressed that he is considering someone with political experience who could help him get his legislative agenda through Congress.
Still, Ernst could help soften Trump’s image among women voters. In a CBS News poll out on Wednesday, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton leads Trump among women 48% to 29%.
And as a military veteran who served in Iraq War, Ernst would bring national security experience to the ticket. Ernst was a member of the Iowa Army National Guard and was deployed as a company commander to Kuwait and Iraq in 2003.
Ernst retired as a lieutenant colonel after 23 years of military service and is the first female combat veteran to serve in the Senate.
CNN’s Betsy Klein contributed to this report.