Gov. Susana Martinez continues to be mentioned as a possible Republican running mate for Donald Trump, but she still isn’t ready to endorse his candidacy.
The Journal just received a statement from the New Mexico governor’s office saying Martinez definitely won’t vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton, but she also wants to know more about how Trump plans to conduct his presidency if elected.
“As the governor has said many times, she will not vote for Hillary Clinton. Period,” said Michael Lonergan, the governor’s spokesman. “That said, she wants to hear how Mr. Trump plans to address issues that directly affect New Mexicans — like how he plans to protect our labs and military bases and end the dysfunction in Washington that has hurt New Mexico more than any other state in the country.
“Governor Martinez wants to be sure the needs and concerns of New Mexicans are addressed by the presidential candidates,” Lonergan said. “Politically, Gov. Martinez is the chairman of the RGA (Republican Governors Association) and is committed to helping elect Republican governors across the country this election cycle.”
CNN today cited an unnamed Trump aide saying Martinez was on the Manhattan billionaire’s preliminary short list for vice president.
“A senior Trump campaign source said Wednesday that the campaign’s early favorites for vice president are now New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio,” the network reported.
Chris Sanchez, another Martinez spokesman, told CNN she wasn’t interested.
“The governor has said repeatedly over the years that she isn’t interested in serving as vice president,” Sanchez said. “She appreciates that such attention puts New Mexico in the spotlight, but she is fully committed to serving the people of our state.”
Martinez has denounced Trump’s remarks about Mexican immigrants on more than one occasion and last year called his assertion that many immigrants are rapists and drug dealers “horrible.”
“I think those are horrible things to say about anyone or any culture … anyone of any ethnicity,” said Martinez, the nation’s only Latina Republican governor. “I mean, that is uncalled for … completely.”
The Washington Post reported last month Martinez and Haley both blasted Trump during a lunch attended by about 60 Republican donors:
“New Mexico’s governor, Susana Martinez, chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association, did not mince words: She told the crowd of about 60 wealthy GOP backers that, as a Latina, she was offended by Trump’s language about immigrants. Noting her years working as a prosecutor on the Mexican border and now as a border-state governor, Martinez said Trump’s plan to build a wall and force Mexico to pay for it was unrealistic and irresponsible, according to multiple people in attendance.
The comments were a remarkably strong rebuke of the GOP front-runner by Martinez, who has been publicly circumspect about his candidacy since the GOP contest began.”
Meanwhile, the office of Rep. Steve Pearce – New Mexico’s lone congressional Republican – tells me Pearce is planning to support Trump if he is the nominee, but that the congressman is not officially endorsing him at this time. There is, I’m told, a distinction. Here’s a statement from Pearce that we received tonight after asking whether he would endorse Trump.
“I firmly believe in the power of the people to make the choice as to who will be the GOP nominee and I will respect that,” Pearce said. “As elected officials, we must remember that we don’t know more than the voters and we should let the people choose. I believe more in the tenacity of the American people.
Trump’s new status as the presumptive nominee is apparently tying many Republicans in political knots.