Under the Dome

Richard Burr for vice president? Report says Trump is considering him

Sen. Richard Burr speaks during a Novo Nordisk groundbreaking ceremony Monday, March 28, 2016 in Clayton, N.C.
Sen. Richard Burr speaks during a Novo Nordisk groundbreaking ceremony Monday, March 28, 2016 in Clayton, N.C. jhknight@newsobserver.com

Conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt says U.S. Sen. Richard Burr is being considered as a possible running mate for Donald Trump.

Hewitt mentioned Burr as a vice presidential contender recently on his radio show. “I was tipped yesterday by sources close to Team Trump that Richard Burr was on their short list,” Hewitt told Meet The Press host Chuck Todd. Todd said he hadn’t heard anything about it.

If Trump picked Burr for vice president, the North Carolina senator would likely have to drop out of his re-election bid – bad news for Republicans here who are already expecting a close race against Democrat Deborah Ross.

But Burr would help Trump by adding experience to the ticket, particularly on national security issues because Burr chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee. He’d help connect Trump with establishment Republicans who have been reluctant to support him. And North Carolina is a key swing state that Trump hopes to win.

Burr has been more enthusiastic about Trump than many of North Carolina’s Republican leaders.

Asked last month if he thinks Trump can defeat Hillary Clinton in November, he said “absolutely – I think Donald Trump is Hillary’s worst nightmare.” And he said the Trump slogan “Make America great again” during a speech at the state Republican convention.

Burr’s campaign did not confirm or deny the Hewitt report Friday.

“Donald Trump is going to do what Donald Trump wants to do,” spokesman Jesse Hunt said when asked if the Trump campaign has approached Burr. “Sen. Burr remains focused on North Carolina and the job of working to keep all Americans safe and secure from the terrorist threats we face as a nation.”

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