Several women being considered as Donald Trump’s vice-presidential candidate: Aide

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Washington | Updated: May 29, 2016 11:16:53 PM

Donald Trump is considering several women as his running mate, a top aide of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said today and asserted that gender and ethnicity would not come in the way of a "qualified" candidate.

Donald Trump, China, US Presidential ElectionsDefending Donald Trump’s decision not to debate with Democrat Bernie Sanders, Manafort said the Vermont senator should debate his party’s presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton – and not him. (Reuters)

Donald Trump is considering several women as his running mate, a top aide of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said today and asserted that gender and ethnicity would not come in the way of a “qualified” candidate.

“It’s the qualification of the candidate that matter, not the gender and not the ethnicity,” Paul Manafort, Trump Campaign strategist, told ABC News.

Manafort said there were many Republican women who are qualified, and several who might be on the list.

Indian-American South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was being talked about as a potential vice-presidential candidate, but she has ruled herself out of the race.

Trump has said he has short-listed about half a dozen candidates whom he was looking at as his potential running mate. He has said he would make the announcement sometime around the Republican convention in Cleveland in July.

“(Trump) is looking at the qualifications. And he’s started that process, and he’s announced that he would announce his candidate sometime around the convention and we’re on track for that to happen,” Manafort said.

Manafort said Trump was looking at the qualifications of all the candidates and he wouldn’t select someone only on the basis of gender or ethnicity, because that would be pandering.

“But the qualifications, if a female is qualified, that’s totally different story. And there are many Republican women who are qualified, and several who might be on the list.”

Defending Donald Trump’s decision not to debate with Democrat Bernie Sanders, Manafort said the Vermont senator should debate his party’s presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton – and not him.

“(Trump) is not afraid to face off with Bernie Sanders. He’s the Republican nominee now. The question should be, why is Hillary Clinton afraid to debate Bernie Sanders? She’s the one in the Democratic primary with him,” he argued.

“And the point that Mr Trump was trying to make was the democratic system is rigged. It’s been rigged from the beginning, for Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders has been winning primaries and losing delegates,” he said.

Trump would have debated Sanders if he were the nominee of the Democratic party, he said.

Manafort alleged that the 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was jealous of Trump.

“Romney, is jealous of the fact that the first businessman to be nominated by the Republican Party with record numbers, is Trump, and, with a chance of winning the White House,” he asserted.

“Romney had a chance to win it. He lost it. He sees that Donald Trump has not only won then, he’s won it with record numbers in the primaries, and he’s now leading in some of the polls already,” Manafort said.

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