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Trump on Cruz: I could see him as my VP

Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz

Donald Trump said on the “O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News he would definitely consider giving Sen. Ted Cruz the vice presidential slot – a somewhat shocking statement, given the downright viciousness of the rhetoric the two traded on the campaign trail over the past few months.

“I respect Ted, he was a very strong competitor,” Trump told host Bill O’Reilly during the Fox News segment. “He really competed hard and tough.”

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He made the comments in context of discussing the idea of Cruz, who dropped his presidential bid after losing Indiana in a landslide primary election to Trump, as a running mate in the race that’s sure to come against likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“He’s certainly a capable guy,” Trump said, in reference to Cruz, the Hill reported. “It’s something we can think about.”

Trump said the fiery rhetoric that marked his run against Cruz – which included publicly traded barbs over the physical attributes of each others’ wives, as well as constant Trump camp characterization of the Texas senator as a “liar” – was in the past and he’s moved past any feelings of resentment. But he then offered up a subtle jab on Cruz’s honesty again.

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“It’s an easy thing,” Trump said of the process by which candidates are nominated. “He said some things and he made some things up and he took some things that were said out of context.”

Pundits and media analysts suggested former neurosurgeon Ben Carson might actually be the most talked-about vice presidential pick among higher-ups in the Trump camp. But Trump put that notion to rest – mostly – during his chat with O’Reilly, saying Carson wasn’t that interested in the second-place White House role.

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“I don’t think Ben’s looking at that,” he said. “He’s a friend of mine. He’s so helpful, he’s a terrific guy.”

Trump also mentioned Ohio Gov. John Kasich as a possible running mate, but he left the door open to considering many names.

“I would certainly consider him,” he said, of Kasich. “During debates, I’d always find myself talking to John. I’ve had a good relationship with him, so we’ll see how that turns out. I don’t want to talk too much about it as I am considering a couple of people. We do have a lot of candidates who would be very, very good.”