By Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel

Madison— Real estate mogul Donald Trump floated the idea Monday of naming Gov. Scott Walker or other one-time rivals as his vice presidential picks — a notion Walker said he couldn’t fathom.

In an interview with USA Today, Trump indicated Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ohio Gov. John Kasich were possible vice presidential picks. Walker and Rubio have dropped out of the presidential race, but Kasich continues his run, as does Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

“There are people I have in mind in terms of vice president,” Trump said. “I just haven’t told anybody names…. I do like Marco. I do like Kasich…. I like Walker actually in a lot of ways. I hit him very hard…. But I’ve always liked him. There are people I like, but I don’t think they like me because I have hit them hard.”

After signing legislation to assist domestic abuse victims at Domestic Abuse Intervention Services in Madison, Walker said he was surprised by Trump’s comments, particularly after Trump trashed Walker in the run-up to Wisconsin’s April 5 primary. Walker endorsed Cruz, who handily won Wisconsin’s primary.

“I literally just heard it in the car and I said — I laughed — it’s kind of interesting to hear that after the things that were said about me a couple weeks ago,” Walker told reporters. “But I’m focused on being the governor of the state of Wisconsin…. That’s not even on my radar and it certainly wouldn’t be with — I guess I was shocked more than anything to hear that.”

He added: “I can’t even fathom that. Like I said, it’s almost breathtaking that I was listed in the first place.”

Walker dodged saying whether he would accept an offer to run as vice president with Cruz.

“To me, I think that’s so far off,” he said. “I think if you’ve got a contested convention, I don’t know that anyone’s going to get the pick. The delegates may pick the vice presidential running mate.”

About Patrick Marley

Patrick Marley covers state government and state politics. He is the author, with Journal Sentinel reporter Jason Stein, of “More Than They Bargained For: Scott Walker, Unions and the Fight for Wisconsin.”