Donald Trump implies no one currently running will be VP: Speaking Wednesday, the former president indicated that none of the other Republican presidential candidates will end up as his running mate.
Donald Trump and the Big VP Sort of Announcement
Donald Trump is so far ahead of the other Republicans running for president that it’s often been said that the other candidates are merely running for vice president. However, the former president said this week that he doesn’t see any potential running mates in the GOP field.
Speaking in Michigan on Wednesday, in the sort of free association common in his public speeches, Trump stated that the other GOP candidates are “all running for a job.” “They’ll do anything. Secretary of something? They even say VP. Does anyone see any VP in the group? I don’t think so.”
The speech came on the day of the second Republican presidential debate, which Trump opted to skip. Later, his campaign declared that there should be no more presidential debates.
Trump’s own former vice president, Mike Pence, is among those candidates, although he would appear exceedingly unlikely to end up on the ticket again. However, some Republican candidates for president, especially Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, and Vivek Ramaswamy, have been frequently mentioned as potential running mates for Trump. This is less the case for, say, Pence, Ron DeSantis, or Chris Christie, who have all been sharply critical of Trump throughout the cycle.
Haley, in particular, has been seen a vice presidential front-runner. She served in the Trump Administration, and has been relatively reluctant to criticize Trump in the early months of her campaign. Combined with her frequent shots at the current vice president, Kamala Harris, Haley is widely seen as a logical Trump running mate.
But according to Slate, a Trump campaign mailer called “The Real Nikki Haley” was distributed during Wednesday’s presidential debate. Slate noted that this means Haley has “made the Trump campaign’s radar, which has been trained almost exclusively on DeSantis for the duration of the campaign.”
Trump’s campaign had sent a “Real Nikki Haley” email before, during Haley’s launch appearance in February, although it’s not clear if this one is the same. The mailer featured old quotes in which Haley praised Hillary Clinton, and supported the entitlement reforms backed by former House Speaker Paul Ryan. She was also criticized for supporting further aid for Ukraine, for opposing a “transgender bathroom bill” in South Carolina, and for being “weak on immigration.”
So who will be Trump’s running mate, if he’s the nominee?
The Wall Street Journal, last month, laid out who some contenders might be. Rep. Elise Stefanik (D-NY), a moderate-turned-Trump loyalist in Congress, was mentioned, as was Rep. Nancy Mace (R-CO). The story noted that he had sung a different tune than yesterday earlier this year, having said “Let them debate so I can see who I MIGHT consider for Vice President!”
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has also been mentioned, as she both endorsed Trump earlier this month and ran South Dakota tourism ads during Wednesday’s presidential debate. However, Noem was the subject of scandalous headlines the following week.
Kari Lake and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) are both said to be interested, to the point where they have begun feuding with one another. A report in March stated that Trump was considering four candidates, all women, for vice president: Lake, Noem, Haley, and Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was the Trump Administration’s White House press secretary.
In his “Meet the Press” interview last week, Trump said that he likes the “concept” of a woman as vice president.
“I like the concept, but we’re going to pick the best person,” Trump said on “Meet the Press.”
From the Vault