OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
With speculation ripe that former President Donald Trump will run for president in 2024, rumors are beginning to surface about who he may choose as his possible running mate.
A report from Newsnation notes how brief 2016 Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort said he believes Trump will run again and suggested he pick someone like South Carolina GOP Sen. Tim Scott.
Self-described Republican Tara Setmayer disagreed by telling NewsNation that Trump is “probably going to pick a woman” as his running mate.
“We’ve already seen several Republican women that are vying for Trump’s affection, from Kristi Noem to Elise Stefanik to others.” Setmayer said. “That was an interesting out-of-left-field answer from Manafort.”
There are four Republican women most often mentioned as possible Trump running mates: Nikki Haley, Elise Stefanik, Kristi Noem and Sarah Palin. Haley is the most prepared on paper. She was the governor of South Carolina and Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations. But, despite their close working relationship and friendship, they’ve had their differences. In 2016, when Trump was running, Haley said she’d endorse any Republican except Trump.
Stefani has been a congresswoman since 2015 and has made a huge shift to the right since her election. She backed Trump during his impeachment and backed his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Noem is nationally known and popular with conservatives, but she took a bit of a hit when she said she’s comfortable with women leaving her state to get an abortion.
Back in late May, CNN published a report speculating that New York Rep. Elise Stefanik is likely a frontrunner.
While talk about a 2024 vice-presidential pick is of course premature, conversations about adding Stefanik to a future Trump ticket have gained steam in recent weeks at Mar-a-Lago and in other Republican circles, sources said. Current and former advisers and others in Trump’s orbit have privately argued that the New York Republican, who replaced Rep. Liz Cheney as the no. 3 House Republican last year, is a fierce and loyal attack dog, and Trump would benefit from tapping a woman for vice president should he run again.
Two people familiar with the matter said Trump has been surveying close friends and allies on what they think of Stefanik, one of several Republican women he is possibly eyeing for the potential VP slot, though he has not ruled out a few male contenders, too. One of these people said the former President believes Stefanik has undergone a genuine transformation – leaving the moderate wing of the party to join its increasingly powerful “America First” flank.
“There is a part of Trump who thinks he needs a female VP. He definitely likes her, likely because of how effusive she is to him,” an adviser to the former president said.
“President Trump thinks very highly of Elise Stefanik. … She has been talked about in circles close to him as a potential vice president,” Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy said. “And there’s a feeling among a lot of people on the Republican side that they need to have a woman on the ticket this time.”
Big Tech’s blatant censorship has gone on for too long.
Congress MUST investigate Twitter IMMEDIATELY and they MUST be held accountable. https://t.co/hyr4rTOuyT
— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) September 1, 2022
Another name floated in the media is South Dakota GOP Gov. Kristi Noem.
However, Noem said in July that she would be “shocked” if Trump asked her to be his running mate, assuming he runs for president again.
“I think that there’s a lot of people out there who would like his running mate. I’m focused on getting reelected,” Noem told CNN’s co-anchor Dana Bash.
“I don’t operate in that hypothetical either,” Noem continued. “I would be shocked if he asked. And right now, I’m just so focused on South Dakota. We’re doing great things, and we’ve got a lot more to do the next four years.”
— The Hill (@thehill) July 4, 2022