OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Speculation has been rampant about who former President Donald Trump would pick to be his vice president if he were to secure the Republican nomination for president.
But unlike President Joe Biden, the former president will not give a definite answer on picking a female vice president, though he said he likes the idea.
“Mr. President, have you thought about a potential running mate if you were to win the nomination?” NBC “Meet The Press” anchor Kristen Welker said to the former president in an interview on Sunday.
“I like not to think too much about that. You always do a little bit, but I really don’t think it’s time. I want to win. And, you know, it’s very interesting about running mates. When you get down to a vice president, they said, ‘Nobody’s ever made that kind of a difference. It’s still about the person that’s going to be president.’ But it’s an important decision,” he said.
“Are you leaning toward a woman?” the anchor said.
“I like the concept, but we’re going to pick the best person. But I do like the concept, yes,” he said.
“A lot of people noticed when Governor Noem endorsed you, there were Trump/Noem signs. Do you have your eye on her?” the anchor said.
“I do. I think she’s fantastic. She’s been a great governor. She gave me a very full-throated endorsement, a beautiful endorsement, actually. And, you know, it’s been a very good state for me. And certainly, she’d be one of the people I’d consider, or for something else, maybe. But we have a lot of people. We have a lot of great people in the Republican Party,” he said.
Former President Donald Trump picked up a major endorsement Friday night during a rally in South Dakota, as Gov. Kristi Noem publicly announced she would back him for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
“Tonight, Mr. President, my message is clear: It is an honor to have you with us in South Dakota,” Noem said in front of a crowd of thousands in Rapid City, home to the Mount Rushmore National Monument. “You made America great again once. Let’s do it again.”
At that, Trump took the stage and briefly embraced the GOP governor as “TRUMP NOEM 2024” briefly flashed on a huge screen above the stage.
“Kristi is a warrior for American values,” Trump said, according to The New York Times.
After complimenting her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming one of the first states to reopen and stay open, Trump added: “I get endorsements, some good, some bad. Some don’t mean anything. Hers means a lot.”
It should be noted that just eight of the country’s 26 Republican governors have picked a side in the 2024 race. Besides Noem, Govs. Mike Dunleavy of Alaska, Jim Justice of West Virginia, and Henry McMaster of South Carolina have backed Trump. Two others — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum — are running against him.
In an interview with Fox News, Noem said she would “consider” becoming Trump’s running mate.
Once considered as a potential 2024 candidate herself, Noem made clear earlier this year she would not be running and would instead focus her attention and energies on her state. However, in the months since, she appears to be raising her profile nationally ahead of next year’s presidential contest and has even sparked conversations about becoming Trump’s running mate.
“She’s remained in contact and on good terms with the former president, according to sources familiar with their interactions. Though Noem didn’t attend last month’s first Republican presidential debate, ads touting her state’s low taxes and job openings aired during it and since then on Fox News,” CNN reported.
Noem also has another connection to Trump – Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager and confidante who has been an adviser to Noem since 2020.