OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump turned heads again last week after suggesting that one of his rivals for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination could wind up being his running mate.
According to The Hill, Trump said he has “to like a guy like” Vivek Ramaswamy, a business entrepreneur who has been rising in the polls and has refrained from being critical of the former president.
“Well, I think he’s great. Look, anybody that said I’m the best president in a generation … I have to like a guy like that,” Trump told Glenn Beck in a call-in interview on Blaze TV, in reference to comments Ramaswamy made during the first GOP primary debate last week.
“He’s a smart guy. He’s a young guy. He’s got a lot of talent. He’s a very, very, very intelligent person,” Trump continued. “He’s got good energy, and he could be in some form of something. I tell ya, I think he’d be very good. I think he’s really distinguished himself.”
He went on to say that the entrepreneur has become “a little bit controversial” as he has gained more notoriety.
The outlet noted further:
Ramaswamy, the 38-year-old entrepreneur, was among the most prominent candidates on the debate stage last week in Milwaukee. He has gained significant media attention as his poll numbers have ticked up and as he has made various inflammatory and controversial statements.
He has said he would cede parts of Ukraine to Russia to end the war in Ukraine; he has suggested the U.S. should cut off support to Israel; and he has faced backlash for incendiary remarks about Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), comparing the Black lawmaker to “modern grand wizards” of the Ku Klux Klan.
According to RealClearPolitics’ average of polls earlier this month, Ramaswamy has risen to third place behind Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and has actually surpassed the Florida governor in a couple of polls.
Trump, surprisingly, has also floated the name of a Democratic presidential candidate as a possible running mate as well: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
During a call-in segment with Newsmax host Rob Schmitt, the 45th president was asked if he thought Kennedy would impact the race if he ran on a third-party ticket.
“I don’t know, but he’s got great support in the party. He’s got great support in the Democrat Party,” Trump responded. Trump added that he had seen some polling where Kennedy was getting 23 percent. “That’s a lot of votes,” he said.
“A lot of people like you and him as a combination, too,” Schmitt said. “I don’t think that can happen, but have you ever thought about that?” He added: “Trump/Kennedy looks good on a bumper sticker.”
“No, but people have suggested it. I read the same things that you do. There are a lot of people suggesting it, there’s no question about that,” Trump added. “I’ve known him over the years. He’s a smart guy and well-intentioned. I really believe he’s very well-intentioned.”
One report speculated that Trump could choose one of these women: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, or Arizona Republican firebrand Kari Lake.
Noem was not convinced following the 2022 midterm elections that Trump would be the best candidate to lead the Republican Party into the 2024 presidential elections, but she appears to have changed her tune.
Noem endorsed Trump during a campaign rally in her state last week, “fueling speculation about the role the Republican governor may play in his third bid for the White House.”
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.