OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump spoke recently about his potential running mate as speculation mounts over who he may choose to be on his 2024 ticket if he wins the GOP nomination.
During an interview on “Just the News, No Noise” on Real America’s Voice, Trump said he was looking for a “respected,” “common sense” person to be his running mate.
“You’ve got to be smart, you’ve got to be respected, you’ve got to have a conservative voice and common sense. We’re not talking about conservative, we’re talking about common sense,” Trump said.
While Trump did not name anyone specifically in the interview, he did at least share some insight into the type of person he would be interested in. A recent Politico report stated that an unnamed Trump adviser said the 45th president is likely to choose a running mate “from three general lanes of candidates: women, conservatives of color, or a trusted adviser.”
“Once you get past those two issues — loyalty and Trump going more with his gut — Trump has a lot of leeway in who he would pick,” said Tony Fabrizio, Trump’s lead pollster in 2016 and 2020.
“He’s not necessarily looking to balance the ticket geographically, but what he can do is pick to balance gender, race, ethnicity — a lot of different lanes there. It could be everything from a Tim Scott in South Carolina to an Asian American in California, or somebody Hispanic in Texas. There are so many choices and paths. And there’s lots of time to go,” he added.
According to a new report from the Washington Examiner, these four Republican women could be high on Trump’s shortlist: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and former Arizona journalist Kari Lake.
The Washington Examiner reported:
Sanders, the youngest governor in the United States and the longest-tenured press secretary in the Trump White House, flew up political draft boards after she delivered what Trump supporters agree was an “exceptionally strong” response to Biden’s State of the Union on Feb. 7.
Noem was elected as South Dakota’s first female governor in 2018 after spending more than a decade in the House of Representatives and has made a name for herself as a leading Republican lawmaker in the so-called “culture wars.”
Stefanik, the current chairwoman of the House GOP conference, was elected as a centrist Republican in 2015 but, after serving on the president’s defense team during his first impeachment, has shifted increasingly to the right. She frequently touts her strong ties to Trump and even endorsed his 2024 run days before he announced his candidacy.
Lake is perhaps the strangest potential pick and one many current and former Trump advisers hope he avoids. The former Phoenix-area news anchor lost her Trump-endorsed 2022 gubernatorial bid against Democrat Katie Hobbs, but she only further endeared herself to the former president by repeatedly claiming that widespread fraud occurred in the 2020 election.
One name not mentioned in the Washinton Examiner report is Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. Her name has been floated in the media recently.
NBC’s Jonathan Allen reported that several people have spoken to Greene and have been told “about her weighty ambitions,” Mediaite noted. “The second-term congresswoman has managed to align herself with the top Republican in the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), acting as one of the Republican’s most vocal allies in his fight to become House speaker.”
“This is no shrinking violet, she’s ambitious — she’s not shy about that, nor should she be,” said Steve Bannon, host of top podcast “War Room” and an early leading political adviser to Trump.
“She sees herself on the shortlist for Trump’s VP. Paraphrasing Cokie Roberts, when MTG looks in the mirror she sees a potential president smiling back,” he added, a reference to the late political reporter who worked for NPR, ABC News, and other outlets.