OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump sounded a dire tone during a rally in Iowa this week, telling the crowd that 2024 is likely to be the “final battle” to save the country from terminal “decline.”
“We are a failing nation. We are a nation in decline,” Trump said at a rally in Dubuque.
“2024 is our final battle. With you at my side, we will demolish the deep state. We will expel the warmongers from our government. They want to go to war with everybody,” he added, per The Western Journal.
“We will drive out the globalists,” Trump noted further. “We will cast out the communists, Marxists, and fascists, and we will throw off the sick political class that truly hates our country. We will route the fake news media. We will defeat crooked Joe Biden, and we will end illegal immigration once and for all, just as we had it three years ago.”
Earlier in the day, during a rally in the Iowa town of Maquoketa, Trump predicted that next year will be a “victory for the ages.”
“You know, I used to talk about 2016, that 2016 is the biggest election of our lifetime. And I meant it 100 percent,” Trump said. “But we are going to make this country stronger and better and more beautiful than ever before.
“Not just get it back, we’re going to make it better than ever before, but we have to win this election,” he continued.
Meanwhile, despite the fact that the Republican presidential primary isn’t over, former President Donald Trump is the clear front-runner. As a result, speculation about his vice presidential nominee is a natural next step.
After she heartily endorsed him earlier this month, Trump indicated his strong affinity for South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.
“I think she’s fantastic,” Trump said in an interview. “She’s been a great governor. She gave me a very full-throated endorsement, a beautiful endorsement. It’s been a very good state for me, and certainly, she would be one of the people I would consider for something else, maybe. We have a lot of great people in the Republican Party.”
Trump teased that he liked “the concept” of selecting a woman as his running mate, but that he’s also looking for “the right person.”
“You always do a little bit, but I don’t think it’s time,” Trump said, per the Washington Examiner. “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 has ever made that kind of a difference.’ It’s still about the person that’s going to be president.”
A recent report from Roll Call speculated that Trump’s “VP list” is likely down to these five Republicans, with Noem’s name likely being near the top:
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem
Arizona Republican Kari Lake
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott
Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley
New York Rep. Elise Stefanik
Scott, an African-American senator from South Carolina, is currently trying to defeat Trump in the primary, but has not attacked the 45th president much at all.
Scott, a former member of the state House, was elected to the United States House in 2010 and was appointed to the Senate in 2013, succeeding Republican Jim DeMint. Even though Trump does not require assistance in bolstering his evangelical base, Scott speaks openly about his faith and is a popular speaker on the Republican circuit.
“Nikki Haley: Of anyone on the list, the former South Carolina governor has been the most critical of Trump. But that doesn’t mean Trump won’t tap her to be his running mate. He chose her to be his ambassador to the United Nations (even if it was to help supporter Henry McMaster become governor), and she was the rare appointee to leave his administration unscathed. Haley would bring multiple layers of diversity to the ticket (potentially setting up a historic vice presidential debate between two Indian American women) and foreign policy experience,” Roll Call noted in its report.