OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump has yet to name a running mate — it’s way too soon, considering there have been no debates, no primaries, and the Republican National Convention is more than a year away.
But he does continue to entertain certain names, including a lifelong Democrat.
On Thursday, Trump reacted to potentially teaming up with long-shot 2024 Democratic presidential contender Robert F. Kennedy Jr., singing his praises as “a smart guy.”
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 vote,” 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.”
In June, Trump sang the praises of the son of assassinated U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy as well during an interview with Howie Carr.
“He’s a common sense guy, and so am I,” Trump said. “He’s been very nice to me, I’ve actually had a very nice relationship with him over the years.”
“He’s doing really well, I saw a poll, he’s at 22. That’s pretty good! That’s pretty good, doing very well,” Trump added.
In June, former Trump campaign manager Steve Bannon dropped Kennedy’s name as a potential Trump running mate pick.
During a segment on his “War Room” podcast, Bannon suggested that RFK Jr. doesn’t have any real chance of winning the 2024 Democratic primary but that he could join Trump’s ticket to become an “unstoppable force.”
“Robert RFK Jr. is not going to win the Democratic nomination. The reason is that hard-core Democrats are not going to vote for him,” Bannon began. “If you look at the polling, his voters, that 19 to 20 plus percent, whatever it is right now in the polling, are people that voted for Obama twice looking for a change and many of whom voted for Trump in ’16. What you have is this anti-establishment, anti-authoritarian, populist movement that doesn’t trust the administrative state, doesn’t trust the deep state.”
Bannon continued, saying to listen to “Judas Pence. Listen to these guys. Listen to all the Keebler elves and then listen to what Robert F Kennedy is talking about. And you see the Venn diagram. There’s a much bigger overlap, potential overlap with what President Trump’s talking about. So this is something that’s emerging and you got to keep your eye on it. Is it perfect? No. We live in a very imperfect world. But you see something that’s aborning right here.”
Bannon rounded out his argument by noting that Trump was dismissed in 2015 as not being a serious candidate, adding that RFK Jr. is also being dismissed by the media and others in the Democratic Party.
“So there’s something aborning here and we’ve got to keep our eye on it. This is very much like, as John Fredericks remembers in ‘14 and ‘15 when we were talking about this and this guy named Trump that, you know, was a leading something that was just, you know, starting to coalesce,” Bannon continued.
“And of course, people mocked and ridiculed it. He’s just a TV guy. All he’s trying to do is renegotiate his deal with NBC. No, that was incorrect,” Bannon concluded.