OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump recently indicated that he does not see much potential for a running mate among the current crop of Republican candidates contending for the 2024 nomination.
“They’ll do anything: secretary of something, they even say VP. Has anyone seen a VP in that group? I don’t think so,” Trump recently said during a rally in Michigan.
Steven Cheung, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, told The Washington Post in an email that Trump “was very clear in his remarks” but did not directly address whether the former president is excluding all seven candidates from the debate.
However, according to The Hill, one name might be high on his “VP list” — South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem.
During a recent interview, Trump said of Noem: “I think she’s fantastic. 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. “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.”
During an interview in September, Noem made it clear she would be interested in the job.
“Oh, absolutely,” Noem said on Newsmax in September when asked whether she would consider a slot on the ticket with Trump. “I would in a heartbeat.”
“As governor of a deep red state, she has enacted significant abortion restrictions and banned transgender women from participating on school sports teams consistent with their gender identity. She passes the loyalty test, which is key for Trump: She’s already endorsed him in the 2024 race. The 52-year-old’s gender and relative youth would also bring balance to the ticket alongside 77-year-old Trump,” The Hill reported.
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
A new report says that former First Lady Melania Trump has a short-list favorite to become her husband’s running mate in 2024.
According to an exclusive report from Axios examining who former President Donald Trump may want in his “loyalty-first Cabinet,” Melania believes one-time Fox News star Tucker Carlson should become her husband’s running mate.
“Here’s an interesting twist: Melania Trump is an advocate for picking Tucker Carlson, the booted Fox News star. She thinks Carlson would make a powerful onstage extension of her husband, a source close to Trump told us. The former first lady has made few campaign appearances this time around, but a Trump-Carlson ticket might encourage her to hit the trail,” the outlet reported.
Axios added, “However, many people close to Trump have dismissed the idea of Tucker Carlson because they believe he would never choose someone who could surpass him. And Trump’s staff is convinced (correctly) that Carlson can’t be controlled. But the two men talk a lot.”
Last month, New York Times columnist Maggie Haberman, during an interview with host Jamie Weinstein for an episode of The Dispatch Podcast, talked about how the former president plans to fill his new administration with devoted supporters if he wins a second term. Because of this, Weinstein asked Haberman what he thought about rumors that Trump might choose Carlson to be his vice president.
“It’s a real thing that I am hearing as a possibility,” Haberman said. “The likelihood of it, I don’t know. I think there will be a pretty professional vetting process, honestly. I know that might sound unbelievable based on what we’ve seen from Trump historically, but Trump’s current political team is the best—at least as a non-incumbent—that he’s had, and there’s just a different level of control.”
While Haberman continued to speak about Carlson as a potential Trump VP pick, she noted that “the risk with Tucker Carlson and Trump is that Tucker Carlson’s a very big star in his own right, and I’m not sure how Trump would contend with that.”
Earlier in the month, Trump indicated he’d consider Carlson as a potential running mate.
“I like Tucker a lot; I guess I would,” Trump said during an appearance on “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show.” “I think I’d say I would because he’s got great common sense. You know, when they say that you guys are conservative, or I’m conservative — it’s not that we’re conservative; we have common sense. We want to have safe borders. We want to have a wall because walls work.”