- Trump will likely focus on females and conservatives of color as he eyes a VP for 2024, per Politico.
- While the former president has not yet announced a campaign, he is watching a number of politicians.
- Sen. Tim Scott, a buzzy VP prospect in GOP circles, recently met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago.
Former President Donald Trump will likely look to women, conservatives of color, and close advisors in picking his vice presidential running mate if he launches a 2024 White House bid, according to Politico.
While former Vice President Mike Pence continues to laud Trump’s legislative accomplishments and explore his own possible 2024 campaign, the former president — who clashed with Pence over the certification of now-President Joe Biden’s electoral victory — is set to make a VP pick on his own terms.
With conservatives overwhelmingly in Trump’s corner, he doesn’t need to choose a No. 2 to make up for any major deficiencies among Republicans.
Tony Fabrizio, who was Trump’s lead pollster in 2016 and 2020, told Politico that the former president would have more “leeway” in his potential 2024 selection.
“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,” he said. “It could be everything from a Tim Scott in South Carolina to an Asian American in California, somebody Hispanic in Texas. There are so many choices and paths. And there’s lots of time to go.”
Trump recently met with Scott — one of the most prominent Black Republicans in the country — in Palm Beach.
“It was a really warm interaction,” a Republican onlooker told Politico. “Scott was appropriately deferential without being gross, like some people are. There was definitely chemistry there.”
Scott has seen his stock rise in GOP circles after giving the party’s rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s first joint address to Congress. In the third quarter of 2021, the senator raised a massive $US8.4 ($AU12) million.
The Palmetto State lawmaker, who is up for reelection in 2022, has also visited the early presidential-nominating states of Iowa and New Hampshire this year.
Longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone compared the early campaign moves to a tryout as Trump’s vice presidential pick.
“This is an audition — and Trump is paying attention,” he told Politico. “There’s no question that people running for president are really running for vice president all the time.”
He emphasized: “The key is to make it look like you’re not running for vice president.”
Among Trumpworld, there is a sense that a Black running mate could cut into Democratic advantages with this critical slice of the electorate — and a Hispanic running mate could boost GOP support in states like Arizona, Florida, Nevada, and Texas.
Some in the former president’s orbit have pointed to Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez of Florida — who serves under Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 candidate — as a Republican to watch.
However, in recent months, Trump has reportedly seen DeSantis as an emerging threat to his claim over the 2024 nomination.
“Trump feels he made DeSantis,” a Trump advisor told Politico. “Trump sees him as a competitor. And he’s not going to have someone with better numbers.”
Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa and Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, both staunch conservatives, have generated buzz as potential female candidates, according to the report.
Nikki Haley, the ex-US Ambassador to the United Nations, has been publicly critical of Trump in the past, which appears to have tamped down the buzz surrounding her name.
And Politico noted the lack of fervor for Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota among insiders connected to the former president.
Trump could also opt to pick a close ally like former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows as his running mate, per the report.
“Don’t rule out a consigliere lane for vice president, a Meadows-type,” a GOP source told Politico.