Speculation Mounts Over Donald Trump’s Potential Running Mate for 2024 Presidential Election

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

We’re still more than eight months away from the 2024 Presidential election, but many are speculating about who will join Donald Trump on the Republican ticket. Despite his legal troubles, Trump is the presumptive nominee. Who will he choose to run with him? The list includes former opponents and even a Democrat.

A New VP Candidate For Trump

Let’s start with the obvious. Trump’s former VP, Mike Pence, is not in the running. Pence served under Trump for four years, but the two parted ways over Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election results. As a reminder, he wanted Pence to throw out electoral college votes in key states and have Congress ratify alternate slates of electors.

Source: Lawyerscommittee

On January 6, 2021, things came to a head. Trump held a rally in DC and when it ended, encouraged attendees to head to the Capitol building where Pence presided over a joint session of Congress. There was talk of hanging Pence. The resulting insurrection has led to criminal charges against Trump.

Town Hall Teasers

Until recently, Trump has seemed reluctant to speculate about who might join him on the GOP ticket. During a South Carolina town hall, hosted by Laura Ingraham, the topic came up. Ingraham asked about Trump’s shortlist of potential running mates and offered a few suggestions.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

With almost all Republican elected officials backing Trump’s candidacy, he has a lot of people to choose from. Ingraham named a total of six potential contenders and Trump didn’t deny any of them were possibilities. They included some former opponents in this year’s primaries.

From Opponent To Running Mate?

Two of Trump’s former opponents for the 2024 Republican nomination were among those mentioned by Ingraham. These included Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who recently dropped out of the race. The other was Vivek Ramaswamy, an entrepreneur who suspended his campaign after the Iowa caucuses.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

It’s not unusual for nominees in either party to choose former opponents as running mates. Al Gore ran against Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential campaign and became Clinton’s Vice President. The same was true of George H.W. Bush, who served as Vice President under Ronald Reagan after running against him for the 1980 Republican nomination.

High-Profile Leaders

Two other potential running mates are both high-profile elected officials in the Republican Party. First, there’s Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina. Scott has refused to answer the question about whether he would have certified the 2020 election in Pence’s place. He has described himself as a “strong supporter of traditional conservative values.”

Source: Wikimedia/U.S. Department of Agriculture

The second official named as a contender is North Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. Noem has been seen as positioning herself for consideration. This month, she deployed North Dakota’s National Guard to the Southern border of the US without being asked to do so. That’s an action that could have been designed to get Trump’s attention.

The Less Known Official

While Noem and Scott are both high-profile figures who have spent time in the national spotlight, there’s one more Republican on the list whose name is largely unknown outside of his own district. We’re talking about US Congressman Byron Donalds, who represents Florida’s 19th district.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Donalds has supported some of Trump’s most controversial opinions. On January 6, he objected to the certification of electors from two contested states, Pennsylvania and Arizona. He has also repeatedly called the winner of the 2020 election, President Joe Biden, an illegitimate president.

The Surprise Democrat

Given how readily the hard-line right wing of the GOP has supported Trump, it might come as a shock to some that Trump mentioned a Democrat as a potential running mate. Enter Tulsi Gabbard, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 against Joe Biden.

Source: Wikimedia/marcn

After dropping out of the presidential race, Gabbard served as US Representative from Hawaii’s second district until her successor was sworn in. Since leaving office, she has taken a hard turn right with her positions on abortion, transgender rights, and immigration. Her alignment with Trump on these issues could make her an attractive option.

What Did Trump Say About The People On His Shortlist?

After Laura Ingraham listed the six potential names for the shortlist, she directly asked Trump, “Are they all on your shortlist?” Trump’s reply was more definite than anything else he’s said about potential running mates so far this election year.

Source: Wikimedia/Michael Vadon

“They are… honestly all of those people are good. They’re all good, they’re all solid.” Trump didn’t rule out any of Ingraham’s suggestions. Of course, it’s too early to say who’ll end up on the ballot with Trump or even if he’ll be on the ballot at all. That’s an unlikely event, but there are some who think it could happen.

What Could Keep Trump Off The Ballot?

As of February of 2024, Donald Trump is up to his neck in legal trouble. He’s lost two civil lawsuits and is on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. He’s also been indicted 91 times for a variety of crimes including mishandling of classified documents.

Source: Andrew Kelly

It’s arguable that the biggest worry for Trump is the federal case against him for the January 6 insurrection. That trial is expected to begin on March 4, 2024. If convicted, it’s possible that Trump could face prison time. That would open up a host of legal issues related to whether an incarcerated person can be elected president.

Who Could Be A Surprise Pick?

There are two women that many thought would be on Trump’s shortlist. Some expressed surprise and dismay that they were not mentioned. Their omission from the list doesn’t necessarily mean they’re out of the running. We’re talking about Representative Elise Stefanik of New York and Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, is happening this month. Many see it as an opportunity for contestants in Trump’s “Veepstakes” to be in attendance. Their words and actions could help them get noticed, but it’s unlikely Trump will announce his pick until this summer, shortly before the GOP convention in the middle of July.

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Aimee Partridge

Written by Aimee Partridge

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