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Rumors Swirl About Trump’s Potential 2024 Running Mate

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former President Donald Trump has yet to formally announce his 2024 candidacy for president, but he is widely expected to do so at some point this year.

But speculation continues to swirl about who his running mate will be.

Spoiler alert: It’s not likely to be his first one, former Vice President Mike Pence.

According to Newsnation, Paul Manafort, who briefly served as Trump’s first 2016 campaign manager, says he believes the 45th president will run again and suggested he pick someone like South Carolina GOP Sen. Tim Scott.

Self-described Republican Tara Setmayer disagreed, however, and told the streaming news outlet that Trump is “probably going to pick a woman” as his running mate.

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“We’ve already seen several Republican women that are vying for Trump’s affection, from Kristi Noem to Elise Stefanik to others.” Setmayer said. “That was an interesting out-of-left-field answer from Manafort.”

Newsnation noted:

There are four Republican women most often mentioned as possible Trump running mates: Nikki Haley, Elise Stefanik, Kristi Noem and Sarah Palin. Haley is the most prepared on paper. She was the governor of South Carolina and Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations. But, despite their close working relationship and friendship, they’ve had their differences. In 2016, when Trump was running, Haley said she’d endorse any Republican except Trump.

Stefanik has been a congresswoman since 2015 and has made a huge shift to the right since her election. She backed Trump during his impeachment and backed his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Noem is nationally known and popular with conservatives, but she took a bit of a hit when she said she’s comfortable with women leaving her state to get an abortion.

In May, CNN also speculated speculating Stefanik, a GOP lawmaker from New York, is a leading contender.

While talk about a 2024 vice-presidential pick is of course premature, conversations about adding Stefanik to a future Trump ticket have gained steam in recent weeks at Mar-a-Lago and in other Republican circles, sources said. Current and former advisers and others in Trump’s orbit have privately argued that the New York Republican, who replaced Rep. Liz Cheney as the no. 3 House Republican last year, is a fierce and loyal attack dog, and Trump would benefit from tapping a woman for vice president should he run again.

Two people familiar with the matter said Trump has been surveying close friends and allies on what they think of Stefanik, one of several Republican women he is possibly eyeing for the potential VP slot, though he has not ruled out a few male contenders, too. One of these people said the former President believes Stefanik has undergone a genuine transformation – leaving the moderate wing of the party to join its increasingly powerful “America First” flank.

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“There is a part of Trump who thinks he needs a female VP. He definitely likes her, likely because of how effusive she is to him,” one advisor to Trump has said.

However, in the meantime, there are those who believe the continued pursuit of Trump, legally through the Justice Department and via the House Select Committee on Jan. 6, is an effort to prevent him from running again.

In fact, some critics saw President Joe Biden’s widely panned speech Thursday evening as a direct attack on Trump and his supporters.

“I was calculating this in my mind before we went on whether I would even say something like this… If I were to be completely honest about it, I think he [Biden] is doing everything he can to gin up something so that people do get out of hand. That’s a terrifying thing to contemplate,” conservative commentator Charles Hurt said during an after-speech discussion Thursday evening, according to an analysis from private intelligence firm Forward Observer.

“We must be honest with each other and with ourselves,” Biden said at one point during his speech. “Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal. Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”

“MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution,” he falsely claimed. “They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people. They refuse to accept the results of a free election,” he added.

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