While Donald Trump hasn’t said whether he plans on running for president again, he still seems to be mulling over the subject of his potential running mate if he does.
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“The campaign finance laws don’t really allow you to discuss that unless you’re going to literally go through a different process,” Trump said during an interview on the Full Send Podcast in March.
“So, I think a lot of people are going to be really happy. You guys might be really happy but I think a lot of people are going to be very happy. But, I’ll wait,” he said then.
During his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, Trump gave the biggest hint yet that he will run for president again.
He said he would help the GOP get the majority back in the midterms and that he would win in 2024.
“The socialists, globalists, Marxists, and communists who are attacking our civilization have no idea of the sleeping giant they have awoken,” Trump said at the time.
“But they’re going to find out the hard way, starting on Nov. 8, and then again, even more so in November 2024, they will find out like never before. We did it twice and we’ll do it again. We’re going to be doing it again a third time.”
“The radical Left has tried to replace American democracy with woke tyranny,” Trump declared. “Our mission in 2022 and in 2024 is to take on this radical and power-hungry ruling class and to deliver them an electoral defeat.”
Behind the scenes, there appears to be movement towards a 2024 run, also.
He has recently taken a shine to Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, the moderate-turned-MAGA star who has built a strong bond with the former President, according to multiple GOP sources with first-hand knowledge.
The talk about Stefanik as a vice presidential nominee in 2024 is speculative, but the idea of adding her to a future Trump ticket has gained traction at Mar-a-Lago and in other Republican spheres in recent weeks, sources said.
In private, current and former advisers of Donald Trump have said the New York Republican, who succeeded Rep. Liz Cheney as no. 3 House Republican last year, is fierce and loyal, and that Trump would be better served by selecting a woman if he runs again.
According to people familiar with the situation, Trump has been asking his friends and allies about Stefanik, one of several Republican women he is considering for the possible VP slot, though he has not ruled out a few male candidates as well.
Stefanik has undergone a real transformation, according to one of these sources, leaving the center-right wing of the party to join the party’s increasingly influential “America First” wing.
“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,” a Trump adviser stated.
The opinion was seconded by longtime friend Chris Ruddy.
“President Trump thinks very highly of Elise Stefanik. … She has been talked about in circles close to him as a potential vice presidential,” he informed reporters. “And there’s a feeling among a lot of people on the Republican side that they need to have a woman on the ticket this time.”
Stefanik hasn’t announced whether she would serve as Trump’s running mate, but it’s clear she has bigger ambitions than her current leadership position: If the Republicans win control of the House next year, she has her eyes on the GOP whip post.
Several GOP lawmakers familiar with Stefanik’s thinking think that she could also run for the chair of the House Education and Labor Committee.
If Stefanik has Trump’s support, she will benefit in whatever she does, especially when the conference is still respectful of him.
A statement from Stefanik’s camp, however, explained that she is primarily focused on her role as conference chair, as well as representing her district and helping to win back the majority.
“Congresswoman Stefanik is 100% focused on serving New York’s 21st Congressional District and as House Republican Conference Chair helping lead the efforts to take back the House in 2022 to fire Nancy Pelosi once and for all to save America,” Stefanik’s senior adviser Alex DeGrasse said.
These initial discussions could signal that Trump is becoming more serious about launching a presidential campaign. However, Trump can also be found relishing a lengthy tryout process akin to “The Apprentice,” during which candidates vie for his attention. This election cycle, the campaign for his endorsement has already exposed this approach to dozens of 2022 Republicans.
In an interview in March, Trump implied that if he runs for president in 2024, he will not name Pence as his running mate.
“I don’t think the people would accept it,” Trump stated.
According to Trump, his differences with Pence are too great to overcome after the 2020 election.
“Mike and I had a great relationship except for the very important factor that took place at the end. We had a very good relationship,” Trump said. “I haven’t spoken to him in a long time.”
“I was disappointed in Mike,” Trump reflected.
Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, was overwhelmingly selected by Republican voters to be Donald Trump’s running mate in 2024, according to a survey.
DeSantis is the choice of 27 percent of Republican voters, compared to 15 percent who want former Vice President Pence as Trump’s vice president.
In third place came Nikki Haley, the former ambassador to the United Nations. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas placed fourth with 9 percent among respondents when asked which candidate they would like to see as Donald Trump’s Republican running mate.
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According to another poll, Trump would beat Joe Biden in a rematch of the 2016 presidential election.
The survey found that both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had disappointing approval ratings.
— Trump is preferred by 50 to 36 percent over Biden;
— Voters are almost 2-1 against Biden even making the ballot in 2024.