(CBrief) – At this point, it seems clear that former President Donald Trump will win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination again, as most polls have him up by 40-50 points over his primary rivals. So it only makes sense that he would begin to contemplate who he is looking at to become his running mate and, potentially, the country’s next vice president.
But the likelihood that Trump would pick someone currently running against him seems remote, according to the former president himself.
During a recent speech in Michigan, Trump referred to the GOP candidates as “all job candidates.”
“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 told the rally crowd gathered at an auto parts plant in Clinton Township.
Steven Cheung, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, told The Washington Post in an email after the event that Trump “was very clear in his remarks” but did not directly address whether the former president is excluding all current GOP presidential candidates from the debate.
That said, Trump did drop a big hint about a potential running mate not currently running against him: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.
“I think she’s fantastic,” he said ahead of a late summer rally held in her state. “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 also addressed earlier reports that he was strongly leaning towards a female running mate, but did not commit to picking a woman.
“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.”
Another woman whose name has been mentioned quite a bit as a Trump running mate is former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, but her name has since been taken out of the running after she announced instead she would be running for Independent Sen. Krysten Sinema’s seat next year.
And Lake appears to have moved on from her campaign to overturn the results of the 2022 gubernatorial election, which saw her narrowly lose to Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
To the bitter end, she claimed that the 2020 election was stolen from Mr. Trump, who urged other Republicans to follow her lead. … Hence the new Kari Lake, who is focusing on the issues, including the border crisis and rising prices.
“There is not a gas pump out there for Republicans, and one for Democrats, right?” she said during her announcement speech. “There’s not an inflation rate for Republicans, and then a separate one for Democrats. All Arizonans are feeling the stress of Biden’s reckless spending.”
That’s not to say she didn’t address voting integrity, though what she did say could also have been said by any Republican.
“I am never going to walk away from the fight to restore honest elections,” she told supporters, the WSJ reported. “I’m never going to stop until every voter feels confident that their one legal vote counts.”
The outlet noted further that the Senate race will be tough:
The Arizona Senate race is difficult to handicap, since it’s likely to be a three-way contest. The incumbent, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, left the Democrats to become an independent. She’s being attacked from the left by Rep. Ruben Gallego, the probable Democratic nominee.