Former President Donald Trump has indicated that he does not see much potential for a running mate among the current crop of Republican candidates contending for the 2024 nomination.
During a Wednesday evening speech in Michigan, Trump referred to the GOP candidates congregated in California for the second Republican primary debate 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 crowd at an auto parts plant in Clinton Township.
Steven Cheung, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, told The Washington Post in an email on Thursday that Trump “was very clear in his remarks” but did not directly address whether the former president is excluding all seven candidates from the debate.
Trump made headlines last week when he indicated his strong affinity for South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem — who could be high on his “VP list.”
“I think she’s fantastic,” Trump said in an interview. “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 teased that he liked “the concept” of selecting a woman as his running mate, but that he’s also looking for “the right person.”
“You always do a little bit, but I don’t think it’s time,” Trump said, per the Washington Examiner. “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.”
In the meantime, polls from Echelon Insights in July showed that Trump was ahead of his expected Democratic opponent in a number of key states.
The poll found that 48% of people in split states would probably or definitely vote for Trump, while only 41% would probably or definitely vote for Biden. Trump has 42% of likely voters’ support, while 43% of likely voters support Biden. However, the Washington Examiner claimed that Trump could win 270 Electoral College votes by winning the split states.
In the past few months, Trump has been beating Biden in the polls. According to Mediaite, an ABC/Washington Post poll from May showed that he had a huge 7-point lead over Biden.