What Trump Thinks About Scott, Noem, Rubio, Others for VP

What Trump Thinks About Scott, Noem, Rubio, Others for VP

As the veepstakes speculation grows, Donald Trump—Republicans’ presumptive nominee for president for the third straight time—has had plenty to say about the group of contenders for the second spot on the ticket.

Axios reported over the weekend on an audio recording obtained from a gathering at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in which the former president comments on numerous contenders for his choice to be vice president. 

Those possible Trump choices include three fellow Floridians who are in Congress: Sen. Marco Rubio and Reps. Byron Donalds and Michael Waltz. Trump also talked about two former 2024 primary opponents, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. 

The names of three more senators also were in the mix: Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Mike Lee of Utah, and JD Vance of Ohio. And Trump commented on the often-mentioned chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, Elise Stefanik of New York. 

North Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican who made the news last week for telling a story in her new memoir about shooting and killing a 14-month-old farm dog, was among those that Trump commented on. (For her part, Noem said the dog posed a danger to her family and other animals after killing chickens.) 

“Somebody that I love,” Trump says of Noem in the audio recording released by Axios. “She’s been with me, a supporter of mine, and I’ve been a supporter of hers for a long time.”

Axios reported that Trump’s “most prominent surrogates” went to Mar-a-Lago on Saturday to “audition for vice president.” At a private luncheon, Trump commented on the potential running mates, the outlet said. 

In the recording,Trump doesn’t seem to resent by name any former opponents in the 2024 Republican primaries who reportedly have been in the running for his nod to be vice president. (However, he doesn’t mention Nikki Haley, his former U.N. ambassador, who didn’t drop out until March 6.)

As for North Dakota’s Burgum, governor of a state next door to Noem’s, Trump says: “I didn’t know this: He was a supporter of my two campaigns. He’s a very rich man.”

On Scott, the South Carolina senator, Trump says: “As a candidate, he did a good job, but as a surrogate, he’s unbelievable.”

In a press release Monday, BetOnline announced that it was updating its betting odds after the Mar-a-Lago meeting, giving Scott and Burgum the best odds at 4-1. Vance, once seen as a longshot, rose to 5-1. Rubio is 8-1. 

Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a Democrat in Congress who became an independent after leaving office, is at 9-1. Gabbard’s name, however, doesn’t come up in the Trump audio leaked to Axios. 

Interestingly, none of the possible contenders mentioned by Trump were from battleground states such as Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin.

Trump notes that Vance wasn’t always on board, according to the audio, but calls the junior senator from Ohio “great,” Axios reported. 

“He wasn’t a supporter of mine at the very beginning [and] was saying things like ‘the guy’s a total disaster’… Anyways, I got to know him a little bit,” Trump says of Vance. “As a non-politician, he’s become one of the great senators.” 

In the 2016 Republican primary cycle, Trump mocked Florida’s Rubio as “Little Marco.” Rubio at one point referred to Trump’s small hands. 

In the audio, Trump only says of Rubio: “His name is coming up a lot for vice president.”

Significant news coverage has shown Trump gaining support among black men. Beyond Scott of South Carolina, Trump mentions two other possible black running mates in the audio recording. 

Of Rep. Wesley Hunt of Texas, Trump says: “Another friend of mine … makes the best commercials … beautiful family.”

Of a potential choice that would create a team of Donalds, Trump says of Donalds, the Florida congressman: “Somebody who’s created something very special politically. … I like diversity. Diversité, as you would say. I like diversité. [Donors] worth millions of dollars … all want a piece of Byron.”

There has also been plenty of speculation about Trump picking a woman to close the gender gap. 

Regarding Blackburn of Tennessee, Trump says “she was like the Energizer Bunny” in 2018, when she successfully campaigned to leave the House for the Senate. “She would go from stop to stop to stop.”

Of Stefanik, Trump says in the audio: “A very smart person. She was in upstate New York when I met her. … little did we realize she would be such a big factor.”

Trump is a former resident of New York City, where he built much of his real estate empire. He is now a resident of Florida. 

There is some debate about whether the 12th Amendment allows a president and vice president to be from the same state, and that debate could come into play if Trump wanted to select Stefanik, Rubio, Donalds, or Waltz.

Of Waltz, Trump says in the recording: “A man that knows more about the military. When I want to know about the military, I call him.”

Lee is a one-time critic of Trump who supported Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in the 2016 presidential primaries for the GOP nomination, when Lee also sported more hair.

In the audio, Lee gains some praise from the former president, who says of him: “I love your haircut” before adding: “And he’s a good man too.”

The Trump campaign didn’t respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment for this report. 

Original source

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.