Donald Trump is already considering potential vice presidential candidates to join him on the ticket for a 2024 run, Politico reported on Monday. His top criteria for a potential running mate? The former president wants someone who will “embrace” the unfounded claim that the 2020 election was rigged, and who is also, of course, blindingly loyal to Trump.
Trump is reportedly of the belief that Republicans are falling all over themselves in hopes of becoming his vice presidential pick. “They’re all begging me. They all come here,” Trump told one adviser, who shared Trump’s words with Politico.
One person who appears to be already making appeals is Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who made a recent pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago. According to a Republican who was in the room during the meeting, Scott showed appropriate fealty to the former president. Strong fundraising numbers and the senator’s visits to early voting states in the nomination process also give him an edge in the competition.
But there is still a lot of time between now and after the midterm elections, which is when Trump has said he will “probably” announce whether he’s running.
Other contenders for the VP slot, according to Politico‘s report, are Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (who spoke at a Trump rally this summer), and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). The list also includes former members of the Trump administration like Mike Pompeo, who served as secretary of State and CIA director, and Ric Grenell, who was acting national security director under Trump.
“This is an audition. And Trump is paying attention,” longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone told Politico. “There’s no question that people running for president are really running for vice president all the time. The key is to make it look like you’re not running for vice president.”
One person who isn’t on the list, however, is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. While DeSantis has shown he is willing to tout the voting fraud lie, Politico reported earlier this month that Trump had been complaining about him to members and guests at his Mar-a-Lago resort, potentially because DeSantis has so far refused to rule out a 2024 presidential run for himself.
“Trump feels he made DeSantis. Trump sees him as a competitor,” a Trump adviser told Politico, adding, “And he’s not going to have someone with better numbers.”