Former US President has said his running mate must be a capable leader in case of an “emergency”
Former US President Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner to battle likely Democratic candidate Joe Biden in November’s election, has said that his prospective running mate must be capable of being a good president should an “emergency” befall his possible administration.
The latest polling data shows Trump, 77, holding a commanding lead over the former South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley, in the race to secure the GOP nomination.
But with Trump having so far avoided the debate stage as the Republican field thinned to just two candidates, several questions remain over his candidacy – including exactly what he will be looking for in a running mate should he, as expected, be anointed as the Republican nominee.
“Always it’s gotta be who is going to be a good president,” Trump told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday when asked what the criteria for his VP selection might be.
“Obviously you always have to think that, because in case of emergency,” Trump added. “Things happen, right? No matter who you are, things happen. That’s gotta be number one.”
While Trump said that he doesn’t intend to make a selection for “a little while,” he did highlight the candidacy of some potential contenders. “You know, I called [South Carolina Senator] Tim Scott and people like Tim Scott, and I said you’re a much better candidate for me than you are for yourself,” Trump said to Bartiromo.
“When I watched him, he was fine. He was good, but he was very low-key,” he added.
Trump also said that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has caught his eye. Noem said last summer that she would never run as a candidate against Trump because she does not believe that she, or anyone else for that matter, can beat him.
Recent media reports have suggested that Trump’s campaign team had last year reached out to former Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to gauge his interest as a possible running mate. Kennedy, now running for US president as an independent candidate, denied the claim – as did Trump on Fox News on Sunday, saying that the reported discussions “never happened.”
Trump’s vice president between 2017 and 2021 was former Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Their political alliance ended in acrimonious circumstances over the January 2021 riots at the US Capitol, after Pence refused to comply with Trump’s demands to prevent Congress from certifying the results of Joe Biden’s 2020 US presidential election victory.