Trump talks running mate, hints that a GOP primary opponent is possible

Former President Donald Trump has kept the rest of the GOP field at arm’s length away from his 2024 campaign, but in his latest Fox News interview he hinted at who among them might be considered as a running mate.

(Video: Fox News)

Throughout the developing primary, the president has displayed marked differences in treatment of rival campaigns on a case by case basis, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis perhaps taking more hits than the rest.

Despite the regularity with which Trump and his surrogates have vocalized their thoughts on loyalty, chiding those who’ve received support from the president in the past but have gone their own way or remained neutral thus far in the cycle, he remained open to the idea of rewarding some of his challengers with positions in his administration.

Joined by Mario Bartiromo at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club for an interview that premiered on “Sunday Morning Futures,” Trump acknowledged, “You have some good people on the stage actually. I think you have some very talented people. I’ve been impressed by some of them. Some of them I’m very friendly with, actually.”

The remark came as he remained noncommittal on whether or not he would be joining his opponents for the first primary debate in late August. While Bartiromo had pointed out his absence could provide DeSantis the opportunity to shine, she highlighted Trump’s response on social media that countered that argument.

“Or somebody else has a good night and cuts into his lead because that’s what’s happening,” the president contended. “He’s going down and a couple of them are going up. I think Vivek has done a very good job, frankly.”

The nod to businessman and primary challenger Vivek Ramaswamy was the first positive mention of a rival during the interview that also left Trump stating, “I think you have good potential cabinet members, too.”

Before Bartiromo asked her guest to weigh in specifically on South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, Trump suggested, without naming names, that some of his opponents had even phoned him up to get his approval before stepping into the race .

Of Scott specifically, the president said, “I think he’s a very good guy. We did opportunity zones together…Tim is very good. I mean, I could see Tim doing something with the administration, but he’s right now campaigning, and I’m sure Tim and everybody else would say I’m only interested in one, but Tim is a talented guy and you have other very talented people.”

At another point in the interview, the host challenged some of the errant picks that Trump had made for his administration after he argued he wouldn’t have hired the likes of former Attorney General Bill Barr, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper or FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Pushing back on the idea that he might make poor hiring decisions were he elected for a second term, Trump said of the errant pics, “I didn’t know the people. I know the people now better than anybody has ever known. The people I know, the good ones, the bad ones, the dumb ones, the smart ones.”

While he opened the door for ongoing speculation about a future cabinet or possible running mate, for the time being it remained unlikely that Trump and DeSantis would appear on the same ticket as the governor himself recently said of being a right hand man, “I don’t think so. I’m not a number two guy. I think I’m a leader.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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