The key consideration, President Trump said, is ‘who would be a good president?’
Former President Donald Trump has dropped the names of several contenders for his running mate and future cabinet members.
President Trump made the comments to Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo in an interview that aired on “Sunday Morning Futures” on Feb. 4.
President Trump is seen by many observers as all but the presumptive Republican nominee with back-to-back blowout wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, where he won by double-digit margins in each contest.
Asked when he would announce his running mate for his third White House bid, President Trump told Ms. Bartiromo, “Not for a while.”
“I mean, we have so many great people in the Republican Party, but not for a while,” he said.
“What criteria are you using to identify who your running mate is?” Ms. Bartiromo asked.
The key consideration, President Trump replied, is “who would be a good president?”
Ms. Bartiromo followed up by asking President Trump point blank who he’s gonna choose as his vice presidential pick in 2024.
“I have a lot of good ideas but I haven’t [decided],” President Trump replied.
But he mentioned the names of several contenders for the No. 2 position in the federal government, including Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem—two who have long been seen as top prospects. Other names commonly mentioned are Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.).
But President Trump specifically mentioned Mr. Scott and Ms. Noem during the interview.
“I called Tim Scott … and I said, ‘You are a much better candidate for me than you were for yourself,’” President Trump said, citing Mr. Scott’s high-energy support of President Trump at several campaign stops.
Mr. Scott mounted a bid for the White House last year, but dropped out after failing to gain traction in the polls. He later endorsed President Trump.
“I watched him in the last week defending me and sticking up for me and fighting for me, and I said, ‘Man, you’re a much better person for me than you are for yourself.’ Because for himself, he was low key,” President Trump said. “For me, he’s been a he’s been a real tiger. He’s been incredible.”
Still, when pressed on whether Mr. Scott would be his running mate, President Trump still said, “It could be, it could be a lot of people.”
He also mentioned Ms. Noem directly.
“Kristi Noem has been incredible fighting for me,” President Trump said. “She said, ‘I’d never run against him because I can’t beat him.’ That was a very nice thing to say.”
Trump Answers RFK Jr. Speculations
President Trump also strongly denied claims that he had considered Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to be his running mate.
Mr. Kennedy, the son of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, is currently mounting an Independent bid for the White House. Like President Trump, Mr. Kennedy has run an anti-establishment campaign, criticizing the existing bureaucracy and claiming himself to be the target of oppositional state actors.
With similar themes and messaging across their campaign, the prospect of the two men teaming up has long been discussed in politics.
However, both men have on separate occasions denied the speculation, with each saying they have too many differences to effectively create a ticket.
During her interview with President Trump, Ms. Bartiromo cited reports that President Trump’s campaign team had reached out to Mr. Kennedy to share a ticket.
President Trump dismissed this as “a false story,” but still said, “I like [Mr. Kennedy] a lot.”
During the interview, President Trump also addressed the prospect of a future cabinet, and who might be involved in it.
Some of these would be returning faces, President Trump said.
“Is it fair to believe that you would have a number of your former officials in your new cabinet?” Ms. Bartiromo asked.
“I will put some back,” President Trump replied.
President Trump acknowledged, as he has on other occasions, that he made some staffing mistakes during his last stint in the White House, but he dismissed the importance of these missteps.
“Of course, but everybody does,” President Trump replied when asked about those.
As on other occasions, he emphasized that he was an outsider to Washington in 2016, forcing him to rely on advice from people who didn’t have his best interests at heart.
Now, President Trump said, “I know people I didn’t know before. I know now the smart ones, I know the dumb ones, I know the weak ones and the strong ones.”
Regarding potential returning figures, President Trump was demure.
Asked about the prospect of former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo making a return, President Trump said, “I don’t know.”
He was also asked about former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, who President Trump praised as “fantastic.”
He said that Mr. Ratcliffe “has done a great job.”
President Trump added that Dr. Ben Carson, former head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, had also done a great job.
“So you’re expecting them to be in your cabinet?” Ms. Bartiromo asked.
“Some of them,” President Trump replied. “I mean, if somebody did a good job, I would do that. Yeah.”
Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, won’t be making a return if President Trump is reelected, he also suggested.
Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, a Trump rival-turned-campaign surrogate, is also seen as a likely cabinet member, though this was not addressed during the interview.