Friends and allies urge Trump to choose an African-American woman or man as his running mate

The Republican candidate said at a Fox News event in Iowa on Jan. 10 that “I know who it will be” when asked about a running mate, but his allies say his requests for advice on an election has continued since then.

Donald Trump’s friends and allies are giving him names of mostly African-American men and women as he asks them for advice on a running mate who could join his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, five of them said. between them at Reuters.

An ally who spoke to Reuters said an African-American woman or man as a vice presidential candidate would be “helpful” to Trump, who needs to improve his standing among both demographic groups and attract more moderate voters when of a probable rematch of the general elections against him. Democratic President Joe Biden in November.

Four other allies, whose advice Trump sought as he considered his running mate, gave him names to consider.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem greets Donald Trump before speaking at a Republican Party rally in Rapid City, South Dakota, September 8, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Topping that list of names are South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem; New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, all women.

Also on the list are South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and Ben Carson, Trump’s former housing and urban development secretary, both African-American.

Trump has not yet made a final decision, his allies said, but he calls frequently to seek advice.

“Every day, everywhere I go, it’s, ‘What do you think of this person?’ What do you think of this person?’ said a close ally, describing the nature of Trump’s phone calls.

The allies, two of whom have direct knowledge of the inner workings of the Trump campaign, spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter more freely.

Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks during Trump’s campaign rally at Ted Hendricks Stadium in Hialeah, Florida, November 8, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Trump said at a Fox News event in Iowa on Jan. 10 that “I know who it will be” when asked about a vice presidential candidate, but his allies say his demands advice on an election has continued since then.

A former Trump White House official who is still in contact with the former president said Trump expressed his preference for choosing a woman because he believed it would improve his prospects, with Stefanik and Noem in top of his list.

A fifth ally said Trump had already drawn up a shortlist.

The Trump campaign did not respond to questions about who Trump considers to be his running mate.

Opposition to Haley

There also appears to be widespread resistance to the choice of Nikki Haley, Trump’s former U.N. ambassador and last surviving rival for the nomination, a donor close to Trump said.

Opposition to Haley among some Trump allies and within the Trump campaign has intensified in recent days as she has stepped up attacks on her age (she is 77) and mental acuity.

Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign event ahead of the South Carolina Republican presidential primary in North Charleston, January 24, 2024. Photo: Reuters

Haley ruled out being Trump’s vice presidential nominee on Jan. 19, saying being someone’s vice president was “out of the question.” Trump said on January 19 that he “probably” would not choose her as his running mate.

When he first ran for president in 2016, Trump realized he needed a vice presidential pick who could help shore up support among evangelical Republicans and conservatives social, who were suspicious of the star. reality show married three times.

Trump chose Mike Pence, then Indiana’s governor and a fierce social conservative, a move that assuaged fears about him among the party’s right wing and solidified his Republican base.

This year, Trump allies and Republican strategists say Trump needs help attracting suburban voters in a handful of battleground states where November’s election will likely be decided.

Looking at the general election map, the donor said: “A woman on the list could be a big help. An African American on the roster could be a big help.

Trump’s way

Noem, Stefanik, Scott and Carson worked hard to support Trump during his election campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to vote in the Republican primaries. Party pundits and strategists view his appearances as auditions for the vice presidential election.

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott speaks as Donald Trump reacts during a rally ahead of the New Hampshire primary election in Laconia, January 22, 2024. Photo: Reuters

Stefanik has become a fiercely loyal Trump surrogate and is a rising star in the Republican Party.

He gained national prominence in December after he humiliated the presidents of three major universities over anti-Semitism on their campuses during a congressional hearing, prompting two of them to subsequently resign.

Stefanik spoke at a rally in New Hampshire on Friday, stopped at a restaurant on Saturday and then at Trump’s campaign headquarters in Manchester.

As she made her way through the crowd toward a row of television cameras, Stefanik was asked by Reuters whether she had discussed the role of vice president with Trump or his aides. She declined to comment on this, but added: “I would be honored to serve in a future Trump administration in any capacity.” »

The question prompted a chant of “VP, VP, VP” among Trump supporters in attendance.

At another rally in New Hampshire on Sunday, Trump congratulated Stefanik but mispronounced his name.

Alex Degrasse, Stefanik’s spokesperson, said the congresswoman “does not discuss her conversations with President Trump.”

Donald Trump with former Republican presidential candidate and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson during a campaign rally in Sioux City, Iowa, October 29, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Noem, who is serving her second term as governor of South Dakota after a landslide reelection victory in 2022, is close to Trump. He gained national prominence after refusing to impose a statewide mask mandate during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Noem campaigned for and with Trump at several events in Iowa earlier this month, including three stops across the state on January 3.

Before her final speech that day, CBS News asked her if she was Trump’s running mate. “I think anyone in this country, if given that option, should consider it,” he responded.

Noem’s office referred Reuters to the CBS interview.

Scott was a former Republican rival to Trump, but dropped out of the race in November and endorsed Trump on January 19. Both Scott and Carson hit the campaign trail in support of Trump.

In Concord, New Hampshire, on January 19, Scott told the crowd that Trump would cut taxes and unify the country.

Andrew Hughes, a spokesman for Carson, said of Trump’s potential choice as vice presidential candidate: “It’s President Trump’s decision and he’ll make it when he’s ready.”

A spokesperson for Scott declined to comment.

Loyalty as a top priority

Trump seeks loyalty and deference in a running mate, his close ally said.

“Remember whose name is on the side of the plane,” the ally said.

Sanders, Trump’s former press secretary, is considered fiercely loyal to him and frequently defends his record from the Arkansas governor’s mansion. When asked by CBS News if she was Trump’s running mate on Jan. 21, she responded, “I love my job.” »

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington, September 30, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Other popular names among die-hard Trump supporters, judging by enthusiastic reactions to their appearances for Trump in New Hampshire in recent days, include Kari Lake, who narrowly lost her bid for governor in Arizona in 2022 and is now running for the U.S. Senate in this city, and Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Both are fiercely loyal to Trump and echo his false claim that he won the 2020 election against Biden. But allies view them as too polarizing for a presidential bid.

Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, says Trump is such an important and polarizing figure that it doesn’t matter who he chooses.

“It’s about being at the top of the ticket, especially when the head of the ticket is someone as dominant as Donald Trump, if he wins the nomination,” Ayres said.

Source: Latercera


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