There has been plenty of speculation about whether Donald Trump will run for president in 2024 and, if so, who would be his running mate.
There are whispers within Trump’s circle that he is taking an interest in Republican rising star Elise Stefanik, of New York, according to a CNN report.
Trump considers Elise Stefanik as a running mate
A longtime favorite of Trump’s within the GOP, Stefanik first caught Trump’s attention with her fiery defense of him during his first impeachment in 2019.
“There is a part of Trump who thinks he needs a female VP,” a Trump adviser told CNN. “He definitely likes her, likely because of how effusive she is to him.”
Chris Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, said Trump “thinks very highly” of Stefanik, who became the Republican conference chair last year after Trump foe Liz Cheney (R-Wy.) was ousted from the role.
“She has been talked about in circles close to him as a potential vice presidential [pick],” Ruddy said. “And there’s a feeling among a lot of people on the Republican side that they need to have a woman on the ticket this time.”
But Stefanik has demurred, with her spokesperson saying she is “100% focused” on her current role.
Trump, Pence split ways
While Stefanik’s stock seems to have risen in Trump world, Trump has openly trashed his former vice president, Mike Pence, saying conservatives wouldn’t “accept” Trump running with Pence again after he certified the results of the 2020 election as legitimate.
As the primary season gets into swing, the two men have diverged further.
Georgia governor Brian Kemp, who Pence endorsed, defeated Trump-backed former senator David Perdue in a Republican primary race this week that led to much talk of Trump’s waning influence.
But Trump is far and away the top choice of Republican voters to run for president in 2024, with Pence lagging in third place behind Trump and Florida governor Ron DeSantis. While Pence has begun to more aggressively hint at presidential aspirations, Trump — who has long suggested he wants another term in the White House — doesn’t seem to be worried.
“I mean, I wouldn’t be concerned with that,” Trump said. “People are very disappointed in Mike, and if he ran, I don’t think that would be a problem.”