Donald Trump looking for ‘fighter’ as Republican running mate

Last Updated: June 22, 2024By

Trump’s Search for a Vice President: A New Approach


Donald Trump is on the hunt for a running mate who’s a real fighter for this year’s presidential race. Sources close to the former US president say he’s less concerned about their gender or race and more focused on finding someone who can handle the media and defend him on TV. Forget about checking boxes for diversity—Trump wants someone who’s the opposite of Mike Pence.

Pence used to be Trump’s right-hand man, calming nerves among Republicans worried about a president with a reality TV past. But things went south when Pence refused to help overturn the 2020 election, causing a rift and making him a target for January 6 rioters.


Now Trump’s after what he calls a “Goldilocks” vice president—strong but loyal, aligned with Maga but not too rehearsed, good-looking but not a scene-stealer. This pick will go toe-to-toe with Kamala Harris, the first Black woman VP.

His campaign figures having a Black candidate like Senator Tim Scott isn’t a guaranteed win. They’d rather reach out to Black voters through community work and policy plans. Economy and safety matter more to them than identity politics.


Trump, 78, and Biden, 81, are no spring chickens. Their age puts more focus on the vice-presidency than usual. Fifteen VPs have gone on to be president, eight taking over after the boss died.

Jim McLaughlin, a former pollster for Trump, says Trump’s VP must be presidential material. “This could be a person that’s in the White House for the next 12 years,” he warns.


Trump wants a die-hard Republican who’s all about “America first,” not someone looking to balance ideologies. “Loyalty is huge with him,” McLaughlin says. “It’s got to be somebody he is comfortable with as a person.”

Trump’s team has started looking at potential running mates like Doug Burgum, the governor of North Dakota; JD Vance, a senator from Ohio; and Marco Rubio, a senator from Florida. Burgum, 67, is a rich businessman who’s gained steam lately. Vance, 39, won fans with his book about growing up poor and now backs Trump. Rubio, 53, could help win Latino votes but there’s a snag—they both live in Florida.


Other names on Trump’s list include Ben Carson, Tom Cotton, Byron Donalds, Tulsi Gabbard, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Elise Stefanik. Nikki Haley, who once roasted Trump, and Kristi Noem, who wrote about shooting a dog she hated, are out.

Trump will reveal his pick at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee. He’s known for surprises, so expect drama. The names tossed around might not be the ones in the spotlight when it’s showtime.

History shows VP picks don’t sway many voters. Olsen from a think tank in Washington says it’s true. “A VP’s identity has a limited effect,” he explains. Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin didn’t move the needle for their bosses.

Will Trump shock us with his choice? It wouldn’t be the first time.

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