Former President Donald Trump has yet to announce formally whether he will run again in 2024, though that is the expectation, according to several of his closest allies.
And if he does, that begs the question: Who will he select as his running mate — because it’s highly unlikely he will tap former VP Mike Pence again?
CNN provided some insight into that question in a report Wednesday:
Donald Trump hasn’t said if he will run for president again, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping him from privately musing about his potential running mate if he does. The latest person to catch his eye: Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, the moderate-turned-MAGA star who has developed a strong relationship with the former President, according to multiple GOP sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
While talk about a 2024 vice presidential pick is of course premature, conversations about adding Stefanik to a future Trump ticket have gained steam in recent weeks at Mar-a-Lago and in other Republican circles, sources said. Current and former advisers and others in Trump’s orbit have privately argued that the New York Republican, who replaced Rep. Liz Cheney as the no. 3 House Republican last year, is a fierce and loyal attack dog, and Trump would benefit from tapping a woman for vice president should he run again.
Two people familiar with the matter said Trump has been surveying close friends and allies on what they think of Stefanik, one of several Republican women he is possibly eyeing for the potential VP slot, though he has not ruled out a few male contenders, too. One of these people said the former President believes Stefanik has undergone a genuine transformation — leaving the moderate wing of the party to join its increasingly powerful “America First” flank.
“There is a part of Trump who thinks he needs a female VP. He definitely likes her, likely because of how effusive she is to him,” one Trump adviser told the network.
Chris Ruddy, founder and CEO of Newsmax and a close friend of Trump, said something similar.
“President Trump thinks very highly of Elise Stefanik. … She has been talked about in circles close to him as a potential vice presidential,” he told CNN. “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.”
However, according to Alex DeGrasse, a senior adviser to Stefanik: “Congresswoman Stefanik is 100% focused on serving New York’s 21st Congressional District and as House Republican Conference Chair helping lead the efforts to take back the House in 2022 to fire Nancy Pelosi once and for all to save America.”