Trump Considers Running Mates as Republican National Convention Nears

Former President Donald Trump has been busy in recent weeks, dealing with a guilty verdict in his New York hush money trial, involvement in three other legal cases, and his ongoing campaign to reclaim the White House. However, another significant task looms: selecting a running mate.

With the Republican National Convention just weeks away, sources have informed CNN about potential vice-presidential candidates Trump is considering.

Doug Burgum North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, who challenged Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination before suspending his campaign in December, is on Trump’s radar. A former Microsoft executive and second-term governor, Burgum has a conservative track record, having signed bills banning gender-affirming care for most minors and enacting a near-total abortion ban. Burgum, who received vice-presidential vetting materials from the Trump campaign, described the VP discussion as a “giant distraction,” emphasizing that Trump “can win this election on his own.”

Marco Rubio Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, is being encouraged by Trump insiders as a potential running mate. Rubio, who ran against Trump in 2016 but has since aligned with Trumpism, received vice-presidential vetting materials from Trump’s campaign. However, both being Florida residents poses a constitutional challenge for electors voting for two candidates from the same state, which could be problematic in a close election. Rubio has not ruled out changing his residence.

J.D. Vance Ohio Senator J.D. Vance, a freshman in Congress, received Trump’s endorsement to win a contentious race in 2022. Despite initial criticism of Trump in 2016, Vance has become a staunch supporter, often voting in line with Trump’s interests. Vance, who received vice-presidential vetting materials, expressed skepticism about former Vice President Mike Pence’s safety during the January 6 Capitol riot. report from The NYT.

Tim Scott South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, who challenged Trump for the Republican nomination but suspended his campaign in November, has closely aligned himself with Trump. Known for his conservative voting record, Scott received various levels of paperwork in the vice-presidential vetting process and is being seriously considered by Trump.

Elise Stefanik House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, once a Trump skeptic, has become one of his most ardent supporters. Stefanik, who received vice-presidential vetting materials, has publicly expressed interest in being Trump’s running mate or serving in a Cabinet position. While her zeal for the job has turned off some of Trump’s advisers, she remains a strong contender.

Ben Carson Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who challenged Trump in 2016 and later joined his Cabinet, is also being considered. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, has received vice-presidential vetting materials. However, his stance on abortion, which differs from Trump’s, could be a point of contention.

Byron Donalds Florida Representative Byron Donalds, a loyal Trump supporter, rose to prominence by endorsing Trump over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Donalds, who helped launch the “Black Americans for Trump” group, has expressed confidence in his ability to serve as vice president if selected.

Nikki Haley Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who remained in the GOP presidential race longer than other opponents, could help Trump attract moderate and independent voters. Although Trump expressed disappointment in Haley for staying in the race too long, her history-making tenure as governor and role as UN ambassador under Trump make her a notable contender.

Tom Cotton Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, an Afghanistan and Iraq War veteran, decided against a 2024 presidential run but remains a potential vice-presidential pick. Cotton, who has established himself as a conservative security hawk, has not discussed the role with Trump but would consider it if offered.

Tulsi Gabbard Former Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard, who left the Democratic Party to become an independent, is another candidate Trump is considering. Gabbard, a veteran, has ramped up her praise of Trump in recent months and expressed interest in joining the ticket. She was previously considered for several roles in the Trump administration. told by Politico.

Trump’s decision on a running mate is anticipated to be a crucial moment leading up to the Republican National Convention, shaping the strategy for his campaign to return to the White House.