Trump Has Picked His Running Mate

Donald Trump has selected his running mate for the 2024 presidential campaign.

During a rally in Philadelphia on Saturday, Trump revealed that he has selected his vice presidential candidate. Sounds exciting, right? Well, there’s a bit of a catch. Trump didn’t reveal the identity of his pick, but gave a major hint.

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When asked by NBC News during a Philadelphia campaign stop whether he has decided on his vice presidential pick, Trump responded, “in my mind, yeah,” adding that the person will “most likely” be at Thursday’s debate against President Joe Biden.

“They’ll be there,” he continued. “I think we have a lot of people coming.”

Trump said that “nobody knows” his choice yet. NBC News has previously reported that Trump is zeroing in on Doug Burgum, JD Vance and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., as possible top contenders for the slot.

Sources familiar with the selection process told NBC News that Burgum, the governor of North Dakota, and Vance, an Ohio senator, are considered the top two finalists. Rubio is still being considered, though a constitutional hiccup would require that either Trump or Rubio establish residency outside of Florida.

Trump senior adviser Brian Hughes said in a statement that the campaign’s top criterion for selecting a running mate “is a strong leader who will make a great President for eight years after his next four year term concludes.”

Trump said that he’ll announce his pick “right around the convention.”

“Maybe a little before, but could be at the convention,” Trump added. “But we’ll have some great people.”

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Gov. Doug Burgum (R-N.D.) has repeatedly been cited as a likely pick for Trump’s running mate, but, in my opinion, he doesn’t bring much to the table aside from loyalty. He had no impact in the GOP primaries and comes from a state Trump will easily win. Two wealthy businessmen on the ticket seem redundant.

Related: Is This the Move Biden Will Make to Save His Election?

I’ve long thought that Trump might choose a woman, and considering Trump’s closing of the gender gap, that would certainly be a smart move. However, many female contenders have hurt their chances. Nikki Haley’s refusal to end her campaign and endorse Trump eliminated her. Sen. Katie Britt (R-Ala.) faltered with her State of the Union response, and Gov. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) has her own baggage. Based on recent reports, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) is the only woman still being considered, but her past criticism of Trump and the fact that both are from New York make her a less-than-ideal choice.

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) is another lackluster option who has been getting a lot of hype lately. But I’d feel better about not having a vacancy in the Senate in Ohio, which may be a red state now but may still reelect Democrat Sherrod Brown and vote for Trump. Another name that keeps coming up is Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who would be a solid choice, particularly for appealing to Latino voters. But the 12th Amendment complicates things because Trump is also officially a Florida resident, and I don’t see him changing residency to accommodate a running mate.

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A source told the New York Post what Trump’s there criteria are.  “He’s looking for who can raise money, he’s looking for who is an effective surrogate on TV with adversarial media, and he’s looking at who will do the best job debating Kamala Harris. Tim Scott is in contention, but probably the least likely of the four. There hasn’t been any data or evidence pointing to either Tim Scott or Marco Rubio adding to Trump’s margins with minorities.”

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