Donald Trump is telling his allies that he is seriously considering another run for president in 2024, and close aides want him to pick someone other than former Vice President Mike Pence for his ticket, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Trump publicly mocked at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday that he is considering another run for the presidency. In private, he has discussed alternatives to Pence while evaluating who he thinks was with him at the end of his term and who was not, according to two of the people.
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They requested anonymity because the conversations have been private.
Trump’s advisers have discussed identifying a black or female running mate for his next career, and three of those familiar with the matter said Pence likely won’t be on the ballot.
Two advisers have suggested that Trump consider South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, the people said. Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, will host a fundraiser for Noem on Friday at Trump’s resort and home at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. The former president plans to make an appearance, people familiar with the matter said.
And on Tuesday, Trump issued a public endorsement of the reelection of South Carolina Senator Tim Scott. Scott is the only black Republican in the United States Senate.
Pence rejected his boss’s appeals to unilaterally overturn Trump’s reelection defeat when he presided over the Electoral College vote count in Congress on January 6. The event turned into an insurrection by Trump supporters, who invaded the Capitol, interrupted the count and forced the vice president and members of Congress to flee. Five people died in the melee.
The two men did not speak for several days. Pence has not said whether he would be interested in running for Trump again, according to a person familiar with the situation, who thinks it is doubtful that Pence will.
Trump’s adviser Jason Miller said “there are no such conversations” about electing someone other than Pence if he runs again, and that the former president “has not made any decisions regarding a possible 2024 candidacy. “. A spokesman for Pence did not immediately comment.
In the Trump camp, future vice presidential candidates have yet to be seriously considered, people familiar with the matter said. If he runs, Trump likely won’t make a formal announcement until the summer of 2023, they said.
In a rally outside the White House before the deadly riot on January 6, Trump said he would win the 2020 election if Pence did “the right thing” and rejected Electoral College votes for Joe Biden from several states where the former president had alleged, with no proof that widespread fraud had cost him victory.
After Pence refused, Trump tweeted that his vice president “did not have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution.” At the time, the mob was invading the Capitol, with some insurgents yelling “hang up Mike Pence,” while the Secret Service took the vice president to safety.
While Trump did not formally announce his candidacy at CPAC on Sunday, his first public appearance since leaving office on January 20 hinted at another offer. Trump recited the accomplishments of his White House tenure, repeated his false claim that he won the 2020 election, and added: “Who knows? I can even decide to beat them a third time. “
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The former president’s audience reflecting on another career may effectively freeze the Republican presidential field of 2024, as many other prominent GOP candidates are likely to wait for the former president’s decision before announcing their own campaigns.
Trump is building a political structure that would serve as a campaign foundation should he decide to run again, including an existing political action committee, Save America, which accepts donations. until $ 5,000 per person. A new super PAC, which would accept unlimited donations, is also planned.
Pence was invited to speak at CPAC, but informed organizers weeks before the event that he and his family had decided to keep a low profile in the first half of the year. He He has said that he is opening a transition office and plans to return to Indiana this summer.
The former vice president himself is considered a potential top-tier candidate in 2024. A Harvard-Harris poll conducted February 23-25 found that 42% of Republican voters preferred Trump as their nominee in 2024, compared to 18% for Pence, who came in second.
Without Trump, Pence led the field with the support of 36% of Republican voters, followed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz with 13%.
(Updates with the comment of Trump’s adviser in the ninth paragraph.)