J.D. Vance to join Trump for Ohio fundraiser, fueling VP speculation

 May 1, 2024

Republican senator J.D. Vance (Oh.) will join President Trump for a fundraiser in Ohio, fueling speculation about Vance's standing in the VP horserace. 

The May 15 fundraiser in Cincinnati is described as a "lunch discussion" with Trump and his "special guest," Vance, NBC reported.

Attendees are asked to contribute $50,000 per individual or $100,000 per couple.

J.D. Vance joining Trump

A former swing state, Ohio has moved to the right since Trump swept the Rust Belt in the 2016 election. Today, Ohio is reliably red and seen as a part of Trump country.

Vance is often mentioned as a Trump VP contender. The freshman senator, a former Trump critic, is today known for his fiery populism and vocal support of Trump.

Trump forged a close relationship with Vance in 2022, when Trump boosted the political newcomer in a crowded Senate primary. They worked together to help Bernie Moreno win the Republican primary for Ohio's other Senate seat, which Republicans are hoping to flip this year.

Vance is also a close friend of Donald Trump Jr., who sang his praises in a New York Times article about their relationship that said they text almost every day.

But President Trump has kept his cards close to the vest, treating the VP race almost like a game show.

"Any person who tells you they know who, how or when President Trump will choose his VP is likely wrong unless that person is named Donald J. Trump," Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt said.

Vance responds to rumors

Vance was prodded about his next steps during an interview Sunday with Fox News.

The Senator said he is "close" with Trump, but the subject of VP has never come up before. He said he would "seriously consider" it.

"I talk to President Trump a lot. We’re very close. I’ve never spoken to him about being vice president. So, I assume that a lot of this is media speculation,” he told Fox News Sunday. 

Vance also gave Trump a hearty endorsement, calling him a "fireman" in a chaotic world.

The Senator will travel to Palm Beach, Florida this weekend for a donor retreat with Trump and other Republicans rumored to be VP contenders, including Florida senator Marco Rubio and North Dakota governor Doug Burgum.

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