Reports claim Trump considering rival GOP candidate Nikki Haley to be his 2024 VP pick

 December 26, 2023

The speculation about who former President Donald Trump might pick as his vice presidential running mate in 2024 was thrown for a loop last week when one of his chief competitors for the Republican Party's nomination was named as being under consideration.

According to multiple anonymously sourced reports, Trump has been asking advisers and allies about the prospects of his selecting rival GOP candidate Nikki Haley as his VP, the Daily Wire reported.

That idea has not gone over particularly well among Trump's staunchest MAGA supporters, however, as Haley, the former South Carolina governor who served as Trump's United Nations ambassador, is viewed with great distrust as a neoconservative who is emblematic of the GOP establishment and not aligned with the former president's America First agenda.

Haley under consideration to be Trump's running mate

CBS News reported last week that, according to two unnamed sources described as "familiar with the conversations," former President Trump has been asking around about the idea of former Ambassador Haley as his running mate.

That talk comes as Haley has appeared to surge somewhat in the various polls, in some instances even surpassing Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to claim a distant second place behind Trump in the GOP primary race.

Trump, however, has publicly downplayed Haley's rise in the polls as "fake" and insisted that he doesn't view her as a legitimate challenger to his seemingly insurmountable lead in the contest to be named as the 2024 Republican nominee.

MAGA world pushing back against idea of Haley as VP

That CBS News report came just hours after Politico similarly reported that former President Trump was considering former Ambassador Haley as a prospective VP candidate but had met serious pushback against the idea from some of his closest advisers and allies.

In fact, former chief strategist Steve Bannon denounced Haley as using "outdated Republican talking points" and touting "Fox News-laundered neoliberal neocon policies that MAGA finds unacceptable."

Along those same lines, eldest son Donald Trump Jr. publicly announced that he would "go to great lengths to make sure" Haley wasn't his father's VP pick, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson stated that he would "advocate against" the idea "as strongly as I could," and longtime adviser Roger Stone told Politico that he was "personally opposed to such a selection, because I believe that [Haley’s] views are so antithetically different than President Trump’s views."

Haley seemingly rejects, but doesn't definitively rule out, Trump VP talk

As for how the former U.N. ambassador and South Carolina governor reacted to the rumors about her being considered as a potential running mate to the former president, Haley seemed to dismiss the notion but notably declined to completely rule it out, according to the Daily Wire.

In an interview earlier in December with Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody, asked Haley directly if she had "ruled out" being Trump's VP, to which she replied, "I don't play for second. It's offensive when anybody says that, 'Oh, she wants to be vice president.' You don’t do something like this to be vice president. You don’t sacrifice emotionally, mentally, physically, with your family, everything to come in second."

Pressed again a moment later on whether she would completely "rule it out," she said, "It's not even a conversation, and it doesn’t matter what candidate wants me to answer it. I don’t play for second. I don't know what more I can say to get them to understand that."

More than a half dozen other possible picks being considered

The Daily Wire noted that Trump, in a recent interview with conservative talk radio host Howie Carr, acknowledged that he found the idea of Haley being his running mate "interesting" but also "unlikely" and largely downplayed all talk of an eventual VP selection as unimportant at this early stage in the primary race.

It should also be pointed out that Haley is far from alone in reportedly being under consideration by Trump to be his sidekick in the next election cycle and hypothetical second term, as Politico reported that he has also been asking around about other possible VP contenders "including former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Sens. J.D. Vance (R-OH) and Tim Scott (R-SC), Reps. Byron Donalds (R-FL) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY), South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Arizona Republican Kari Lake."

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