Feb 4, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump name drops Tim Scott, Kristi Noem while discussing VP contenders

Former President Trump name-dropped Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) Sunday as people he's noticed in the Republican Party when asked about his criteria for picking a vice presidential candidate.

Why it matters: The GOP presidential frontrunner has left room for speculation as to who he will pick as his running mate should he secure the 2024 Republican nomination.

What he's saying: Trump said he wouldn't announce his pick for vice president for "a while," during a pre-recorded interview on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures" with host Maria Bartiromo.

  • "I mean, we have so many great people in the Republican Party, but not for a while," he said.
  • Trump said his criteria for a running mate includes one question: "It's got to be who would [be] able to be a good president. I mean, you always have to think that because you know, a civil emergency … things happen right? No matter who you are, things happen. It's got to be number one."

The former president, who said he speaks "to everybody," proceeded to mention Scott and Noem — two prominent Republicans who have both endorsed him.

  • "I called Tim Scott this week — because a lot of people like Tim Scott — I called him, and I said: 'You are a much better candidate for me than you are for yourself.'"
  • "I watched him over the last two weeks. As you know, he endorsed me, fully endorsed me, gave me a beautiful endorsement, and he has been really strong in terms of that, but ... I don't want anybody to take even any inference, but it's incredible," he added.
  • Scott, already believed to be on a short list of contenders to become Trump's pick for vice president, has not ruled out the potential in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Trump also name-dropped the South Dakota governor, saying "Kristi Noem has been incredible fighting for me. She said 'I'd never run against him because I can't beat him.' That was a very nice thing to say."

  • Noem told "Sunday Morning Futures" on Sunday that she and Trump "talk all the time," but that the two have "never had that conversation" about her potentially being his running mate.

Go deeper: Trump's VP contenders audition in New Hampshire

Go deeper