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Trump Possible VP Pick Has Internet Buzzing

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With the 2024 presidential race heating up, Donald Trump, the former US President, has launched a search for a running mate, reminiscent of his former reality TV show, “The Apprentice.” Unlike the TV show, however, this selection process has been fraught with controversy, election denialism, and the release of contentious memoirs.

Trump brought together potential Vice Presidential candidates at his Mar-a-Lago estate over the weekend. During a high-dollar fundraiser for his campaign and the Republican National Committee, he introduced notable candidates including Doug Burgum, Governor of North Dakota, Tim Scott, Senator from South Carolina, and Marco Rubio, Senator from Florida.

Of note, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has found herself in hot water due to a disturbing anecdote included in her upcoming memoir, “No Going Back,” in which she admits to shooting her misbehaving dog and a billy goat. Noem has had to defend her actions amidst bipartisan criticism. “Tough decisions like this happen all the time on a farm,” she stated on CBS Mornings. Furthermore, she noted in another interview, “The American people want somebody who’s real and doesn’t pretend to be something they’re not. I’ve never once said that I’m perfect.”

In her memoir, Noem also criticizes fellow Republicans, including an alleged political threat from Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and GOP presidential candidate. Haley’s spokesperson has refuted Noem’s claim. Despite the controversy surrounding Noem, she remains a popular figure in South Dakota, though reports suggest she may not be on Trump’s shortlist anymore.

Post-fundraiser interviews with potential running mates revealed several echoing Trump’s election denialism. On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Doug Burgum insinuated that mainstream media outlets, including CNN, had disputed the 2016 election, a claim CNN denies. Meanwhile, Tim Scott declined to commit to accepting the 2024 election results on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” marking a notable change from his previous stance regarding the 2020 election outcome.

Marco Rubio, the Florida Senator, faced inquiries about the 12th Amendment, which bars presidential electors from voting for a president and vice president from their state. Rubio did not dismiss the idea of moving out of Florida to comply with this rule.

Ohio Senator J.D. Vance, a newcomer to politics who once referred to Trump as “loathsome” and compared him to “America’s Hitler,” is now a leading candidate on Trump’s shortlist. His close relationship with Donald Trump Jr. has helped him gain favor with the former president, as demonstrated by Trump’s endorsement during Vance’s Senate primary race in Ohio.

In a conversation with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Vance expressed skepticism over the risks faced by former Vice President Mike Pence during the January 6th Capitol riot. “I’m extremely skeptical that Mike Pence’s life was ever in danger,” Vance stated. His strong bond with Trump Jr., marked by daily communications and mutual social media support, has contributed to his rise in the ranks.

Unwavering loyalty is a key criterion for Trump in his search for a running mate. “I’m looking for somebody who can be a good president in case of emergency,” Trump informed his allies. However, the experience of Mike Pence, who was forced to evacuate the Capitol during the January 6th insurrection, suggests that such loyalty may come with personal dangers.

According to a confidante of Trump, loyalty, fundraising capability, and the ability to effectively defend oneself are the primary qualities Trump is looking for in a candidate. Despite this, Trump has acknowledged that vice-presidential selections have historically not significantly impacted the election outcome.

With a list of potential VP picks including Doug Burgum, Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, J.D. Vance, and House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, Trump appears to be using the “veepstakes” as a diversion from his ongoing legal issues in New York. He is expected to make his final decision closer to the Republican National Convention in July.

Whoever is chosen as Trump’s running mate will be expected to fully back his campaign’s platform and echo his views on election integrity. Whether or not the process mirrors “The Apprentice,” one thing is certain: loyalty will be of utmost importance.

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