Trump is aiming for more a 'personal' VP-selection process in 2024 and will emphasize loyalty and support of debunked election claims, report says

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Trump is aiming for more a 'personal' VP-selection process in 2024 and will emphasize loyalty and support of debunked election claims, report says
Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas, on July 11, 2021.AP Photo/LM Otero
  • Trump is set to have a more "personal" VP-selection process if he pursues a 2024 bid, per Politico.
  • The former president is popular among conservatives and can rally the party faithful.

As former President Donald Trump ponders a 2024 presidential candidacy, he will be less wedded to choosing a running mate for geographical balance and more attuned to the person's sense of loyalty and their support of his debunked 2020 election claims, Politico reported.

Trump, who stepped into the 2016 political arena as an untested candidate without a legislative record, is now the undisputed kingmaker of the party, enjoying broad popularity among voters that gives him the flexibility to make a more unorthodox selection.

John McLaughlin, one of the former president's campaign pollsters, said that because Trump had the GOP apparatus behind him, he wouldn't be constrained in how he selected a governing partner.

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"A lot of times, a presidential candidate will pick a running mate to balance out wings of the party. But with Trump, that's not the issue. He is the party, basically. It's so united behind him," he told Politico.

He added: "So his choice, if he runs, will come down to what he wants. It would be a much more personal decision this time."

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who is one of the highest-profile Republicans in the country, has been routinely floated as a running mate since Trump left the White House.

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Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have also seen their stock rise as prospective vice-presidential picks as both men recently have made forays into Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in South Florida, according to Politico.

But the legacy of former Vice President Mike Pence, Trump's governing partner of four years, isn't too far in the background.

In 2016, Trump selected Pence as his No. 2 to affirm his connection to the party's dominant conservative wing and to have an experienced lawmaker who knew his way around Capitol Hill.

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The two men generally enjoyed a solid work partnership during their time in the White House. But they clashed in the final days of Trump's presidency after Pence certified now-President Joe Biden's 2020 electoral victory, which the former president still says illegitimate despite no verifiable evidence of mass fraud.

The former president's advisors told Politico that the factors that led him to choose Pence in 2016 wouldn't be as pertinent in 2024 — and that he would depend more on his gut instinct.

While Trump also relied on advice from his daughter Ivanka and her husband, former senior advisor Jared Kushner, when selecting a vice president in 2016, the pair are not expected to play a similar role in 2024, Politico said.

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