Trump narrows his list of possible vice presidential candidates

Donald Trump’s search for a vice presidential candidate has reached a more intensive phase, with his campaign demanding documents from at least eight candidates, half of whom are U.S. senators, according to sources familiar with the process.

Potential applicants who have received requests for paperwork include: Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), JD Vance (R-Ohio), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Tim Scott (R-C.); The governor of North Dakota. Doug Burgum; Representatives. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Byron Donalds (R-Fla.); and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, according to people familiar with the matter, who, like others interviewed for this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. It’s unclear what documentation the campaign specifically requested.

In recent weeks, Trump has repeatedly spoken about Rubio, Vance and Burgum, according to people familiar with his comments. Yet even as the process accelerates, he told an ally last week that he was in no rush to make the announcement and might even push it back until the week of the convention.

The list offers a window into Trump’s priorities for a vice presidential nominee: The potential candidates all have government experience and have remained loyal to the former president. The focus on several senators and other members of Congress also highlights Trump’s overhaul of the Capitol, where Republicans have largely lined up behind his candidacy and driven out an older guard of Trump critics.

Competition has intensified in recent weeks as potential candidates and their allies try to compete to demonstrate that they are strong fundraisers, effective ambassadors for his campaign and loyal advocates, even when he s This is about his false election declarations. interference.

In a recent interview with Newsmax, Trump said, “We have some incredible people” under consideration.

“I thought Tim Scott didn’t run as good a race as he was capable of running for himself, but as a surrogate for me, he’s incredible,” Trump said. “Governor Burgum of North Dakota has been incredible. Marco Rubio was great. JD Vance was great. We had so many great people – Ben Carson.

Vance is traveling with the former president on Thursday as he heads to Arizona and then California for fundraisers. Vance hosted a fundraiser in San Francisco, co-hosted by venture capitalist David Sacks, according to a person familiar with the event. Burgum and Scott will also be in attendance, according to a person close to the attendees.

Vance spoke to reporters in the back of the Phoenix megachurch auditorium where Trump was scheduled to take the stage Thursday afternoon, saying he had discussed the search for vice presidential candidates with campaign staff, but not with Trump himself. Vance said the discussion was about “simple things” – such as “Are you interested?” and “What do you think about the race?” — before refusing to say what he might add to Trump’s ticket.

“I will let Donald Trump make that decision,” he said.

Burgum is seen by some Trump allies as trying too hard, but Trump appears to have real personal chemistry with him, according to people familiar with the matter. Rubio, meanwhile, is liked by many of Trump’s Florida-based advisers, but there is the “residency question,” as Trump puts it. Both Rubio and Trump reside in Florida, which could pose a problem due to Electoral College complications.

In an interview this week, Rubio said he only learned about his potential status as Trump’s running mate through the media. Asked if he would accept an offer to become Trump’s vice president, Rubio responded, “It’s presumptuous.” I’m not going to speculate on something that never happened.

Trump is known for changing his mind and making decisions that sometimes surprised even his own advisers, adding a degree of uncertainty to the next phase of the search. He and his advisers look for the most important responsibilities in candidates, according to a person connected to the campaign who described a sometimes unorthodox process that is the “Trump version of diligence on individual candidates.”

At a recent fundraiser, a donor called on Trump to choose his former rival Nikki Haley, saying she would help female voters and appeal to the public in favor of abortion – and that she would prove useful against Vice President Harris, according to participants.

“He’s a very disloyal person,” Trump said, according to attendees. He then complained that she supported Marco Rubio in 2016 even after he asked for her support and that she had been disloyal to him repeatedly since. “You have to love the person you’re running with, and I don’t like them. I do not like him.

Trump said he wasn’t worried about his voters leaving, according to attendees. “All these people are going to come and vote for us anyway. Who will they vote for? …I think if I picked Nikki Haley it would feel like such a weak decision.

On Thursday, the Republican National Committee sent an email with the subject line: “My next vice president will be…” It included a short poll saying: “My next vice president will be decided by you!” » No specific contractor was mentioned.

Josh Dawsey, Hannah Knowles, Michael Scherer and Dylan Wells contributed to this report.

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