Considering the commanding lead that former President Donald Trump has consistently maintained over his 2024 GOP presidential primary rivals, many analysts have speculated that the remaining candidates are likely campaigning for a position within a possible second Trump term.
When it comes to selecting a running mate, however, Trump’s eldest son asserted that he would do his best to convince his father not to select former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.
Currently jockeying for second place with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Haley has staked out her position as an alternative to the “MAGA” agenda embraced by Trump — and, at least to some extent, both DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy.
Her opposition to the Trump platform on a number of key issues, said Donald Trump Jr., disqualifies her as an option to serve as vice president.
“I wouldn’t have her, and I would go to great lengths to make sure that that doesn’t happen,” he said during a recent Newsmax TV interview.
He went on to refer to Haley as a “puppet of the establishment in Washington, D.C., who is in favor of “never-ending wars” and has become “the new favorite candidate of the billionaire class because they want control.”
Another member of Trump’s family had a different take on the matter earlier this month, however.
Lara Trump, who is married to the former president’s son, Eric, suggested that Haley might have a shot at joining the 2024 general election ticket.
“Crazier things have happened,” she said. “I don’t know. I would never say never with Donald J. Trump. Never say never.”
The ongoing speculation inspired a line of attack from DeSantis, who criticized Haley for not confirming whether she would accept the role of Trump’s running mate if it is offered.
“She will not answer directly, and she owes you an answer to this,” the Florida governor said. “Will she accept a vice presidential nomination from Donald Trump? Yes or no?”
The Haley campaign subsequently asserted that “she doesn’t play for second,” but DeSantis was substantially more decisive in his stance.
Nikki Haley repeatedly declines to say if she would be willing to accept a vice presidential nomination on a Trump ticket.
DeSantis and Christie both said clearly that they would not serve as vice president
Haley only says, “I don’t play for second.”
Nowhere in her response… pic.twitter.com/uRxIesuCGS
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) December 20, 2023
“I can tell you, under any circumstance, I will not accept that because that’s not why I’m running,” he said during a New Hampshire campaign stop. “I’m running for the nomination and to be president. … I’d rather be governor than vice president, no question.”