Former President Donald Trump said he likes the idea of a woman serving as his vice president if elected to the Oval Office in 2024, but he was quick to add that there are more important factors than male or female to consider when picking his running mate.
“Are you leaning toward a woman?” NBC “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker asked President Trump in an interview Thursday.
“I like the concept, but we’re going to pick the best person,” President Trump replied. “But I do like the concept, yes.”
The former president then said that it's relatively early going in the presidential campaign and he hasn't given much thought to his pick for a running mate.
“You always do a little bit, but I really don’t think it’s time. I want to win,” he said.
Rumors have long swirled that President Trump was considering a woman as his running mate in order to court the female suburban vote that some strategists believe would be key to beating President Joe Biden.
Media speculation has pointed to former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Trump White House press secretary and current Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.
In the interview on "Meet the Press," President Trump was asked about Ms. Noem as a possible pick, with the former president saying she'd be "fantastic" and saying he'd consider her for VP.
"She’s been a great governor," President Trump said, adding that Ms. Noem gave him a "beautiful endorsement" during a recent rally in her state.
"Certainly she’d be one of the people I’d consider, or for something else maybe. But we have a lot of people. We have a lot of great people in the Republican Party,” President Trump said.
Trump Open to RamaswamyPresident Trump recently praised Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy when asked if he would consider the 38-year-old biotech engineer as a running mate.
For his part, Mr. Ramaswamy has expressed positive sentiment about the idea of being President Trump's running mate and serving as his VP, although he seems to have rejected it as an actual possibility.
He then insisted he was not interested in any job other than president because he feels he could only "reunite this country" as the commander-in-chief.
“This is about reviving our country and I can only reunite this country if I’m doing it from the White House as the leader and the face of our movement,” Mr. Ramaswamy told Nigel Farage in the interview.
It's a position he's expressed before, telling Fox News in an interview in mid August that, “I’m not interested in a different position in the government” other than president.
“Frankly, I’d drive change through the private sector sooner than becoming number two or three in the federal government,” he added.
During his interview with Glenn Beck, President Trump said he would be receptive to a youthful and comparatively unestablished candidate who could bring a fresh perspective to Washington.
But while the former president signaled his appreciation for Mr. Ramaswamy's potential as a running mate, he also voiced caution regarding the entrepreneur's tendency to court controversy.
"He's starting to get out there a little bit," he told Mr. Beck in the interview. "He's getting a little bit controversial."
"I got to tell him to be a little bit careful. Some things you have to hold in just a little bit, right?" President Trump continued. "But he's got a lot of good energy."
Mr. Ramaswamy has ruffled feathers among some in the Republican Party with his pledge to shut down the FBI and a host of other federal agencies.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) was asked in an interview on an Iowa Public Broadcasting Service program what he thinks about Republican calls ranging from reducing funding for the FBI or, like Mr. Ramaswamy's pledge, demands for the FBI's complete dissolution.
“Anybody that takes that position is stupid for saying it,” the Republican senator said. “We’ve got to have an FBI."
Mr. Grassley followed up bay saying, “Obviously, things aren’t right with the FBI, from my point of view.”
“But you don’t defund the FBI to make that point, you reform the FBI.”
Mr. Ramaswamy's campaign did not respond to a request for comment on Mr. Grassley's remarks.