Donald Trump shuts down Nikki Haley VP rumors

Combination showing Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (L) and Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, campaigning in New Hampshire on Jan. 23rd, 2024.

Reuters

Donald Trump on Saturday made it clear that former Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is not on his running mate shortlist, quieting rumors that his campaign had been considering her as an option.

“Nikki Haley is not under consideration for the V.P. slot, but I wish her well!” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee wrote in a Truth Social post, signing the message “DJT.”

The comment came several hours after Axios reported that Haley was in the Trump campaign’s vice president conversation, citing two anonymous sources. Several media reports later echoed the rumors.

The political calculus behind a Trump-Haley ticket is plain to see.

Haley’s wealthy donor base could help Trump make up his fundraising problems, which are compounded by legal fees related to several ongoing lawsuits.

Plus, Haley, who has not yet endorsed the former president, could help win over Trump-skeptical Republican voters, whom President Joe Biden’s campaign has been vying for since Haley dropped out of the race.

Haley suspended her presidential campaign in March but is still racking up votes, including in Indiana’s Thursday primary, where she won almost 22% of the votes.

Despite the apparent political advantages, the bitter fight between Trump and Haley during the Republican primary ruled out her vice presidential chances.

“She is not presidential timber,” Trump said of Haley at a New Hampshire rally in January. “Now when I say that, that probably means that she’s not going to be chosen as the vice president.”

For her part, Haley repeatedly said she had no interest in the vice presidential seat while she was still on the campaign trail.

Trump’s veepstakes have been gathering more attention over the past several weeks, including from high-dollar donors looking to push their own recommendations.

Some names on the list include House Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., former GOP presidential candidate Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fl. and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem had also appeared to be a VP frontrunner, though her chances seem to have weakened due to backlash about her new memoir, which contains anecdotes about her shooting and killing several of her family’s farm pets and an unverified story about meeting North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

“I liked her a lot,” Trump said in a Tuesday interview with Spectrum 1 News Wisconsin. “I don’t want to comment on anybody on the list. But she had a rough couple of days. I will say that.”

As all the VP hopefuls help Trump’s campaign, the former president has dragged out making a final call on his would-be running mate.