Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, currently the second runner-up in the 2024 GOP presidential nomination race behind Donald Trump, unequivocally stated during a campaign visit to New Hampshire on Friday that he would not serve as the former president’s running mate. DeSantis also noted that Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina and UN ambassador under Trump, has not been as definitive in her response.
“She will not answer directly — and she owes you an answer to this — will she accept a vice presidential nomination from Donald Trump? Yes or no?” DeSantis said during a campaign stop in New Hampshire. “And I can tell you, under any circumstance, I will not accept that because that’s not why I’m running. I’m running for the nomination and to be president. … I’d rather be governor than vice president, no question.”
DeSantis also went on to claim that he might somehow actually be able to beat Donald Trump.
“I’m the only one that can beat [Trump] — there’s a reason they spend money against me. He has not spent any money against her. She has not spent any money against him,” he said.
JUST NOW: DeSantis says voters are "owed an answer" on whether Nikki Haley would accept a vice presidential nomination from Donald Trump: "Yes or no?"
“I’m the only one that can beat [Trump] — there’s a reason they spend money against me. He has not spent any money against her.… pic.twitter.com/7dI6kO9rcg
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) December 15, 2023
In response to an inquiry from the Washington Examiner, the Haley campaign issued a statement, stating, “Phony Ron DeSantis has spent ten times more money attacking Nikki Haley than Donald Trump. He’ll say anything to try to salvage his sinking ship of a campaign. Nikki has been very clear from day one, she doesn’t play for second. Ron is trying to play for fourth in New Hampshire.”
Earlier this month, Lara Trump, the daughter-in-law of Donald Trump, mentioned Haley as a potential running mate for her father-in-law during an interview with Newsmax TV. Lara suggested that supporters of the former president should not dismiss the possibility of him choosing Haley as his vice president.
“I think Nikki Haley has to be a little careful in South Carolina. That’s her home state. Probably Donald Trump is going to win in South Carolina, and Nikki Haley’s gonna come in second,” Bolling told Lara Trump at one point during the interview.
When she was asked about a potential Trump-Vivek Ramaswamy ticket she responded, “There’s a lot of talk about a lot of people. There’s Trump-Tucker Carlson talk, there’s obviously Trump-Vivek talk, there’s– yeah. I thought you were gonna say Trump-Chris Christie talk, which you’d have a better chance of Joe Biden running with Donald Trump than Chris Christie at this point.”
When Bolling asked, “Would he ever pick Nikki Haley?” Lara Trump replied, “Crazier things have happened. I don’t know. I would never say never with Donald J. Trump. Never say never.”
Subsequently, Kari Lake, the 2022 Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate, who is also rumored to be a potential candidate for Trump’s vice president, offered a response when Bolling inquired, “Is there a job for, say, Nikki Haley in a Trump administration?”
Lake said: “I would guess the sooner she gets out, the more likely that would happen, but I don’t know about that.”