While addressing supporters in Concord, New Hampshire, former President Donald Trump appeared to dismiss the idea of selecting former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley as his running mate.
Trump and Haley have escalated attacks on each other as the New Hampshire primary draws near. Haley — who managed to edge out Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for second place in Iowa — has spent significant time and resources in the Granite State. She has secured an endorsement from New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and has consistently polled in second place, trailing Trump.
“She is not presidential timber,” Trump said of Haley on Friday night. “Now, when I say that, that probably means that she’s not going to be chosen as the vice president,” he continued, drawing applause from the crowd.
“Now, you can go, you can go and you can say certain things, you know, ‘I don’t like them and this.’ But when you say certain things, it sort of takes them out of play, right? I can’t say, ‘she’s not of the timber to be a vice-‘ And then say, ‘ladies and gentlemen, I’m proud to announce that I’ve picked…’ Do you understand?”
Trump has hinted at a potential Haley ticket in the past, though Friday’s statement was by far his most direct on the subject to date.
A number of key Trump allies — namely Steve Bannon and Tucker Carlson — have thoroughly rejected the idea of a Trump-Haley ticket and have strongly advised the former president against it.
Bannon recently told Sean Spicer that he believes Trump will pick a female running mate, though he stressed that the America First movement needs to “make sure it ain’t Nikki Haley.” Carlson has made similar comments, instead advising the former president to select Vivek Ramaswamy.
Ramaswamy has indeed emerged as a potential vice-presidential pick after he dropped out of the presidential race after Iowa. He immediately endorsed Trump and proceeded to give a fiery speech in his favor while campaigning with him in New Hampshire.
In addition to Ramaswamy, Tucker Carlson has also been floated as a potential contender, with Donald Trump Jr. saying the idea is very much “on the table.” Other names thrown around include Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, former HUD secretary Ben Carson and former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.