Tim Scott and Kristi Noem among Republicans who could be Trump’s 2024 running mate

Former president Donald Trump wears a white shirt, red tie and dark blue jacket as he stares somewhere off camera

Donald Trump has hinted that he’s already decided on his 2024 running mate and possible future vice president as he gears up for another bid for the White House in November, and the list includes South Carolina’s Tim Scott and South Dakota’s Kristi Noem.

Trump has maintained his status as frontrunner in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination, holding clear leads over his top rivals Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy

There’s still a job vacancy on Trump’s 2024 ticket: his running mate. But the former president said he already has someone in mind for the role at a Fox News town hall in Iowa on Wednesday (10 January), though he declined to name any names. 

“I can’t tell you that really,” Trump said when asked about a potential vice president. “I mean, I know who it’s going to be.”

When pressed, he refused to give anything away, but he admitted that he would be open to building bridges with his rival Republican presidential candidates. 

The former president joked about the distant possibility of selecting Chris Christie, a one-time close ally turned one of Trump’s harshest critics. Christie dropped out of the race earlier in the day.

Trump said he didn’t see a White House partnership with the former New Jersey governor in the cards before flippantly adding, “Christie for vice president”. 

After the town hall, Trump’s campaign told reporters that they couldn’t offer any additional details on who the former president had chosen, when he made his decision or even if his pick was finalised. 

With many Republicans viewing Trump’s nomination as a foregone conclusion due to his popularity in the polls, there’s been rampant speculation about who might join his 2024 ticket – and none of top names floated around thus far have a decently pro-LGBTQ+ track record. 

Here’s a look at some potential contenders for Trump’s VP pick.

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Could Mike Pence make a comeback as Trump’s vice president in 2024?

Donald Trump and vice president Mike Pence stand side by side during a White House interview
Trump’s former vice president Mike Pence has ruled out running alongside the MAGA Republican ever again. (Getty)

No one really thinks it will be a Pence-Trump ticket after the former duo fell out over the 2020 election and January 6 2021 insurrection. 

Pence, who has a staunchly anti-LGBTQ+ history in and outside of the White House, launched a challenge against Trump on the campaign trail but dropped out of the Republican race when he failed to garner significant support. 

On Sunday (7 January), Pence urged “good Republican voters” to choose a different candidate than Trump and “give our part a fresh start”.

Trump has repeatedly suggested he wouldn’t pick Pence as his running mate again.

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Could rivals Ron DeSantis or Nikki Haley join Trump in the White House?

Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, who've both been suggested in the past as vice president picks for Donald Trump, stand at podiums during a Republican presidential candidate debate
Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis have been suggested as potential vice presidents for Donald Trump in the past. However, both remain devoted to their presidential bids. (Getty)

Republican presidential candidates Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley have steadily gained support as they’ve bitterly fought to be the primary alternative to Trump, who has maintained a wide lead in the polls. 

With their popularity growing, both DeSantis and Haley could be options to join team Trump for a White House bid. 

Florida governor DeSantis’ popularity initially rose within the Republican party as he imposed limits on how LGBTQ+ issues can be taught in schoolsforced some schools to remove books from their libraries and banned gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth as well as restricting it for adults. 

In recent months, DeSantis has used attacks on the trans community to bolster his support among voters, but it has resulted in diminishing returns for the Florida politician.

Haley has grown to be a contender against DeSantis with her loud opposition to LGBTQ+ issues. 

She opposed initiatives that would allow trans kids to participate in school sportsslammed DeSantis’ reviled ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill for not being extreme enough and attacked trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney on the campaign trail.

It seems unlikely that either DeSantis and Haley will give up their presidential bids in favour of working with Trump anytime soon. 

In a joint interview with NBC News and the Des Moines Register earlier this month, DeSantis accused Haley of running to be Trump’s vice president, which he said he wouldn’t do himself. 

Haley dismissed DeSantis’ comment and said that she’s “not running to be vice president”. 

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What about Vivek Ramaswamy as veep?

Vivek Ramaswamy, who has been suggested as a vice president pick for Donald Trump, wears a suit and tie as he gestures with one hand during a Republican presidential debate
Donald Trump said Vivek Ramaswamy would be a “very good” vice president, but he’s not made any moves to add the biotech entrepreneur to his 2024 ticket. (Getty)

‘Anti-woke’ biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy started as a bit of a long shot Republican presidential candidate before gaining a decent amount of traction with voters in recent months. 

He’s presented himself as Trump’s biggest supporter, calling him the “best president of the 21st century”. Ramaswamy has also been position as a potential successor to Trump, with Time magazine dubbing the tech businessman as Trump’s “most obvious heir”.  

Like other candidates in the race and the Republican party more broadly, Ramaswamy has used the trans community as a political football. 

He’s described being trans as a “mental health disorder”baselessly claimed the acceptance of transgender people is a “cult” and promised to ban gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth if he got into the White House

While Donald Trump said he likes Ramaswamy, there’s no real indication that he would be considered for a vice presidential role. In August, he commented that Ramaswamy would be a “very good” vice president, but there’s been no word since. 

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South Carolina’s Tim Scott and South Dakota’s Kristi Noem are also contenders 

South Carolina senator Tim Scott, who has been suggested as a vice president for Donald Trump, wears a suit and tie as he speaks during a Republican presidential debate
Tim Scott has been floated as a potential running mate for Donald Trump, but the South Carolina senator said he doesn’t have any plans to be vice president. (Getty)

A lot of political commentators have pitched in with their thoughts on who could be the right fit as vice president for Donald Trump. 

Some suggested that Trump – a 77-year-old straight, white man – needs to broaden his appeal by looking for a woman, person of colour or younger running mate to make gains with voters in 2024. 

South Carolina senator Tim Scott is among the figures that have repeatedly been floated as possible candidates. Scot is one of the party’s most well-liked politicians, and he’s the only Black Republican in the Senate. 

During his brief presidential run, Scott attacked trans inclusion in sports and urged the US to “reject the left’s valueless” society.

However, Scott made it clear that being vice president has “never been on [his] to do list” during his campaign, and it “certainly” didn’t change after he dropped out of the race. 

Kristi Noem, the two-term South Dakota governor who has used her time in office to attack trans rights, also appears on the list of possible Trump VPs. 

South Dakota governor Kristi Noem, who has been floated as a vice president candidate for Donald Trump, wears a black outfit as she speaks to people off camera
South Dakota governor Kristi Noem has been a diehard supporter of Donald Trump. (Getty)

She’s a fervent Trump supporter and campaigned for him as the “fighter our country needs” in the White House. Her state was recently sued for discrimination by a transgender advocacy group, and lost.

In September, the Rolling Stone reported that anti-LGBTQ+ nightmare Marjorie Taylor Greene and MAGA loyalist Kari Lake are in a “death race” to be named Donald Trump’s 2024 vice president. 

Greene, who just can’t stop airing her hateful views, claimed that she “knows” her name is “on a list” of possible picks for Trump if he wins the Republican nomination. 

Adding either Greene or Lake, who has also spewed anti-LGBTQ+ views, to the ticket may not be the smartest plan for Trump as both are divisive figures within the Republican party. 

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