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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Trump names potential running mate

Texas Governor Greg Abbott joins a shortlist that includes long-time allies, former rivals, and an ex-Democrat

Former US President Donald Trump has said that he would “very much consider” Texas Governor Greg Abbott as his running mate for this year’s presidential election. The Republican frontrunner said that Abbott has “done a great job” in securing the US-Mexico border.

Trump and Abbott met in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Thursday, with Trump touring a stretch of the border that has been heavily fortified by Abbott since 2021. Despite the US Supreme Court siding with the White House and permitting federal agents to remove razor wire fencing along the frontier, Abbott has vowed to build more barricades, and the governor snubbed President Joe Biden to meet with his chief political rival instead.

Speaking to Fox News host Sean Hannity later that day, Trump described Abbott as “a spectacular man,” adding that the Republican governor had “done a great job” in fighting to stem the tide of illegal immigration across Texas’ 1,200-mile stretch of the Mexican border.

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Asked whether he would consider Abbott for vice president, Trump replied: “Yeah, certainly he would be somebody that I would very much consider.”

“So he’s on the list?” Hannity asked again.

“Absolutely, he is,” Trump confirmed.

When asked who else he was considering for the role, Trump named South Carolina Senator and former Republican challenger Tim Scott. However, he was less effusive in his praise for Scott, describing him as an “okay” presidential candidate but an “unbelievable” campaign surrogate.

Trump’s list of potential running mates now numbers seven people. Last month, the presidential hopeful confirmed to Fox News’ Laura Ingraham that Scott, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida Representative Byron Donalds, and former Hawaii Rep.Tulsi Gabbard, an ex-Democrat who broke with the party in 2022, were all in contention for the spot.

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However, Abbott said on Friday that he is not interested in the role. “Obviously, that’s very nice of him to say,” the governor told reporters on Friday. “But I think you know my focus is entirely on the state of Texas. I’ve announced that I’m running for re-election two years from now, and so, my commitment is to Texas and I’m staying in Texas.”

DeSantis, who along with Ramaswamy dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination in January, has also said that he wouldn’t consider the job.

Trump has won all five Republican primary contests to date, and is the firm favorite to secure his party’s support to take on Biden later this year. However, his last remaining challenger, Nikki Haley, has refused to drop out of the race, despite being soundly beaten by Trump in her home state of South Carolina last month and trailing the former president by 20 delegates to 110.

March 02, 2024 at 10:12PM

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