OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
As speculation continues to run wild regarding who former President Donald Trump will ultimately select as his running mate, a current Republican contender has offered up his services.
In an interview with Newsweek, Larry Elder, who jumped into the 2024 race a few months ago but has so far failed to gain much traction — like most others in the GOP field — said he would “take the call” from Trump if he offered, or if Florida Gov. DeSantis wins.
While he urged Republicans to “unite behind a candidate whose last name is other than Trump” in order to “win in November 2024,” he went on to say that he’s a “big fan” of the former president.
When asked if he would consider being Trump’s running mate, Elder said: “I am running for president, I’m not running for vice president, I’m not running for a cabinet position. However, in the unlikely event I’m not the party nominee, and if Trump or DeSantis or one of the other persons call and ask me to be vice president, I will take the call. I won’t let it go to voicemail.”
The conservative commentator said Trump is someone he “backed in 2016 and 2020,” but he argued that the 45th president has been “attacked” so many times now that he will likely struggle to appeal to key voters he needs in order to defeat President Joe Biden.
“Here’s the problem; I believe there are so many swing voters in swing states who would not vote for the man if he walked on water,” Elder said. “In fact, they would accuse him of not being able to swim. I have no idea what to do about Trump derangement syndrome—maybe someday somebody will develop a vaccine.”
“I think at some point in this long process Republican voters are doing to realize in order to win in November 2024 they’re going to have to unite behind a candidate whose last name is other than Trump, but for whom a sufficient number of swing voters and swing states will vote so we can win in November 2024, and I’m making the case that I’m that person,” Elder added.
There has been much buzz about who Trump could pick. In April, for instance, Trump insiders told the Daily Caller he is likely to pick a vice presidential candidate that is “ideologically aligned” with him, has “charisma,” and is “loyal.”
“No candidates have publicly announced their intent to be Trump’s VP, but the former president has indicated that ‘a lot of people’ are ‘auditioning’ behind the scenes. Trump insiders told the Caller that although there haven’t been any formal discussions to narrow down the pool, there are a set of characteristics that will likely be considered,” the Daily Caller reported.
“We do know one thing about Trump, is that he puts a lot of weight on how well you present yourself. That really matters to him, so I suspect that will matter for his VP choice,” a GOP consultant close to Trump told the Caller, adding that the person needs to be “TV ready.”
“Loyalty. That’s the necessary characteristic of anyone who wants to be VP. President Trump and the movement was dragged down by disloyalty in the White House,” said a source close to the former president.
As for who will be the eventual 2024 GOP nominee, the race now looks like Trump’s for the taking, despite his mounting legal woes. In fact, Trump and President Joe Biden are currently tied in a hypothetical presidential rematch.
Both Biden and Trump would get 43% of the vote overall if the 2024 presidential election were held today. Nevertheless, voters continue to have high levels of disapproval for both men, with 54% disapproving of Biden and 55% of voters disapproving of Trump, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll.