By Jack Phillips
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said that she would consider becoming former President Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick in 2024, if she was asked.
While she has long evaded questions about a possible 2024 presidential bid, she gave a recent interview suggesting that she would be the GOP presidential nominee’s No. 2.
“I will tell you that, of course, I would consider it,” Mrs. Noem told Fox News’s Sean Hannity. “I think everybody should consider it. Our country is breaking in front of our very eyes today, and everybody should be part of putting it back on its foundation.”
She then affirmed her support for President Trump as the likely nominee, saying that “if President Trump is back in the White House, I would do all I can to help him be successful.”
A RealClearPolitics average of GOP polling shows that the former president is still far ahead of the rest of the Republican field, obtaining about 55.5 percent support. Next is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has 14.5 percent, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, with 7.2 percent.
Several months ago, Mrs. Noem was asked in another interview about whether another candidate could win. “No, I don’t think so. President Trump is in the race and right now I don’t see a path to victory for anybody else with him in the race and the situation as it sits today,” she said.
“But I think people should saddle up—it could be a roller coaster of a presidential race,” she added. “I think it’ll be unprecedented in what we’ll see. There’s a lot of unknowns and the person who may win may not even be in the race yet.”
So far, President Trump has not commented on whether he would consider Mrs. Noem as a potential running mate. Last month, he suggested in a Truth Social post that the first Republican debate could serve as an audition of sorts to see who he may consider for his presidential pick.
“Let them debate so I can see who I MIGHT consider for Vice President!” he wrote on Truth Social.
At the same time, an array of names have been suggested as his possible running mate, including former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), and conservative radio host Larry Elder, who is also running for president. Mr. Elder told Newsweek in July that he would be open to an offer from President Trump.
The first Republican presidential primary debate is scheduled to be held on Aug. 23 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which could serve as a critical swing state in 2024. The event will also air on Fox News.
For months, the former president has suggested he would pass on the first debate, questioning why he should partake in the event when polls show he’s far ahead of the rest of the GOP field. He’s also argued that it does not make sense to give the others a chance to attack him, and he’s has also criticized Fox over its recent coverage of him.
His absence could mean Mr. DeSantis will become the focus of attacks from other candidates looking to position themselves as the primary alternative to the former president.
President Trump’s rivals for the Republican presidential nomination ahead of the 2024 election will gather at the debate to tout their candidacies. But so far only a few have aggressively criticized Trump.
The onetime president also has an Aug. 25 deadline to voluntarily surrender himself in Fulton County, Georgia, after being charged this week in a fourth criminal indictment regarding alleged activity on his part following the 2020 election.
He also faces two federal indictments over his handling of classified documents after leaving office in January 2021 and over his alleged role in efforts to overturn the election loss. He also faces charges in New York over alleged hush money payments ahead of the 2016 election.
Most self-identified Republicans polled in June by Reuters said they saw the indictments of President Trump up to that point as political in nature.
Reuters contributed to this report.