Trump stokes VP speculation

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Trump stokes VP speculation

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The Big Story 

Trump stokes VP speculation

Former President Donald Trump’s veepstakes is entering the final stretch, and the countdown is on. Even Trump’s closest confidants say anything’s possible, as top contenders continue to court the former president.

© Greg Nash/The Hill

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee is closing in on the big reveal — naming who will join him on the GOP presidential ticket this fall. But the decision remains a mystery befitting Trump’s showmanship exhibited in his roles as candidate, president and television star.


Only Trump himself knows who it will be — most insiders say the whole thing remains fluid. Here is some intel on the top contenders: 


J.D. Vance 


Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) largely rose to prominence through his biographical tome “Hillbilly Elegy,” which recalled his rural Ohio upbringing in a poor family. 


He is a Marines and alum of the Ohio State University. A former critic of Trump, he’s since embraced the former president’s populist views.  


Vance, 39, has the backing of Donald Trump Jr., who said on an episode of his podcast aired Tuesday that “everyone knows” he’s favored the Ohio senator for his father’s running mate.


Doug Burgum 


North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) was one of Trump’s rivals for the GOP nomination earlier in the 2024 race, before he suspended his campaign in December and endorsed the former president in January.


Burgum,67, has since been seen as a top ally and close adviser to Trump. A wealthy businessman like the former president, Burgum has also made appearances along the campaign trail with Trump. 


Trump Jr. said Burgum is a “smart guy,” but suggested Tuesday that the governor would fare better as his father’s Energy Secretary — aligning with Burgum’s current role as an adviser to the former president on energy policy.


Marco Rubio 


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who Trump even dubbed “Liddle Marco” as the two sparred for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination, has sidled up as a potential partner on the GOP ticket despite the bitter previous tension. 


Rubio may need to relinquish his life-long Florida home, unless a court intervenes, to join new Florida resident Trump’s ticket, but the former presidential hopeful hasn’t explicitly turned down the opportunity.  


Trump Jr. also dismissed Rubio as a candidate Tuesday, deeming him too closely aligned with the establishment sect of the Republican party.


Wildcards: No one can predict what Trump will do. Stay tuned into The Hill for the latest.


Essential Reads 

Key election stories and other recent campaign coverage:

Democratic strategist David Axelrod said he thinks former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) recent comments about President Biden’s candidacy were “very significant.” Axelrod joined CNN’s Dana Bash on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing turmoil within the Democratic Party as calls for the president to step aside increase. Bash asked Axelrod, a longtime adviser to former President Obama, what he thought of Pelosi’s earlier statement …

Former President Trump said Wednesday that Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is “trying to convince anyone that will listen that” President Biden “is a mental giant.” “Crazy Nancy Pelosi is more of a cognitive mess than Sleepy Crooked Joe. She also suffers from a terminal case of TDS, Trump Derangement Syndrome,” Trump wrote Wednesday on Truth Social. “She is a total nut job, who impeached me TWICE, and lost. Now I see …

County commissioners in Nevada voted against certifying the results of two local recounts from a primary last month, a move that could have implications for the swing state’s presidential race later this year. Three Republican members on the five-member Washoe County Board of Commissioners voted to reject the results of recounts in a commission race and a school board seat. It’s not known what will happen next, The Associated …

The Countdown 

Upcoming news themes and events we’re watching:

5 days until the Republican National Convention  40 days until the Democratic National Convention  
118 days until the 2024 general election  194 days until Inauguration Day 2025 

In Other News 

Branch out with a different read from The Hill:

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday called for a “serious reckoning” among Democrats over whether to keep President Biden as the party’s nominee. “In determining how to proceed as a party, there must be a serious reckoning with the down-ballot effect of whomever we nominate,” Torres said in a post on the social platform X. “What matters is not how we feel but what the numbers tell us,” he added. Torres warned of the potential …

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) will speak during next week’s Republican National Convention, a source familiar with the plans confirmed, after initial uncertainty whether he would be given a slot. The source did not say which day DeSantis would give remarks. The convention will run next Monday through Thursday. A lineup of speakers is expected to be released in the coming days. NBC News first reported that DeSantis would speak …

Around the Nation 

Local and state headlines regarding campaigns and elections:

AJC spoke to 50 Democratic Georgia delegates. Nearly all back Biden (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)  
Texas leaders worry that Bitcoin mines threaten to crash the state power grid (Texas Tribune
Poll finds steady support for Denver’s mayor but suggests new tax increases may face skepticism (Denver Post

What We’re Reading 

Election news we’ve flagged from other outlets:

How Mar-a-Lago Became the Center of Gravity for the Hard Right (New York Times‘Obama bros’ gang up on Biden as longstanding rumors of tension linger: ‘Hard to watch’ (Fox News
Russia Seeks to Boost Trump in 2024 Election, U.S. Intelligence Officials Say (Wall Street Journal

Elsewhere Today 

Key stories on The Hill right now:

George Clooney, who just last month hosted a star-studded fundraiser for President Biden’s campaign, is reversing course, saying Democrats are “not going to win in November with this president.” “I love Joe Biden. As a senator. As a vice president and as president. I consider him a friend, and I believe in him. … Read more

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday introduced articles of impeachment against Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, citing their “pattern of refusal to recuse” themselves from matters to which they are connected and their “failure to disclose” millions of dollars in gifts over decades. “The … Read more

What People Think 

Opinions related to campaigns and elections submitted to The Hill:

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