Trump says he knows who his running mate will be 

Former President Donald J. Trump speaks at the 2024 Road to Majority Conference in Washington on June 22, 2024. Photo by Madalina Vasiliu 
Former President Donald J. Trump speaks at the 2024 Road to Majority Conference in Washington on June 22, 2024. Photo by Madalina Vasiliu 

By Janice Hisle, Joseph Lord 
Contributing Writers 

Former President Donald Trump says he knows who he’s likely to choose as his running mate. 

During a campaign stop in Philadelphia on Saturday, the former president was asked by NBC whether he had made his pick already. 

Trump replied, “In my mind, yeah.” 

The former president added that the person would “most likely” be at his first debate with President Joe Biden on Thursday. 

“They’ll be there,” Trump said. “I think we have a lot of people coming.” 

But as of right now, Trump added, “nobody knows” who he has selected. 

Recently, Trump listed six finalists to be his running mate. 

They are Sens. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, and Marco Rubio, R-Florida, as well as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, and Dr. Ben Carson. 

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Burgum — seen as the frontrunner in the running mate race — opined that ultimately, Trump’s VP choice will have little impact on the outcome. 

“I think we have to just look at the fact that President Trump could win this race regardless of who his vice president is,” Burgum said on Sunday. “He’s got the luxury of not having to pick someone.” 

Burgum argued that the last time the running mate had an impact on outcomes was in 1960, when then-candidate Lyndon B. Johnson led President John F. Kennedy to victory in Texas. 

Others disagree with Burgum, saying that the stakes for VP selection are higher than normal this time around in the midst of Trump’s criminal trials and voters’ concerns about President Joe Biden’s age. 

“It’ll be the most important VP selection we’ve had in recent history,” Florida political scientist Susan MacManus said recently. 

Typically, the presidential running mate exerts little effect on voters’ choice for “the top of the ticket,” she said. But this year’s unparalleled circumstances are creating top-of-mind concerns for the former president, his potential running mate, and U.S. voters. 

Biden is running again with Vice President Kamala Harris. 

The 45th president, meanwhile, has indicated on multiple occasions that he’ll announce his running mate during the Republican National Convention, where he’s set to be formally nominated. 

The convention will be held on July 15 — just four days after Trump faces sentencing in his New York criminal case. 

The outcome of that sentencing is still uncertain, as Trump faces the possibility of penalties including a fine, house arrest, probation, or imprisonment. 

Age is also a concern for both candidates, albeit a bigger one for Biden. In a February Times/Siena poll of registered voters, 45% of those surveyed felt Biden’s age “is such a problem that he is not capable of handling the job of president,” while only 19% felt the same for Trump. 

Regardless of who wins in November, the winner would end their second term as the oldest president in U.S. history. 

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