Latest News 02-06-2024 11:04 8 Views

Insiders predict this possible Trump VP pick poses ‘existential threat’ to key area of Biden support

Editor's note: This is the fourth in a series of profiles of potential running mates for presidential candidate Donald Trump on the 2024 Republican Party ticket.

A potential name on former President Trump's running mate shortlist is being described by political insiders as an 'existential threat' to an area of support seen as key to President Biden's hopes at winning another term.

The horse race among those hoping to be tapped as Trump's running mate continued this week with the names widely believed to be on the shortlist making the rounds on various media outlets defending the former president after he was found guilty in a New York City court on 34 counts of falsifying business records.

Those names included South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who some argue could solidify gains Trump has already made among Black Americans — a group Biden would be devastated to lose — and even 'make them Republicans for life.'

'A Trump running mate who could effectively carry a message to communities of Black voters would be an existential threat to the Democrats' coalition,' GOP pollster Scott Rasmussen told Fox News Digital, adding that Scott, who is Black, was 'an effective surrogate' for Trump with strong ties to other senators needed to enact his legislative agenda.

'That adds a lot of value to the campaign, and potentially the administration,' he said. 'Based upon his performance last fall, he might not be the strongest debater on the shortlist. But, it's hard to imagine much downside coming from a debate between Sen. Scott and Biden's running mate.'

One top Republican strategist told Fox that now 'could be the perfect point in history' for someone like Scott to be selected as a vice presidential running mate considering Biden's 'severe problem' with Black voters.

'Biden has already chased away a sizable percentage of Black voters that he cannot afford to lose. Tim Scott has the potential to make them Republicans for life,' the strategist said, noting Trump polling as high as 22% among Black voters just over five months from Election Day.

'When people ask me who I think would be a good running mate, Tim Scott is always at the top of my list. I think he is an able politician. He's an excellent spokesman for conservative ideals. He brings youth and a fresh perspective and a different way of talking about conservative ideals that makes them more accessible to a wider audience.'

Republican strategist David Polyansky said that although he didn't believe Scott being Black would have any 'meaningful impact' on the electorate and how they might vote, he believed Trump's historic standing among Black voters at this point in the race pointed to 'a real base problem' for Biden.

'I don't know if this choice will impact that, but they're already working at a deficit there,' Polyansky said, adding that Scott was a 'fantastic senator' who had 'proven himself to be a great communicator.'

'There are major donors who would really like to see him be the choice, or at least one of the options, and so, from a Trump campaign standpoint, somebody like him who might be able to add some prowess to large donors is an added benefit, too,' he said. 'So there's a lot of good that comes with him, and obviously, having a Black choice as your vice president would be pretty historic in Republican terms, and I think pretty meaningful.'

Not everyone agreed, including a source close to the Trump campaign who told Fox News Digital that the race aspect of a potential Scott selection was being 'overplayed.'

'I couldn't care less if he's Brown, Black, blue, orange, White, female, male, whatever. It doesn't matter to me,' the source, who is a minority, told Fox. 'I think that is overplayed, especially since Donald Trump has done such an outstanding job already, picking up minority votes across the board. So I don't think you need to look at it that way anymore.' 

The source praised Scott as someone who had 'masterminded the Senate,' and would be of 'tremendous value' considering his time in Congress, but argued that Trump, instead, needed to pick someone not interested in their own potential future run for the White House.

Scott ran against Trump in the Republican presidential primaries, but dropped out months before the Iowa Caucuses.

'Tim is a nice guy, but I need somebody who is going to be in there that's going to fight for the Donald Trump agenda, and not worry about what the media is going to say about him. I don't know if that's Tim,' the source said.

'Don't pick someone who is going to be running for president for four years and kneecapping what you did in your first term like [former Vice President Mike] Pence did … I'm not saying it should or shouldn't be him, I'm just saying, for me, I think there are other factors to consider that he may not have.'

A source close to Scott told Fox News Digital the senator has been a 'prolific' and 'monster' fundraiser throughout his time in the Senate and while running for president, especially compared to other names reportedly being considered as Trump's running mate.

The source also pointed to Scott's close relationship with Trump, as well as what they said was Scott's ability to bring potential big-name donors who were Trump skeptics into the fold, and would attempt to do so at a major Washington, D.C., donor summit in June.

They also noted Trump previously praised Scott for campaigning better for Trump than for himself.

A number of other big names have also been floated to join Trump on the Republican ticket, including House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Sanders, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Ohio Sen. JD Vance and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Trump, who spent most of this week sitting on trial in New York City until his Thursday conviction, is still weighing his running mate options. He suggested earlier this month he might even wait until July's Republican National Convention in Milwaukee to name his pick.


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