Former President Donald Trump may consider someone like Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik to be his vice presidential pick, Trump insiders told the Daily Caller.
Stefanik fits the profile of characteristics Trump’s team will be looking for in a VP. She’s rallied behind him in his impeachment proceedings and the New York indictment, and was the first member of GOP leadership to endorse him for president — throwing her weight behind his candidacy before Trump announced it himself. Her commitment could lead Trump to choose her on a basis of loyalty, which those close to Trump say is the most desired quality in a VP. (RELATED: Trumpworld Abuzz About Potential VP Pick — And The Qualities Trump’s Looking For)
“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,” a source close to Trump said.
The Caller granted anonymity to some sources familiar with Trump’s thinking to allow them to speak openly on a sensitive matter.
“I see no better fit than Elise Stefanik, but the president will take his own counsel,” Mike Caputo, a longtime friend and adviser to Trump, said.
The 38-year-old third-ranking House Republican is not only “young, dynamic, really bright and engaging,” Caputo continued, but also has a lot of gusto.
“She absolutely has more, let’s just call it ‘testicular fortitude’ than most men in the Republican Party. She’s got more balls than any other candidate that might be considered for vice president,” Caputo said.
I stand with President Trump.
— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) April 4, 2023
“She’s one of the most convincing surrogates [for Trump] out of all of them. In some ways, Elise Stefanik, because of her distance from the problems of the past of Donald Trump, will be able to make a case for Donald Trump better than the candidate himself,” he argued, noting that Stefanik’s New York representation could sway Pennsylvania voters.
Trump has not yet created a short list for his running mate, and no serious discussions have taken place to narrow down the field, Trump insiders told the Caller. Beyond loyalty, he will likely be looking for someone who is “ideologically aligned” with him, has “charisma” and is “TV ready.”
He’s also open to choosing a female to be on the ticket, those close to Trump said, especially as abortion is currently a top issue.
“It’s always seemed to me that it will be a woman. Whenever I’ve talked to people who worked in Trump world, it’s always assumed to be someone like Elise Stefanik or some other woman candidate,” an official supporting Trump’s election effort told the Caller.
Trump has made no indication about who he is considering for vice president, but has said that “a lot of people” are “auditioning” for the role. He has even said that he would be open to campaigning alongside Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his number one potential rival in the presidential race.
On Stefanik, Trump predicted that she could be president in 2028, given how much of a “rocket ship” she is. She was being considered for VP as early as May of 2022, CNN reported.
“She’s always been a friend and people would say she’s upwardly mobile. She goes to Washington as a young beautiful woman who took over and all of a sudden she becomes a rocket ship, she’s the boss. She’s been a great boss, a strong boss,” Trump said in January of 2022.
The New York representative first came into office in 2015 at 30 years old, becoming the youngest woman ever elected into Congress at the time. She was elected House Republican Conference chair in 2021, and sits on the Armed Services committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
Stefanik herself has been tepid about her plans for 2024. She has said she doesn’t “know what’s going to happen in the future,” but has also stressed that she’s focused on getting Republicans into both chambers of Congress and to the presidency.