Rumors have been circulating for months that President Donald Trump is planning to pick a new running mate for his 2020 ticket.
While some have brushed it off as nothing more than fake news from the liberal mainstream media, one Republican thinks it’s a sure thing Trump will select someone other than Vice President Mike Pence.
During an appearance on MSNBC, Steve Schmidt, a Republican strategist, declared that former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is gunning to be “Trump’s new running mate.”
According to Schmidt, Haley is attempting to convince Trump to name her as a replacement for Pence on the 2020 ticket.
Schmidt based his claim on several things Haley wrote in her new book, particularly where she alleges that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly approached her directly and asked for her help in undermining Trump.
“Kelly and Tillerson confided in me that when they resisted the president, they weren’t being insubordinate, they were trying to save the country,” Haley wrote in her book about the alleged incident.
She went on: “It was their decisions, not the president’s, that were in the best interests of America, they said. The president didn’t know what he was doing.”
Haley has been on a book tour and when asked about her claims in the book, she emphatically stood by them and said it “100% happened.”
Schmidt claimed Haley’s statements are “not particularly credible” and stem from an ulterior motive related to her own political future.
“I think they speak to her ambition,” Schmidt insisted, adding, “and I think Mike Pence is probably hanging out back there, thinking, ‘Hey, I got a 1 in 365 chance in picking the day that Trump’s going to dump me from the ticket and put her on some time in the next year.’”
“He [Trump] is entirely transactional; loyalty is a one-way street. She’s clearly angling for the job, and when you look at the politics of it, she would serve his immediate political interests in a way that Pence can’t.”
Haley has publicly stated that she is not trying to be Trump’s running mate and that she supports Pence.
Back in August, Haley tried knocking down false rumors about Pence’s place on the 2020 Republican ticket.
“Enough of the false rumors. Vice President Pence has been a dear friend of mine for years. He has been a loyal and trustworthy VP to the President. He has my complete support,” Haley said.
Trump has also announced that he was “very happy” with Pence and planned to keep him as his running mate in the 2020 election.
“I think Mike Pence has been an outstanding VP,” Trump told reporters in New Jersey.
“I think that he has been incredible in terms of the love that a lot of people, especially if you look at the evangelicals and so many the others, they really have a great respect for the vice president, and so do I. And so do I think most people,” he added.
Trump sticking with Pence is not surprising.
The Trump-Pence ticket was very powerful in 2016, and Democrats should be very worried about how well the two Republicans will do together on the campaign trail together again in 2020.