While the media are virtually united in saying Trump can’t win a general election, they are also awash in speculation about his running mate. Kari Lake, who narrowly lost her race for Arizona governor, went to Mar-a-Lago and is widely touted as a possible ticket-mate. The former anchor is telegenic and is all in on Trump’s “rigged election” crusade, as any VP pick would have to be. (Lake just released a video saying she’s challenging her loss, by 20,000 votes, and strongly implying that fraud was involved.)
Former President Donald Trump, left, and Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, right. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images / Giorgio Viera/AFP via Getty Images)
One obvious impact of a multi-candidate GOP field is that they would split the anti-Trump vote, allowing the former president an easy win with a plurality. From the point of view of those who want to stop him, a one-on-one with Ron DeSantis would be far preferable.
“Were you longing for those debate nights when the field was split into two groups of ten or more candidates making their cases for national leadership in 90 seconds or less? Well, that may be coming again. Every new entrant lowers the bar for others.”
The biggest names who aren’t governor of Florida include Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley, Mike Pence and Chris Christie. The first three were part of Trump’s administration and would have some ’splainin’ to do.
Pompeo took a shot at his former boss, saying, “We were told we’d get tired of winning. But I’m tired of losing.” But as Secretary of State he defended the idea that there would be a transition to a second Trump term.
Mike Pence, who called out Trump for endangering his life at the Capitol riot, has a major liability: Those who admired what he did on Jan. 6 can’t stand his four years of loyal service to the 45th president.
Former two-term South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump administration, gives a speech. (Nikki Halley Stand for America PAC)
In the National Review piece, Michael Brendan Dougherty throws in a lot more potential names: Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Brian Kemp, Greg Abbott, Glenn Youngkin.
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks during an event to promote his new book at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank on October 19, 2022, in Washington, DC. During his remarks, Pence talked about his “freedom agenda” and warned against “unmoored populism.” ((Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images))
“Nobody wants this,” he writes. “Mike Pence’s candidacy is born hermaphroditic. Partly an obvious break from Trump, but constantly touting the accomplishments of the ‘Trump–Pence’ administration. Hutchinson is running, but why? He wants the 20 percent of Americans who said in 2022 exit polls that gender ideology is going in a good direction in this country?…”
But in politics, the show must go on. Many of these folks either won’t run or won’t make it to Iowa. But it doesn’t seem like Trump–who is still the front-runner–will simply waltz to the nomination.
Howard Kurtz is the host of FOX News Channel’s MediaBuzz (Sundays 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET). Based in Washington, D.C., he joined the network in July 2013 and regularly appears on Special Report with Bret Baier and other programs.
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