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Fresh off his historic victory in the Iowa caucuses on Monday, former President Donald Trump is reportedly honing in on who he will ask to become his running mate.
The Calvin Coolidge Project noted on its X account that the leading GOP presidential contender is “seriously considering” House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) as his choice.
Meanwhile, CBS News reported that Stefanik will be campaigning with Trump ahead of next week’s New Hampshire primaries, in which he currently leads by most polls, though GOP competitor Nikki Haley, his former UN ambassador, appears to be closing the gap in some surveys.
“This is the first time Stefanik – who is also the House GOP chairwoman – will join Trump as he tries to win the New Hampshire primary,” the outlet reported. “Stefanik was among the first members of Congress to endorse Trump in the presidential primary season in November 2022, when he announced his third bid for the White House. She’s viewed as a loyal ally to Trump, according to sources.”
After Trump’s Iowa win, Stefanik called on Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and the remaining GOP field to drop out and unite behind him.
“I am calling on every other candidate — all of whom have no chance to win — to drop out, so we can unify and immediately rally behind President Trump so that we can focus 100% of our resources on defeating Joe Biden to Save America,” she wrote in a statement.
— The Calvin Coolidge Project (@TheCalvinCooli1) January 17, 2024
Meanwhile, ABC has decided to cancel a scheduled debate between DeSantis and Haley after the latter decided to opt-out, vowing that her next one “will either be with Donald Trump or with Joe Biden.”
“We’ve had five great debates in this campaign. Unfortunately, Donald Trump has ducked all of them,” Haley said in a statement, per the Daily Wire. “He has nowhere left to hide. The next debate I have will either be with Donald Trump or with Joe Biden. I look forward to it.”
The former South Carolina governor made these remarks one day following the Iowa caucuses, where Trump emerged as the clear victor, securing 51% of the vote. DeSantis came in second with 21%, while Haley secured the third spot with 19%.
It’s worth noting that Haley had invested heavily in Iowa, with her political campaign spending more money in the state than any other candidate. Approximately $37 million was allocated to pro-Haley advertisements in Iowa through January 12, surpassing the $35 million spent on pro-DeSantis ads and the approximately $18 million used for pro-Trump ads. However, there are expectations of a more favorable performance for Haley in New Hampshire, where she has consistently polled strongly as the second candidate behind Trump, the Daily Wire added.
A survey conducted for the UK’s Daily Mail found that, in the last debate between Haley and DeSantis ahead of the caucuses in Iowa, 55 percent of viewers said DeSantis won while 31 percent thought Haley did.
On the X platform, DeSantis expressed a dim view of Haley backing out of the next debate.
“Nikki Haley is afraid to debate because she doesn’t want to answer the tough questions such as how she got rich off Boeing after giving them millions in taxpayer handouts as governor of South Carolina,” DeSantis wrote.
“The reality is that she is not running for the nomination, she’s running to be Trump’s VP. I won’t snub New Hampshire voters like both Nikki Haley and Donald Trump, and plan to honor my commitments. I look forward to debating two empty podiums in the Granite State this week,” he added.
Haley has said, however, that she’s not running to be Trump’s VP.
“I’m not interested in being vice president,” she recently told CBS News. “I’m running to be president, and I’m running to win, and we will.”