Megyn Breaks Down Why J.D. Vance and Marco Rubio Are Now Frontrunners in Donald Trump’s Veepstakes

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

It appears Donald Trump is one step closer to announcing his 2024 running mate.

The presumptive GOP nominee told reporters during a campaign stop in Philadelphia over the weekend that he has made his vice presidential pick “in my mind.” And while he has apparently not informed said person of his decision, he said he or she will “most likely” attend Thursday’s debate against President Joe Biden in Atlanta. 

On Monday’s show, Megyn was joined by Victor Davis Hanson, author of The End of Everything, to discuss who likely remains on Trump’s VP shortlist and the pros and cons of each.

The Shortlist

Trump has previously said that he will announce his running mate “right around the time” of the Republican National Convention, which kicks off on July 15 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While there is no reason to believe the timing has changed, there is a renewed focus on the forty-fifth president’s shortlist in the wake of his latest remarks.

Megyn pointed to reporting from Puck’s Tara Palmeri, who wrote in a recent column that the so-called ‘veepstakes’ have turned into a proxy fight between Rupert Murdoch’s media empire and Tucker Carlson. The former reportedly favors the likes of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, while the latter is lobbying for Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH).

Quality Control

Vice presidential candidates are typically selected for their ability to enhance the ticket in the eyes of a certain demographic – à la Kamala Harris with black voters or Mike Pence with evangelical Christian – but Hanson believes that will not be the case this time around.

As he explained, Biden is an octogenarian, Trump is a septuagenarian, and, as such, voters will likely pay more attention to the VP pick than usual. “I think people are not going to go with a typical ‘this person balances racially, or gender-wise, or this state or that state,'” Hanson noted. “People are going to say, ‘We want somebody that we can rely on… We want somebody who has experience.'”

From that perspective, he believes any of the names in the mix on the GOP side are worthy contenders, which means softer skills will likely take centerstage. “The other thing that is really important is you’ve got to have somebody who genuinely likes Trump and knows both his strengths and weaknesses, his foibles, his occasional slanders or whatever it is… and can put that in perspective given what he has done for the country,” Hanson explained. “They are not going to be leaking about him… They are not going to whine… There is not going to be an ‘anonymous’ on their staff. That is very, very important.”

Megyn’s Take

Megyn largely agreed with Hanson’s analysis and said she could see the case for many of the names in Palmeri’s piece. She broke it down like this:

“Well, here’s my own take on it. I love J.D. Vance – like really love J.D. Vance – and think he is such a good, good man. We would be so lucky to have him in public service, whether it is as vice president, president, or senator for a long, long time. And I think one thing that will be appealing about him to Trump is he is young. 

I’ve discussed it with the audience before, the Willy Wonka approach to successorship that [says]: ‘I can’t bring in a grown up who already has all their views formed and cemented; I need somebody on whom I can make an impression with my own view of how to do things.’ And I think J.D. is young enough and hasn’t been in public service long enough that he would qualify as someone who could take that baton from Trump and let his own views be very Trump-ified. It’s already happening. 

Marco Rubio has got the same problems J.D. does in terms of past criticisms of Trump. I was the one cross-examining these guys while they were on the stage back in 2016 and beyond. He said a lot of negative things about Trump too, so he is also going to get hit. He is not a solution to that problem. 

Doug Burgum might be and Trump likes business leaders and he loves billionaires. Burgum is very successful, and he does give me the feeling he could run the country. But would he actually be loyal to Trump when the chips were down? And I think Trump wants somebody who he can control a little bit more than a billionaire like Burgum who doesn’t need any of this. He might be tough to control, if I think from Trump’s perspective. 

And Tim Scott might have none of these problems exactly. But I have a feeling that Trump is not going to pick Tim Scott because Tim Scott has been so obsequious to Trump, like so over the top. I know Trump loves praise and all that, but I think it has undermined Tim Scott’s credibility and strength in the eyes of the voters.

Trump sees all this stuff better than anybody. He is a great reader of people and their reactions. I think [Scott] has kind of helped himself with Trump, but, at the same time, hurt himself in the veepstakes, which leaves us where? I have no idea.

If I had to put money on the ones I just mentioned, I think I’d go with J.D. or Marco. Marco’s got the Florida problem, too. One of them is going to have to move out of Florida because, under our Constitution, you can’t have both the vice president and president running from the same state.”

You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Hanson by tuning in to episode 819 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.