Trump’s Potential Vice Presidents Gather in Florida for ‘You’re Hired!’ Opportunity

Numerous politicians are vying for‍ a shot at Trump’s VP spot, ⁣reminiscent of his “Apprentice” days. The Florida retreat serves as the ⁢stage for auditions, testing candidates’ charisma, fundraising prowess, and loyalty. While⁣ the final decision looms closer to the RNC convention, speculations swirl around potential⁣ contenders like Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, and Kristi Noem. Multiple⁣ politicians ‌are competing for Trump’s⁣ VP position, echoing​ his “Apprentice” era. The⁣ Florida ‍event is a ⁣testing ground for candidates to ⁤showcase their charisma, fundraising ⁤skills, and⁢ allegiance. The selection process ⁤will‍ unfold closer‌ to⁢ the RNC convention, ⁢with names like Tim Scott, ‍Marco Rubio, and⁢ Kristi ⁣Noem ⁣generating buzz as potential contenders.

Before running for the presidency, Donald Trump became nationally known for his TV role on The Apprentice as a businessman choosing among candidates vying to join his organization.

“You’re fired!” became a famous catchphrase of Trump as the show grew in popularity.

Now, nearly a dozen politicians hope to hear some version of “You’re hired!” from Trump as they jockey to join his 2024 campaign as his running mate.

Trump will reprise his Apprentice-style competition over the weekend when several Republican lawmakers, rumored to be on the long list of vice presidential candidates, head to Palm Beach, Florida, for a three-day GOP donor retreat.

The lawmakers are auditioning for the “golden ticket” also known as Trump’s second in command and the likely next head of the GOP after Trump’s tenure is over.

At the retreat, these vice presidential candidates will have to prove they have the stamina to impress GOP donors, the charisma to work under Trump, and the ability to bring funds and votes to a campaign that is struggling against the Democratic Party’s fundraising apparatus.

While Trump won’t announce the winner of the competition this weekend, this is a crucial test for who will rise and who gets “fired” from the running mate list.


The possible VP contenders expected to attend the Florida retreat include Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and J.D. Vance (R-OH), Govs. Doug Burgum (R-ND) and Kristi Noem (R-SD), and Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Byron Donalds (R-FL).

Donalds expects Trump to make his decision closer to the Republican National Committee convention in mid-July and dismissed the idea that the process has had an “Apprentice-style” quality to it.

“I think the reality is, because our primary process ended so fast, that’s the only real thing to talk about,” he told the Washington Examiner of the veepstakes buzz.

Rumors about Trump’s running mate have popped up in the media since before the GOP primary ended due to Trump’s wide advantage over his rivals.

Rubio, a fellow Floridian who was also a vice presidential contender in 2016, downplayed the competitive nature of the gathering.

“It’s not unusual to invite allies to come speak up in front of those groups,” Rubio said. “That’s what happens at these donor retreats. He’s doing the same thing every other presidential candidate has done.”

However, when the candidates gather this weekend, they’ll face an even tougher pressure cooker moment to prove their worth.

“I think largely for all these guys and gals this is an opportunity for them to kind of showcase what it looks like in front of donors, [their] interaction with donors, and kind of show off their ability to raise money,” said a Republican strategist who will attend the retreat. “This is first and foremost a donor retreat that’s obviously a top priority for the Trump campaign as well as is raising money.”

Another top quality Trump will be looking for in his running mate is loyalty, along with the ability to act as an attack dog for Trump as he battles 88 federal charges across four criminal cases.

“To some extent, some of them feel that the way to Trump’s heart is to do his bidding,” said Joel Goldstein, a vice presidential scholar at Saint Louis University. “So that’s what he’s really energizing. He has half a dozen [to] a dozen of these people who were getting more visibility and who are incentivized to be sort of stronger in their critiques.”

Many contenders — Scott, Burgum, Stefanik, Donalds, and Noem — have appeared on the campaign trail with Trump, often denigrating those he dislikes.

Scott appeared in New Hampshire and his home state of South Carolina, where he repeatedly called for former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to drop out of the GOP primary. The remarks from Scott earned him high praise from Trump, who singled him out continuously when asked about a potential running mate.

The South Carolina senator is among many Republicans who have pushed back against the Trump trials, slamming them as election interference.

But Scott isn’t guaranteed the slot. Burgum has reportedly risen among the ranks, though some GOP experts are not sold he will get Trump’s seal of approval.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) speaks as Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump listens with Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) and Vivek Ramaswamy during a campaign event in Laconia, New Hampshire, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

“Doug Burgum would just be kind of a boring choice,” said Woodrow Johnston, a Republican consultant. “Which OK, maybe that’s what you want. But I think that there’s just so many better options.”

Others claimed that Burgum is more likely to emerge as a Cabinet member if Trump won a second term.

“Do I see Doug Burgum potentially as being the VP? Probably not,” said Ford O’Connell, a Florida-based GOP strategist. “But at the same time, he does have the resume and the skills to be very good at that job.”

Burgum’s billionaire wealth would be a boon to Trump’s campaign, which has paid tens of millions of dollars in legal fees already and could pay more by the end of this year. However, Goldstein pondered to what extent Burgum helps Trump attract voters that he needs to win the presidency.

“The question would be, number one, are you going to have two billionaires on a ticket? If you’re running a populous sort of campaign, how does that play?” Goldstein said. “Number two, if you’re at all worried about the issue of reproductive rights, he signed a very strong anti-abortion bill.”

“The third is that governors really aren’t chosen that often unless they’ve had some kind of semblance of national experience,” he continued. “Does he have any really national security credentials? I think those would be some of the challenges that somebody like Gov. Burgum might face.”

Other Republicans, such as Noem, may have torched their campaign to be Trump’s running mate even before the retreat.

Noem has faced heavy blowback after sharing a story of killing her 14-month-old puppy, Cricket, in her forthcoming book. The unprovoked error in judgment has some Republicans skeptical that Trump would bring her on the campaign, fearing Democratic ads portraying the gruesome killing of Cricket.

“I don’t think she was very high on the list to start. I don’t know if she really wants it,” said the Republican strategist on Noem. “To that end, I think it was already pretty dead.”

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) at a campaign rally Saturday, March 16, 2024, in Vandalia, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

“If you’d asked me before this, I would have bet money that Kristi Neom was going to be the VP nominee,” Johnston said. “What I believe Trump will look for is someone who is a demographic choice or a geographic choice. And the third option is a reconciliation choice.”

“I actually still think she’s a good choice from a demographic point of view,” he continued. “But we’ll see … Marco Rubio was floated not a terrible strategic choice, I suppose. But one of them would have to move out of Florida. And I just don’t think we need help in Florida.”

Noem could help Trump bring back suburban women who have fled from the GOP under Trump’s leadership. But her anti-abortion support, in particular a “trigger law” in South Dakota that banned most abortions, could turn off women voters.

Rubio would likely motivate some Latino voters for Trump. But the constitution bars electors from voting for a president and vice president from the same state, meaning either Trump or Rubio would have to change their state residency.

The vice president tryout also comes as Trump appears to have made amends with a top GOP primary rival, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). The two met privately over the weekend in the Sunshine State.

“I am very happy to have the full and enthusiastic support of Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “The conversation mostly concerned how we would work closely together to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. Also discussed was the future of Florida, which is FANTASTIC! I greatly appreciate Ron’s support in taking back our Country from the Worst President in the History of the United States.”

The meeting between the two leaders is likely to have brokered DeSantis donors to fold into Trump’s orbit during the donor retreat.


But don’t expect Trump to announce his vice presidential decision after this weekend.

“I think that’s unlikely,” said the Republican strategist. “This is going to be a mid to late June decision.”

David Sivak contributed to this report.

" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."

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