‘I’m Not a No. 2 Guy’: DeSantis Says He Wouldn’t Run as Trump’s Vice President

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said on Tuesday that he would not be interested in running as former President Donald J. Trump’s vice president, if Mr. Trump does win the 2024 nomination.

“I’m not a No. 2 guy,” Mr. DeSantis said in response to a question during an appearance on the Wisconsin Right Now podcast. “I think I’m a leader. Governor of Florida, I’ve been able to accomplish a lot. I think I probably could do more staying there than being V.P., which doesn’t really have any authority.”

Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Mr. Trump, immediately shot down the idea that the former president would even consider Mr. DeSantis, a one-time ally now challenging him for the Republican nomination, as a running mate.

“Ron DeSantis isn’t anybody’s guy. He’s not ‘the guy.’ He’s just ‘a guy,’” Mr. Cheung said in a statement. “Ron is just there, sullen and sad, because his numbers are as tiny as him.”

With not a single primary ballot cast, it is far too soon to speculate about who will be the Republican nominee for vice president. But that hasn’t stopped voters and political observers from doing just that.

At events for Mr. DeSantis in the early nominating states, some voters have said that they wish the much younger Mr. DeSantis would run on the same ticket as Mr. Trump.

“DeSantis is four years too early,” said Jim Mai, a Republican voter in the crowd for a speech Mr. DeSantis gave in Sioux Center, Iowa, in May. “Trump should run and have DeSantis as his vice president.”

But a joint ticket between the two Florida men would prove logistically challenging.

The 12th Amendment to the Constitution forbids members of the Electoral College from voting for a president and vice-president who are both from the same state as themselves. So if Mr. Trump picked Mr. DeSantis, or another Florida resident like Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami, who is also in the race, he would forfeit the state’s 30 electoral votes.

One solution: Mr. Trump, who switched his residency to Florida ahead of the 2020 election, could change it back to New York.

It’s unclear if any of the leading candidates trailing Mr. Trump and Mr. DeSantis might be interested in joining the former president’s ticket, if indeed he wins the nomination.

Some of the more likely possibilities could be former Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, who served as Mr. Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations; Vivek Ramaswamy, an entrepreneur who has lavished praise on Mr. Trump; and Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, whom Mr. Trump has spoken kindly of.

But on Monday, when Mr. Scott was asked on Fox News if he would consider it, he said: “You get in the race for president to win, only to win.”

Others, like former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey — who has said it is an aim of his long-shot bid to take down Mr. Trump — would almost certainly have no interest. Nor would Mr. Trump be interested in him .

Of course, Mr. Trump could select someone who is not currently running for president.

Presidential candidates usually select a running mate to help them shore up support in a crucial swing state or with a specific constituency of voters. But Mr. Trump’s advisers have frequently said that he doesn’t think he needs any such help from a No. 2.

At this point in the race, it is unlikely that a major contender for president would publicly downgrade their aspirations to the No. 2 spot.

Former Vice President Mike Pence — who has been there, done that — has said that he thinks “running for vice president twice is enough for any American.”

And Tricia McLaughlin, a senior adviser to Mr. Ramaswamy, said he “expects to be our next president and isn’t interested in a VP slot.”

The campaigns of Ms. Haley, Mr. Christie and Mr. Suarez did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Bret Hayworth contributed reported from Sioux Center, Iowa, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

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