Former Rival Rubio Now Favored By Donors In VP Selection Race

 May 14, 2024

Former President Donald Trump is deliberating on a new vice-presidential candidate to replace Mike Pence.

As reported by Daily Mail, donors favor Senator Marco Rubio for his broad appeal, while Trump’s fervent supporters prefer Governor Ron DeSantis.

Donald Trump, who previously ridiculed Marco Rubio in the 2016 presidential campaign, is now considering Rubio as a vice-presidential candidate. This shift is largely due to donor support, as they believe Rubio's traditional Republican stance and appeal to Latino voters could broaden Trump's base.

At a recent event at Mar-a-Lago, Rubio's popularity among donors was notably high, as reported by the Financial Times. In contrast, at a rally in Wildwood, New Jersey, Trump's most ardent supporters expressed a strong preference for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. They admire DeSantis for his alignment with the "America First" ideology and his refined public persona compared to Trump.

Constitutional Challenges for Rubio and DeSantis

Both Rubio and DeSantis face a constitutional challenge under the 12th Amendment. This amendment requires the president and vice president to come from different states, meaning one would need to relocate from Florida if chosen. Despite this, Rubio has downplayed speculation about his prospects, emphasizing that the decision lies solely with Trump.

Rubio's public stance on the matter reflects his acknowledgment of Trump's ultimate authority in the VP selection process. He stated, "First of all, the vice president's choice with Donald Trump is going to be made by one person, and that's Donald Trump." Rubio's comments highlight the speculative nature of the discussions surrounding his potential candidacy.

Supporters' Views on Other Potential Candidates

At the rally in New Jersey, supporters also considered other potential VP candidates. Names like J.D. Vance and Vivek Ramaswamy were mentioned, though opinions on other figures like Doug Burgum and Kristi Noem were mixed. Despite these discussions, DeSantis remained a favored choice among many attendees.

Linda Donnelly, one of the rally attendees, expressed her preference for DeSantis, stating, "I like DeSantis because he's very much like Trump but with a little - I don't want to use the word class - what would be another word? He's Trump but with a little bit better vocabulary."

Past Tensions Between Trump and Rubio

The relationship between Trump and Rubio has been contentious in the past. During the 2016 campaign, Trump gave Rubio a derogatory nickname and criticized his physical appearance. However, Rubio later apologized for his comments, and the two have since moved past their earlier conflicts.

Rubio's direct attacks on Trump in 2016 contrast with DeSantis's competitive but unsuccessful presidential campaign against Trump in 2024. These past dynamics complicate Trump's decision-making process as he considers potential vice-presidential candidates.

Republican National Convention and VP Announcement

The Republican National Convention is scheduled for mid-July, where the vice-presidential candidate will likely be announced. This event will mark a significant moment in Trump's campaign as he reveals his chosen running mate. Until then, speculation and discussions will continue to swirl around potential candidates.

Nancy Martin, another rally attendee, shared her support for DeSantis, saying, "My first pick is DeSantis because I love him. Because he's a great governor, I think he's fantastic and he's America First." This sentiment echoes the views of many Trump supporters who see DeSantis as a natural fit for the vice-presidential role.


As Donald Trump prepares for the upcoming Republican National Convention, the selection of his vice-presidential candidate remains a topic of intense discussion. Donors favor Marco Rubio for his broad appeal, while Trump's core supporters lean towards Ron DeSantis for his alignment with their values. The constitutional challenge of both candidates being from Florida adds another layer of complexity to the decision. Regardless of the outcome, the choice of running mate will play a crucial role in shaping the future of Trump's campaign and the broader Republican strategy.

About Robert Cunningham

With years of experience at the forefront of political commentary, Robert Cunningham brings a blend of sharp wit and deep insight to his analysis of American principles at the Capitalism Institute.

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