ROCK HILL, S.C. – Supporters of former President Donald Trump attending his final rally ahead of Saturday’s South Carolina Republican presidential primary shared whom they’d like to see as his vice presidential running mate in the November general election.
Fox News Digital spoke with just a few of the nearly 6,000 supporters who showed up to Winthrop University’s campus in Rock Hill, South Carolina on Friday, waiting for hours in line to see and hear the former president bash President Biden, as well as his Republican rival Nikki Haley, a name not uttered once by those listing a number of others they said would make a good second-in-command.
‘I like Kari Lake a lot. I think she’d be great,’ one supporter told Fox, referencing the conservative firebrand and likely Republican nominee in the race to flip Arizona’s Senate seat.
A number of others suggested Lake, as well as former presidential candidate and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, both of whom are strong backers of Trump’s bid to retake the White House.
‘I think Vivek … I like what he’s said,’ one supporter told Fox, citing Ramaswamy’s ‘refusal’ to bash Trump in the earlier days of the primaries, unlike the other candidates previously vying for the nomination. ‘He’s also a minority, so it’s not like it’s just another White person who supports him, so I think that’s a big thing.’
Some suggested Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, neurosurgeon and former Trump official Ben Carson and Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., but one name stood out more than all the others: South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.
‘I like his Christian values, the way he stands for Trump, the way he loves Trump, and I believe he’s good support from Trump,’ one supporter said of Scott, while another praised his record as a conservative senator.
Trump revealed at least a few names on his shortlist for a running mate while participating in a Fox News town hall earlier this week. The list included Scott, DeSantis, Noem, Ramaswamy, Donalds and former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat turned independent who became nationally known after her run for the presidency in 2020, as well as for her sharp criticism of Biden.
Haley, whom many considered a potential choice for Trump’s vice president earlier in the campaign cycle, acknowledged to Fox this week there was zero chance she would be selected as his running mate, a view likely solidified by her refusal to leave the race despite being a heavy underdog with little chance of becoming the Republican nominee.
‘I wouldn’t be doing this if I was worried about a political future,’ she said. ‘I would’ve gotten out already. I’m doing this trying to wake up our country.’
After providing the names on his shortlist, Trump also ruled out any suggestion Haley would end up his running mate.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.