President Donald Trump left no doubt in anyone’s mind Wednesday that his current vice president, Mike Pence, would be on the ticket once again in 2020.
Trump has previously signaled that he has no intention of replacing Pence. But his remarks Wednesday appear to serve as a guarantee that — barring any unforeseen circumstances — if Trump wins reelection in 2020, Pence will be serving right alongside him.
Trump was asked on the Fox Business show “Mornings with Maria” about a Tuesday Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal by Andrew Stein, a Democrat and former president of the New York City Council.
In his piece, Stein argued that while Pence has “loyally served the president and the nation,” the vice president has also “given Mr. Trump all the help he can.”
The answer, according to Stein? Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who also previously served as governor of South Carolina.
“But with the 2016 election in the past, Nikki Haley on the ticket could tamp down the antipathy for Mr. Trump that seems to afflict so many moderate and Republican-leaning women,” Stein wrote.
“President Trump needs the prospect of a Vice President Haley to help recapture the White House,” he added.
According to Trump, that’s not going to happen.
“I love Nikki. She’s endorsed me. She’s my friend. She’s a part of my campaign, but Mike has been a great vice president,” Trump told host Maria Bartiromo, before noting that Stein is “a friend of mine.”
Trump reiterated that Pence is “100 percent” his vice president now and in 2020.
“I love Nikki and there are places for Nikki, and Nikki’s future is great, but Mike Penceis the person, 100 percent. We won together. We have tremendous evangelical support,” Trump said.
“You can’t break up a team like that,” he added. “And we get along well together.”
Trump’s remarks should not have come as a surprise.
In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that aired Monday, the president told Chuck Todd that Pence is “100 percent” going to be on his ticket in 2020.
“He’s been a terrific vice president,” Trump said of Pence. “He’s my friend.”
That being said, Trump has thus far declined to say whether he would endorse Pence should the vice president run for the White House in 2024.
“Well, it is far too — look, I love Mike. We’re running again. But you’re talking about a long time,” Trump said earlier this month on “Fox & Friends,” CNN reported. “So you can’t put me in that position. But I certainly would give it very strong consideration.”
Trump later clarified on “Meet the Press” that the query about whether or not he would endorse Pence was a “surprise question.”
“I’m not even thinking of it. It’s so far out. I mean, It’s so far out. That would be the only reason,” Trump told Todd. “Now what happens in 2024? I don’t know that Mike is going to run. I don’t know who’s running or anything else.”