Donald Trump considering South Carolina senator as running mate

Senator Tim Scott and Donald Trump were all smiles during a Fox News town hall event on Tuesday night
Senator Tim Scott and Donald Trump were all smiles during a Fox News town hall event on Tuesday night - Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg
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Donald Trump has said he is considering Tim Scott, the South Carolina senator, as a potential running mate because he “doesn’t like talking about himself”.

‌The former president added that Mr Scott, who has campaigned on his behalf after dropping out of the Republican primaries, had been “much better for me than he was for himself”.

Speaking at a Fox News town hall event on Tuesday evening, Mr Trump also claimed that whoever he picked would make no difference to the election in November.

Asked by host Laura Ingraham about his prospective vice president, he gestured to the audience where the South Carolina senator was sitting.

“A lot of people are talking about that gentleman right over there,” the former president said, as Mr Scott grinned and laughed.

He continued: “He’s been such a great advocate. I have to say – this is in a very positive way – Tim Scott, he has been much better for me than he was for himself.

‌“I watched this campaign and he doesn’t like talking about himself, but boy, does he talk about Trump?”

Mr Trump brought up the senator unprompted at another point in the interview as he claimed that a $355 million (£281 million) fine imposed on him by a New York court in a fraud case was “the most egregious punishment anyone’s ever seen”. He then added: “Tim Scott knows that. He sees it.”

Humble request

The former president said he was also considering Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as potential running mates.

“The one thing that always surprises me is that the VP choice has absolutely no impact,” he added. “It’s whoever the president is, it just seems.”

Mr Trump has spent months stoking speculation about potential running mates, claiming in January to have already made his choice. On Tuesday, he “humbly” asked supporters to send in their thoughts while donating to his campaign.

He has yet to clinch the Republican nomination for president, but polls show him well ahead of Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor, before her home state votes on Feb 24.

Mr Trump said he was winning “bigly” in the Palmetto State and claimed she had lost “in record numbers” in the previous Iowa and New Hampshire contests.

Mr Scott, who campaigned on “Christian conservative values”, suspended his presidential run in November before a single vote was cast.

‌In a blow to Ms Haley, who as South Carolina governor had nominated him to the US Senate, he endorsed Mr Trump just days before the New Hampshire primary in January.

He later declared his “love” for the Republic frontrunner as he appeared with Mr Ramaswamy, another defeated primary rival, at his victory rally in the state.

Mr Scott once said the former president’s comments about the Charlottesville white supremacist march in 2017 were “indefensible” and that his “moral authority” had been compromised.

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