Trump praises SC senator during debate, raising VP speculation

Former President Donald Trump did not announce his running mate Thursday night as he'd teased. But he did give an on-stage shoutout to one of the top contenders: U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.

Sources indicate that Trump's mention of Scott, who is the Senate's only Black Republican and who has pushed back on the concept of systemic racism, is likely to boost the senator's national profile, attracting attention from voters who might not be followers of the ins and outs of the Senate. It could also lure voters who are excited by the prospect of a historic ticket with two Black candidates, as well as those who feel comfortable with a more moderate figure who could appeal to swing states.

Scott, who is up for re-election in 2026, has been considered a possible vice presidential candidate for months. His office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the shoutout.

The senator, who is relatively moderate for a Republican, has often been touted as a possible candidate to attract voters in swing states necessary for Trump to win in 2024. In past years, Scott has also openly clashed with President Biden on several occasions, making him a convenient running mate choice for Trump, who has repeatedly argued that the 2020 election was unfairly won by Biden.

Some users are speculating that Scott's friendly relations with Trump could be marred by the senator's past statements on the 2020 election, with some pointing to a fresh comment from Scott this week pushing back on the notion that the election was stolen.

"This is just an extension of the pathological need to constantly criticize and never appreciate anything that this president has done," Scott said Tuesday on the Senate floor, referring to Republicans' complaints about the voting process. "Everything is flawed. Nothing is ever good enough. Let's defeat this guy and then maybe we'll appreciate this country and the Constitution and the freedoms we have."

Others are brushing off speculation, pointing out that Scott would be an unlikely pick to appeal to the Republican base.

"He was pro Trump impeachments, wanting the process to play out," wrote conservative user mrmeyer. "He endorsed basically all liberal Republicans, for their races."

While some users are excited by the prospect of a historic ticket, others are adamant that Scott isn't the right pick.

"Never Tim Scott!" wrote user Responsibility2nd. "A truth that's told with bad intent Beats all the lies you can invent."

Still, some users are optimistic that Trump could select a VP with more mainstream appeal, giving himself more leeway to select a more radical MAGA candidate.

"Trump's pick must be Trump 2.0," wrote user faucetman. "Imagine 12 (TWELVE) years of Conservative rule."

Other users are urging Trump to pick a vice president who will carry on the MAGA movement's ideals.

"Trump needs (WE need) someone who will carry on right where trump leaves off and can win in 28 & 32," wrote user Macho MAGA Man.

Despite a flurry of speculation, it's worth noting that Trump himself has not confirmed that Scott is on his shortlist for VP. Rumors remain speculative as the former president has not yet confirmed if he will even run for office again.

Next Steps: It remains to be seen whether Trump will officially announce a vice presidential candidate in the coming days and whether Scott's name will continue to emerge as a possible pick. The former president has a history of generating attention with his unconventional approach to politics, leaving many to speculate about his intentions.

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