WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that Vice President Mike Pence is “100%” his 2020 running mate after a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed urged him to replace Pence with former ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley.
Asked Wednesday on Fox Business about the op-ed, the President praised Haley, who left her role at the end of last year.
“I love Nikki, she’s endorsed me, she’s my friend, she’s a part of my campaign,” Trump said Wednesday.
But Trump was quick to add that Pence has been a “great vice president, he’s 100%.”
“We won, we won together. We have tremendous evangelical support. We have tremendous support from every angle,” Trump said of Pence. “You can’t break up a team like that.”
Trump’s confidence in his vice president comes after he hesitated to endorse Pence should he mount a presidential bid 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 on “Fox and Friends” nearly two weeks ago. “So you can’t put me in that position. But I certainly would give it very strong consideration.”
Trump later told NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that Pence would “100%” be on his ticket in 2020. He explained that he hesitated because “it was a surprise question.”
“I mean, you know, I’m not even thinking of it,” the President told NBC in an interview that aired Sunday. “It’s so far out. I mean, It’s so far out. That would be the only reason.”
But he again did not endorse Pence as his successor.
Pence told CNN’s Jake Taper on “State of the Union” Sunday that Trump’s comments “reflect the fact that the only election he and I are focused on is 2020.”