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DeSantis says he doesn't want to be Trump's running mate

Yet the Florida governor — who is the only white man of the six people on Trump’s VP shortlist — also said Trump shouldn't use “identity politics” to decide.


Despite their bitter rivalry, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump said this week that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is on his shortlist for running mate. DeSantis, however, quickly shut down that possibility, telling supporters on a private call on Wednesday that “People were mentioning me — like, I am not — I am not doing that,” according to The New York Times.

Trump said he is also considering former presidential hopefuls Vivek Ramaswamy and Sen. Tim Scott, as well as Rep. Byron Donalds, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, and former Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

It's notable that, even as he was expressing his disinterest, DeSantis — who happens to be the only white man of the six — told supporters that it would be a "mistake" if the former president uses “identity politics” to choose a running mate.

“Now we have a diverse Republican Party. I want everybody in the fold, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t want people representing 10, 15% of the party being in the driver’s seat,” he also said, according to audio obtained by NBC News.

DeSantis added: “So I would want somebody that, if something happened, the people that voted us in would have been pleased to know that they’re going to continue the mission. I’m not sure that those are going to necessarily be the criteria that Donald Trump uses ... I have heard that they’re looking more in identity politics. I think that’s a mistake.”

DeSantis may be trying to avoid appearing like he is kowtowing to Trump, who has mocked and insulted him relentlessly. But were he to come around on the running mate proposition, he would at least have the company of a number of Republicans and conservative figures who have kissed Trump's ring after being publicly disrespected by the former president. (However, it’s also unclear whether two Florida men can run on the same ticket, as there's debate over whether a president and a vice president can be from the same state.)

DeSantis has made clear that his political ambitions lie outside his home state. His campaign for the GOP presidential nomination routinely opened him up to accusations that he was neglecting Florida, but he pressed on until he ultimately ended his campaign with a whimper. That collapse hasn't diminished his ambitions, as he is leaving open the possibility of a 2028 presidential run, telling his supporters that he hasn’t “ruled anything out,” NBC News reported.