- Trump wants a VP running mate with more similarities to himself as he looks to 2024, per an ex-advisor.
- "Trump's going to be looking for someone cut from the same cloth he is," Michael Caputo told the AP.
- Trump has reportedly indicated an interest in selecting a female running mate.
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In 2016, Donald Trump tapped then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate in what was seen as a shrewd move to bring on a Republican both trusted by grassroots conservatives and who had experience in state and federal government.
But seven years later, the former president — who is running for the Republican presidential nomination for a third time — is prioritizing a vice presidential nominee who is more similar to himself as he considers 2024 running mates, former Trump aide Michael Caputo told The Associated Press.
Trump, who has continued to rail against the 2020 presidential election and Pence's role in certifying now-President Joe Biden's victory, seems to be searching for a No. 2 that is perhaps more loyal.
Trump isn't pushing to make any major decisions yet, but he has considered a few potential options and has shown an interest in selecting a female running mate, the AP reported.
Caputo, a former assistant secretary for US Department of Health and Human Services, told the news outlet he felt that Rep. Elise Stefanik, the chair of the House Republican Conference, would be his top pick.
"I think the president learned a lot from his experience with Pence," Caputo, who was a 2016 presidential campaign advisor for Trump, told the news outlet. "I think this time Trump's going to be looking for someone cut from the same cloth he is, not from a different, complementary cloth."
While Trump is now the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, the race is still in its earliest stages. The former president's only other declared opponents are former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the only other Republican who now threatens Trump's dominance in the nomination contest, has not yet officially announced whether he'll pursue a 2024 presidential campaign.