President Donald Trump confirmed on Friday morning that Vice President Mike Pence will remain as his running mate on the top of the ticket during the 2020 presidential election amid rumors that he was considering asking former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley instead.
“Mike Pence is a great vice president, he’s our man 100 percent,” Trump replied to “Fox & Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt when directly asked who would be his vice presidential nominee in the upcoming election.
“Mike Pence — I know I’ve seen this rumor that keeps popping up, and Nikki would be great, but Mike Pence has done a phenomenal job as vice president,” he continued. “He’s our guy, he’s my friend, and look, we have a great team.”
After Haley resigned from her United Nations ambassadorship somewhat unexpectedly, speculation began swirling that she might be considering her own challenge to Trump in 2020 for the presidency. Haley, however, swiftly denied any potential for the a presidential run, but a second wave of rumors began to emerge that she was gunning to replace Pence.
“For all of you that are going to ask about 2020 — no, I am not running for 2020,” Haley said alongside Trump at the time of her resignation. “I can promise you what I will be doing is campaigning for this one. So, I look forward to supporting the president in the next election.”
Haley also made two public statements showing her support for Pence and further denying that she had any intention of replacing him.
“Enough of the false rumors,” Haley tweeted in August 2019. “Vice President Pence has been a dear friend of mine for years. He has been a loyal and trustworthy VP to the president. He has my complete support.”
However, the speculation began to arise once again after Haley appeared live on NBC’s “Today Show” earlier in November where she provided an unequivocal defense of the president.
“I will tell you, it is amazing how this vice president stuff still keeps coming up,” Haley said while promoting her recently released book, “With All Due Respect: Defending America With Grit And Grace.”
“The vice president and the president are a great ticket together,” she continued. “They’re solid. Solid enough that they are going to win together. There is no truth whatsoever that I would ever in any way look to get that position. I think Mike is great for that job and I think that he’s the right partner for the president.”
“Nikki will absolutely be involved. She is a friend of mine — she endorsed me with the most beautiful endorsement you’ve ever heard,” Trump continued on Friday. “She did a great job at the U.N. She is now in the private sector, I assume she is doing very well. But Nikki will be back in some form because she is great. She is my friend.”
Haley is largely seen as a leading conservative woman in the Republican Party and although she has at times been critical of Trump, she has also become a close ally of his over time.