As Donald Trump heads toward the GOP presidential nomination after winning the first two Republican primaries, speculation has grown over who he might choose as his running mate.
But those close to the former president reportedly tried early on to recruit a surprise candidate — former Democratic candidate RFK Jr.
The now-independent presidential candidate caught the Trump campaign's attention “as soon as Bobby announced his run for the White House in April 2023,” insiders told the New York Post.
“Trump operatives expressed interest in Kennedy early on, but it was all premature,” they said. Despite the unlikely combination, the source clarified: “Anything is possible. “I definitely wouldn't write it off.”
Even though Kennedy isn't out of the race yet, Trump cryptically told voters earlier this month that he had already picked his candidate – but refused to name names.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was reportedly approached by the Trump campaign “early” in the election cycle, with an insider saying they “wouldn't rule it out.”
Trump teased earlier this month that he had already decided who he would choose as his running mate, but declined to name names amid intense speculation
Kennedy initially ran for the Democratic nomination last spring but dropped out and ran as an independent in October, arguing the system was rigged to automatically nominate President Biden.
Although Kennedy is a political outsider who has never held public office, his campaign surprised analysts as he increasingly seeks to become a “spoiler” candidate for the two-party system.
Recent polls have shown Kennedy with over 20 percent support nationally in a hypothetical general election.
But since pollsters have found that his libertarian platform would win over more of Trump's base than Biden's supporters in a close race, it's not much of a surprise that Trump's team might try to recruit him.
A major donor who funded both Trump's and Kennedy's campaigns told the Post that the possibility of a Trump-RFJ Jr. ticket remains on the table.
“It's all very behind the scenes at this point.” “The further we move forward, the more bubbles will appear,” the donor said.
“Bobby can get new people elected.”
Timothy Mellon, a major donor who gave at least $5 million to Kennedy's SuperPAC, added: “I've heard the concept. 'It's not surprising.'
The idea that Kennedy should appear on the ballot with Trump was previously raised by former White House strategist Steve Bannon, who agreed in August that the hypothetical ticket would result in a “massive landslide” for Trump.
While Kennedy remains a long-shot vice presidential candidate, a number of other names have been floated as potential running mate candidates.
Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy (left) was considered a potential candidate for Trump's candidacy after dropping out of the Republican primary
North Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has often been viewed as a possible option, although an alleged cheating scandal uncovered by may have hurt her chances
Trump's former press secretary and current Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders was a staunch ally of the former president
Following businessman Vivek Ramaswamy's exit from the Republican primary, the fiery conservative emerged as a potential option for the former president.
When Trump won the New Hampshire primary, Ramaswamy's speech praising the front-runner sparked chants of “VP, VP, VP” from Trump's crowd.
“He will be working with us for a long time,” Trump responded to the reception.
Another frequently mentioned name is Trump's former White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Current Arkansas Gov. Huckabee Sanders has remained a staunch Trump ally in his absence – fitting into the picture as many analysts believe Trump needs to recruit a female candidate to improve his numbers with female voters.
However, North Dakota Governor Kristi Noem's chances took a turn for the worse late last year when exclusively revealed her affair with Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
The married governor, 51, was considered the first choice for vice president because of her “family values” policies – but may have fallen down the vice presidential rankings following the bombshell report.