Donald Trump teases Marco Rubio as potential VP pick

Former President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail and repeatedly played into the speculation that he might elevate Marco Rubio to his ticket

Updated - July 10, 2024 11:30 am IST

Published - July 10, 2024 11:29 am IST - MIAMI

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks during a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump, at Trump’s golf resort in Doral, Florida, U.S., on July 9, 2024.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks during a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump, at Trump’s golf resort in Doral, Florida, U.S., on July 9, 2024. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday revelled in the mounting turmoil surrounding President Joe Biden ’s campaign in the wake of their debate and teased the expected announcement of his Republican running mate with one of the top contenders, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, in attendance.

After days spent lying low, golfing and letting Democratic infighting play out in public, Mr. Trump used his return to the campaign trail in Florida to ratchet up his attacks on both Mr. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Mr. Trump rallied his supporters at one of his Miami-area golf courses as the presumptive Republican nominee nears a deadline to announce his running mate. But he appears in no rush, as much of the political world's attention is still centred on questions about Mr. Biden's ability to govern for another four-year term.

Rubio to be running mate?

Mr. Trump repeatedly played into the speculation that he might elevate Mr. Rubio to his ticket.

Mr. Rubio, a Miami native and one of the contenders for the vice presidential post, was among the Florida politicians who spoke at the event.

At one point, Mr. Trump marveled at the number of reporters in attendance and said, “I think they probably think I’m going to be announcing that Marco is going to be vice president.”

Later, when he talked about his pledge to make tips tax-free, he remarked that Mr. Rubio “may or may not be there to vote for it.”

Hispanic American vote

Mr. Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, is seen as a potential running mate who could help Mr. Trump as he tries to secure support from Hispanic Americans, a point the senator emphasised in his remarks as he switched several times in his remarks to Spanish.

The senator did not openly acknowledge any of the speculation about him joining Mr. Trump as a running mate. He instead skewered not only Mr. Biden, whom he called “the figurehead of a left-wing government, shadow government," but Ms. Harris, whom he would need to debate head-on if he's chosen for Mr. Trump's ticket.

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He notably seemed to insert himself into Mr. Trump’s signature “Make America Great Again” slogan by saying: “Together, we’re not just going to make it great again. We elect this man as president, we will make together America greater than it has ever been.”

Barron Trump makes first appearance at a rally

Mr. Trump’s youngest child who recently turned 18, Barron, also made his first-ever appearance at one of his father’s rallies. Mr. Trump implored his son to stand, with the young man pumping his fist a few times as Mr. Trump said, “Welcome to the scene, Barron.”

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