Former President Donald Trump said he hasn’t yet given much thought to the person he’ll choose as his running mate if he gets the Republican nomination for president, but he likes “the concept” of having a woman by his side in the job.
“Are you leaning toward a woman?” NBC “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker asked in an interview Thursday.
“I like the concept, but we’re going to pick the best person,” Trump replied. “But I do like the concept, yes.”
He added that he tries not to “think too much about it.”
“You always do a little bit, but I really don’t think it’s time. I want to win,” he told Welker.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, recently endorsed Trump at a rally in the state, fueling speculation that she could be a likely contender for his potential vice presidential pick. Trump said she would be someone he’d consider choosing, calling her “fantastic.”
“She’s been a great governor,” he told Welker. “She gave me a very full-throated endorsement, a beautiful endorsement actually. And, you know, it’s been a very good state for me. And certainly she’d be one of the people I’d consider, or for something else maybe. But we have a lot of people. We have a lot of great people in the Republican Party.”
The interview, Welker’s first as moderator of “Meet the Press,” will air Sunday on NBC affiliates across the country. NBC News has also extended an invitation to President Joe Biden to sit down with Welker for an interview.
Tune into “Meet the Press with Kristen Welker” this Sunday for more from Welker’s exclusive interview with former President Donald Trump. Check local listings.
In the wide-ranging interview, Trump also said he was against an age limit for running for president but supported a competency test.
“You know, I took a test two years ago, three years ago. And as the doctors said — and it was in front of doctors and a whole big deal at Walter Reed [hospital], which is an incredible place. And I aced it. I get everything right. I’m all for testing. I frankly think testing would be a good thing,” Trump said.
Since the 2020 cycle, Trump has boasted that he “aced” a cognitive test. But it was not an IQ test; it was a 10-minute screening used to evaluate mild cognitive impairment or early dementia.
“A lot of people say it’s not constitutional to do it. But I would be for testing, to test to make sure everyone’s just fine,” he added. “But a lot of people say that can’t happen because of Constitution.”
Trump — who is just three years younger than Biden and would also be the oldest president ever if he wins the White House — said the issue was not age as much as competency.
“[You] know, some of the greatest world leaders have been in their 80s. I’m not anywhere very near 80, by the way,” said Trump, who is 77 years old.
“I don’t think Biden’s too old,” he added. “But I think he’s incompetent, and that’s a bigger problem.”
The former president also confirmed he left a note for Biden when he left the White House in January 2021 — a tradition for outgoing presidents.
“Can you give us a little sense of what you said?” Welker asked.
“You know, it’s interesting. He actually said it’s up to me to do, and I actually think it’s up to him to do,” Trump said. “I left him a note. I think it was very — it was a nice note. I took a lot of time in thinking about it. I’d love him to do a great job, even if it was very bad politically.”