Donald Trump refused to offer an early endorsement for Vice President Mike Pence in the 2024 presidential race, sparking speculation that eldest son Don Jr. could be ready to follow through on his White House aspirations.
In an interview with Fox & Friends this week, President Trump was asked if Mike Pence would have his “automatic endorsement” if he were to seek his own White House bid after Trump would be term-limited out of office in 2024. Though it has long been tradition for a vice president to make a run for president once their president’s term is over, and presidents most often give their endorsement and support, Donald Trump refused to make anything definite.
“You’re talking about a long time. You can’t put me in that position,” Trump said in the Friday morning interview, via Salon. Trump offered praise for his vice president and said he would give Pence’s hypothetical bid “strong consideration,” but would not commit to an endorsement.
The lack of endorsement fed into rumors that Donald Trump’s eldest son may be angling to follow in dad’s footsteps. Many political experts believe that President Trump is keeping his options open in case his son should try to field a run for president, and President Trump has joked and hinted about his family becoming a political dynasty.
Donald Trump Jr. has also given hints that he may have his eye on the White House. As the Independent reported in February, Trump’s son sparked speculation when he posted an Instagram story showing another user mentioning his name as a possible candidate in 2024. While Trump Jr. didn’t give either an endorsement, or even an opinion to the idea, the fact that he decided to post it led many to believe it is an idea he is keeping under consideration.
There had been reports that Trump Jr. would seek to run for governor of New York, though he ultimately shook off these rumors.
How could pence not have expected this? We all know Don Jr is the nominee in 2024. https://t.co/wcgJ4j7ke9
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) June 14, 2019
Donald Trump Jr. has grown increasingly political since his father has taken office, making a number of campaign stops both for his father and for vulnerable Republicans ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. He was seen as an important asset for these lawmakers, drawing rallies that rivaled his father.
— The Hill (@thehill) June 14, 2019
For his part, Mike Pence has not given any official indication that he wants to run for president in 2024, and has remained focused on re-election for himself and Donald Trump in 2020. Donald Trump Jr. has not revealed any political aspirations, either.