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Trump running mate hopefuls gather at Mar-a-Lago

(NewsNation) —  Nearly all the people mentioned as possible running mates for former President Donald Trump gathered at his Palm Beach, Florida club for a donor retreat Saturday.

It was officially an event for about 400 mega-donors, but the VP hopefuls got their chances to pitch themselves. One big name not there: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Among the notables believed to be on Trump’s shortlist is South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, whose chances have dimmed since her revelation that she killed a young dog decades ago when living on the family farm.

“It freaks a lot of people out,” said Princeton University politics lecturer Dr. Lauren Wright. “Killing a puppy is not one of those decisions that people see … as part of working farm life,” Wright told “NewsNation Prime.”

“The fact that she wrote it and she thought it would be a positive with the base, I think, was a giant misread.”

Wright also discounts Noem’s chances because she wouldn’t add any notable voting bloc to the ticket. “I don’t think she was a serious contender because I don’t think she brings anyone extra. Anyone who likes Kristi Noem was already going to vote for Trump.”

Noem’s book contains one other notable error: her statement that she had met North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un. Her spokesperson has said the editor is updating the book’s reference to that. “No Going Back,” is scheduled to be released on Tuesday.

As for who may become Trump’s running mate: “I just hope that if someone’s going to be supporting of the president … of the agenda … have his back, help us win,” said Florida Rep. Byron Donalds.

Who would help Trump? Former Trump attorney May Mailman likes South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. She believes Scott would be seen by voters as presidential, but not someone who would upstage Trump.

“He ran for president. It wasn’t a successful run, but he didn’t fall on his face,” Mail man said.

Trump is not expected to name a running mate anytime soon, which is no problem for Mailman. “Maye the person is not on this list. We’ve still got a while before the RNC … and as long as he’s got the pick in before then, that’s really all that matters.”

The Republican National Convention is scheduled to begin July 15 in Milwaukee.

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