Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responded to former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s suggestion that she would “maybe” consider teaming up with him, pointing to possibly tapping him as her running mate if she emerges victorious among the star-studded line of Republican candidates vying for the nomination.
“I am not going to accept that under any circumstances,” DeSantis told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on Saturday.
“I’m running for president because I think we need somebody that can win and get the job done. I would much rather do my final two years as governor than be vice president. I don’t think it’s a position that offers much. I want to make an impact,” he continued.
Haley made the suggestion during a joint interview with NBC News and the Des Moines Register on Friday as the two GOP candidates battle it out for second place in a number of polls.
“If he wants to join forces with me, I welcome that,” she said after declaring she intends to defeat Donald Trump on her own. The former president, who currently faces several legal challenges from multiple fronts, leads the pack of Republican hopefuls by significant margins.
“But right now, we’ve got a race that we feel good about. We’ve got a surge. We’ve got momentum,” she added.
DeSantis, responding to Cavuto’s questions about the remarks, said he doesn’t feel the vice president position would give him the space to fulfill his wishes to make a difference.
“I’m in office to be able to deliver results to people, and to take a position where you’re not going to be able to deliver results for anyone, that just doesn’t appeal to me,” he said.
Meanwhile, rumors swirl that the former South Carolina governor could be a favorite for the lower half of the ticket if former President Trump keeps pace and wins the GOP nomination for a rematch against President Biden.
“I have said from the very beginning I don’t play for second. It’s offensive for anybody to think that I would do all of this to play for second. And so I have said that. I will continue to say that. If people aren’t satisfied with that, I don’t know what else to say,” Haley told Fox News Digital in an interview ahead of a New Hampshire town hall.
DeSantis and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, also a rival of Haley’s in the race for the nomination, have both alleged Haley is vying for an opportunity to be Trump’s running mate.
“That’s why she’s not saying strong things against Donald Trump,” Christie said.
DeSantis, meanwhile, at a New Hampshire town hall last month, said “She will not answer directly, and she owes you an answer to this: Will she accept a vice presidential nomination from Donald Trump? Yes or no?”
DeSantis’ campaign launched a website with a URL of trumpnikki2024.com to play into the rumor. The Florida governor also added that he would not accept the offer to be Trump’s running mate.
Responding to the criticism, Haley told Fox News, “They’ve criticized me for everything. Let’s be clear. That’s what happens when you’re losing.”
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.