trump south carolina
© Associate PressFormer President Donald Trump pointing to the audience during a town hall in Greenville, SC on Feb. 20, 2024. 7
Former President Donald Trump gestures to the audience during his town hall in Greenville, SC, on Feb. 20, 2024.
Former President Donald Trump acknowledged Tuesday that at least five high-profile Republicans and one former Democrat are on his shortlist for potential running mates in the general election — including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and onetime Democratic presidential primary candidate Tulsi Gabbard.

The GOP presidential front-runner confirmed his shortlist after Fox News host Laura Ingraham rattled off a list of names at a town hall event in Greenville, SC, which she said audience members deemed good choices for him to tap for the vice presidency.

The names included Gabbard, DeSantis, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

"Are they all on your shortlist?" Ingraham asked Trump.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is one of several candidates on Trump's vice presidential shortlist. Getty Images

To which he responded, "They are."

"They're all solid," Trump said moments later. "And I always say I want people with common sense because there's so many things happening in this country that don't make sense."
US Senator Tim Scott trump
© Alex Hicks Jr./Staff / USA TODAY NetworkUS Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) joins former President Donald Trump at Tuesday, March 20, 2024 town hall in Greenville, SC.
Trump, 77, explained that the "first quality" he's looking for in any potential running mate is their ability to be "a good president because if something should happen, you have to have somebody that's going to be a great president."

He added that voters primarily care about who's on the top of the ticket rather than who the running mate is.

"The one thing that always surprises me is that the VP choice has absolutely no impact," Trump said. "It's whoever the president is, it just seems."
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem
© Associated PressSouth Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem attends a tribal flags ceremony on Jan. 10, 2024, at the state Capitol in Pierre, S.D. South Dakota. 7
However, he acknowledged that "you would like to get somebody that could help you from the voters' standpoint."

As for the former president's last remaining GOP primary opponent — former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley — Trump said he "settled it about three months ago" that she wouldn't be on his 2024 general election ticket.

In January, Trump teased that he's already decided on a running mate if he were to win the Republican nomination for president but refused to say who it is when asked during a town hall in Des Moines, Iowa.

"Well, I can't tell you that, really," Trump told Fox News hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, the event moderators, at the time.
Vivek Ramaswamy
© Getty ImagesEntrepreneur and former GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy attends Trump’s primary night party in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Jan. 23, 2024.
US Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) attends Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' State of the State address in Tallahassee on Jan. 9, 2024. AP

"I mean, I know who it's going to be," he added.

Similarly, Trump didn't provide a time frame Tuesday for when he would name his running mate.