MSNBC contributor and GOP strategist Steve Schmidt said Tuesday that he believes President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE will replace Vice President Pence with former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyThe Hill’s Morning Report – Trump’s public standing sags after Floyd protests The Hill’s Morning Report – Protesters’ defiance met with calls to listen The truth behind Biden’s ‘you ain’t black’ gaffe MORE on his 2020 reelection ticket.
Schmidt said on “Morning Joe” that Haley has been angling to replace Pence on the 2020 ticket by defending the president in the press in recent days as she promotes her upcoming memoir “With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace.”
“I think Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePence posts, deletes photo of Trump campaign staff without face masks, not social distancing Pence threatens to deploy military if Pennsylvania governor doesn’t quell looting Pence on Floyd: ‘No tolerance for racism’ in US MORE is probably hanging out back there, thinking, ‘Hey, I got 1 in 365 chance at picking the day that Trump’s going to dump me from the ticket and put her on some time in the next year,’ ” Schmidt said.
“She wants to be vice president. She wants to be vice president on the Republican ticket in 2020. And I think there’s an overwhelming chance that Trump will dump Pence to put Nikki Haley on the ticket because he has an enormous problem with women. Suburban women, particularly,” he continued.
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A poll released by The Hill on Monday showed Trump with his lowest approval rating among women in more than a year.
Schmidt, who served as a senior adviser to former Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Bad polling data is piling up for Trump Cindy McCain ‘disappointed’ McGrath used image of John McCain in ad attacking McConnell Report that Bush won’t support Trump reelection ‘completely made up,’ spokesman says MORE’s (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential bid, added that Haley would serve Trump’s “immediate political interests” in a way that Pence would not heading in to the 2020 election.
“He’s entirely transactional. Loyalty is a one-way street. And so she’s clearly angling for the job, and when you look at the politics of it, she would serve his immediate political interests in a way that Pence can’t. So I would suggest that he’s going to be gone and she’ll be in,” he said.
Haley has made headlines in recent days with a claim made in excerpts of her memoir published by The Washington Post that former Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonDeadline for Kansas Senate race passes without Pompeo filing Democrats launch probe into Trump’s firing of State Department watchdog, Pompeo The Memo: Fauci at odds with Trump on virus MORE and former chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE sought to “undermine” Trump in the White House and approached her about working around the president.
Tillerson denied the charge on Monday, while the White House has remained silent on the claims made in Haley’s book. Trump has previously denied that he is considering replacing Pence for his 2020 reelection bid.
“I love Nikki. She’s endorsed me. She’s my friend. She’s a part of my campaign. But Mike has been a great vice president. He’s a hundred percent,” Trump told Fox Business Network earlier this year.