MSNBC contributor and GOP strategist Steve Schmidt said Tuesday that he believes President Trump will replace Vice President Pence with former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley 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 Pence 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.
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 McCain‘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 Tillerson and former chief of staff John Kelly 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.