Kamala Harris’ Nightmare Opponent Could Be Her ‘Greatest Threat’ at VP Debate: Former Aide

One name reported to be on former President Donald Trump’s vice presidential shortlist could deliver a knockout blow in a debate with Vice President Kamala Harris, according to a former Harris staffer.

Republican Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio “would pose the greatest threat to Kamala Harris,” Ashley Etienne, a former communications director for the vice president, told CNN’s Laura Coates on Friday.

“I mean, he’s an incredible debater,” Etienne said. “I think he has this quality that makes him seem palpable to that 1 to 2 percent that actually might vote or that, you know, that’s undecided that will actually pay attention to the debates because most people don’t pay attention to the debates.”

“And I think he’s just got a quality about him where he’s just super smart and sharp and quick-witted. I just think that, like, I think it’s going to be a challenge to see the two of them face to face,” she said.


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Vance, a 39-year-old author and venture capitalist, was elected to the Senate in 2022.

Trump has dropped multiple teasers about his vice presidential choice.

Last week, the presumptive GOP nominee was asked if his pick was in any of the meetings he had with Republican lawmakers in Washington, according to Fox News.

Would you like Vance to be Trump’s running mate?

“Probably. I don’t want to go, but I think [it] will probably get announced during the convention. During the convention. There were some good people, and we have some very good people,” he said.

The GOP National Convention will be held from July 15 to July 18 in Milwaukee.

Who sits at the top of Trump’s running mate list varies by source and by when the question was asked.

Florida-based Republican strategist Justin Sayfie said Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida could be a powerful pick, according to The Hill.

“I happen to think that he’s the candidate the Biden campaign probably fears the most,” Sayfie said.


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Rubio has been named as among those on the shortlist for running mate who met with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

“Of all the people that President Trump can pick to be his running mate, I think that the Biden campaign probably would not like to see Marco Rubio on the ticket,” Sayfie said of the senator, who clashed with Trump during the 2016 presidential primaries but has supported him since.

Republican strategist Jason Cabel Roe said Rubio has a “compelling” personal history and knows how to communicate well.

“And he’s respected on Capitol Hill and could be an effective advocate for his agenda in Congress when Trump wins,” Roe said.

Politico included Rubio and Vance on its list of eight people being vetted for the No. 2 spot.

Others named were Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

“Everyone who has been around the president long enough knows never to surmise what he’s going to do,” David Urban, a former senior Trump campaign adviser, told Politico.

However, Rubio and Burgum were the leading choices as of Monday, Urban said.

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