Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who dropped out of the race for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination and endorsed his opponent, Donald Trump, has finally addressed ongoing rumors that the former president was considering picking him as a running mate.

   “People were mentioning me [as a potential vice president]. I am not doing that,” DeSantis said in audio that was obtained by the New York Post.

   The popular GOP governor was speaking to Republicans he had selected to be delegates to the party’s nominating convention over the summer during a thank-you call, The Post revealed.

   “I know some people are really actively seeking it. It seems to me, just from watching kind of the body language and stuff, that you have a handful of folks who seem to be auditioning for it,” he continued, adding that his criteria for selecting a running mate were different than Trump’s.

   “My criteria was, basically, I need someone who can do the job if it came to that, and I would have been the third-youngest president elected, so chances are, actuarily, I would probably be in pretty good shape, but you never know what else can happen, it’s happened before,” said DeSantis. “So you need someone who can just go in, day one, no problem, they can do the job.”

   He then offered some advice as to who he believes Trump should not choose.

   “I’m not sure that those are necessarily going to be the criteria that Donald Trump uses. I think he’s going to probably use different criteria. I’ve heard that they are looking more at identity politics. I think that’s a mistake. I think you should just focus on who you think the best person for the job would be,” DeSantis added, saying had his campaign made it further, he would have been “partial to governors.”

   The Post added:

   Trump said Tuesday evening during a Fox News town hall he had DeSantis, former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem all on his “short list” for the presumptive 2024 Republican ticket.

   Turning to a potential 2028 run for the presidency, DeSantis — who is due to leave his current office in January 2027 — said he hasn’t “ruled anything out.”

   “We’re still in this election cycle, so it’s presumptuous to say this or that,” he said.

   He added: “I think a lot happens in politics,” noting he had heard a “lot of people on the ground” saying they would support him the next time around.

   DeSantis also addressed the sharp attacks he endured from the former president and his surrogates during his campaign.

   “I think [Trump’s] got people in his inner circle who were a part of our orbit years ago that we fired, and I think some of that is they have an ax to grind,” he said.

   Although DeSantis did not explicitly refer to anyone, Susie Wiles, a senior adviser for Trump 2024, played a pivotal role in managing the governor’s victorious 2018 campaign and was initially retained to oversee the transition in Tallahassee. Nonetheless, their relationship swiftly went south, culminating in Wiles’ dismissal the following September, The Post noted.

   “The dynamic of the race is not that they were attacking me and Republican voters all of a sudden didn’t like me,” DeSantis added. “That wasn’t it at all. The dynamics of the race were, he kept getting indicted, and he drew more support out of sympathy for that, and then he had the conservative media that basically rallied to him and made it where a lot of voters thought his nomination was inevitable.”

   “In Iowa, the reason why turnout was so low,” DeSantis said, was that “a lot of conservative voters … had just tuned out the process because they thought he was inevitable… That was our responsibility to try and change that dynamic. That’s why we were on the ground so much in Iowa.”

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