As Trump Ponders V.P. Contenders, He Asks: Can They Help Me Raise Cash?

As former President Donald J. Trump sifts through potential running mates, he has peppered some advisers and associates with a direct question: Which Republican could best help him raise money for the rest of the presidential campaign?

That inquiry reflects the evolving calculations of Mr. Trump’s vice-presidential search — and how his scramble to keep up with President Biden’s colossal fund-raising totals may be weighing on his mind as he considers his options.

Mr. Trump’s selection process, which is still in its early stages, has largely revolved around conventional questions like who could step in as president if needed, political calculations including contenders’ position on abortion rights, and more Trumpian curiosities like whether a politician physically resembles his idea of a vice president.

But Mr. Trump has asked several people about the fund-raising prowess of possible running mates, according to three people with direct knowledge of the conversations, signaling a fresh angle in his search for a running mate.

The initial feedback has pointed him toward a handful of members of Congress with strong donor connections and at least one deep-pocketed governor. One long-shot possibility with a proven record of raising piles of cash — former Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina — was only recently a bitter presidential rival, and her name can spark outrage from Mr. Trump.

“Trump is going to want a team player, and this is going to be about adding value to the ticket,” said former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who remains close with Mr. Trump and set records for Republican fund-raising. “It’s also going to be about someone who understands the job — who understands the Senate and the House — because he’s not going to want to waste one minute in office.”

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