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Potential Trump running mate Tom Cotton took hard look at 2024 run, but being a father came first

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas is in the Trump running mate spotlight.

The Army veteran, who served in combat in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars before becoming a rising star in Republican Party politics, has been viewed as a potential running mate since he endorsed the former president in early January, two weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

But a report last week that Cotton may be moving up on Trump’s list for the GOP’s vice presidential nominee sparked a slew of stories in recent days about the senator.

Rarely mentioned was that Cotton seriously mulled a 2024 White House run of his own before deciding against it in late 2022.

Cotton, who won re-election by a landslide in the 2020 Senate election in red-state Arkansas, spent plenty of time in 2021 and 2022 on the campaign trail on behalf of fellow Republicans running in the midterm elections. And those trips brought the senator multiple times to Iowa and New Hampshire, which for a half century have led off the GOP’s presidential nominating calendar.

The senator also bolstered his fundraising and political operation, and expanded his national profile with a book on military history.

But days before the 2022 midterms, Cotton announced he wouldn’t run for the White House in 2024.

And in his first interview after announcing his decision, the senator emphasized why he didn’t run.

‘Family was really the only consideration,’ he told Fox News Digital.

The now-47-year-old senator and his wife Anna are the parents of two young boys.

‘My boys are age 7 and 5. They’re old enough to know that dad’s gone and be sad about it, but not old enough to understand the purpose and why it all matters and why the sacrifice is worth it,’ Cotton said at the time. ‘I am pretty sure Republican voters can find another nominee, but I know that my sons can’t find another dad for the next two years.’

The senator added that ‘over the next two years my 7-year-old will learn to hit the fastball and my 5-year-old will learn to read, and I want to be there to teach them both.’

But Cotton left the door wide open to a future White House run, emphasizing, ‘this is a decision only about this 2024 race and this time for my family. We’ll make a decision about future races in the future, especially as my boys get older and understand more about why I do the work I do and what it means for them and for our country.’

And he also said at the time that he’d consider serving in a GOP administration.

‘Under the right circumstances, if a Republican president asked me to consider such a job, I’d of course consider it any time a president asks one to serve the nation,’ Cotton said.

Fast-forward nearly two years and Cotton told Fox News’ Brett Baier last week that he and Trump have had a few conversations ‘about what it’s going to take to win this election in November, to elect President Trump to another term in the White House and elect a Republican Congress so we can begin to repair the damage that Joe Biden’s presidency has inflicted on this country.’

But the senator said that neither Trump nor his campaign had reached out to him regarding serving as running mate.

‘I suspect only Donald Trump knows who’s really on his short list,’ Cotton added in his interview on Fox News’ ‘Special Report.’

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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