A former spokeswoman for Vice President Kamala Harris publicly identified the Republican vice presidential candidate she believes would outperform her former boss in a debate.

Ashley Etienne, who served as Harris’ communications director after the 2020 election and throughout her first year in the White House, expressed on a CNN panel her high regard for Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH). She highlighted Vance’s effectiveness in leveraging the MAGA movement to position himself as a thoughtful statesman with populist policies and predicted that Vance would be a significant threat to Harris if former President Donald Trump were to choose him as his running mate.

“He’s an incredible debater. He has this quality that I think makes him seem palpable to that one to two percent that might actually vote, that are undecided who might actually pay attention to the debates because most people don’t,” Etienne told the panel. “And I think he’s just got a quality about him where he’s super smart and sharp and quick with it. I just think… it’s going to be a challenge to see the two of them face to face.”

Media reports have identified Senator J.D. Vance as one of the key contenders for the vice presidential spot alongside President Trump. Other potential candidates include Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). Each brings unique strengths and weaknesses that Trump’s team is currently evaluating to determine who might provide the most strategic advantage in the upcoming November election, though Trump has indicated he’s made his selection.

Vance, 39, elected to his first term in 2022, has quickly made a name for himself by strategically timing his legislative proposals. In February, he revealed a provision, which he described as a “kill switch” that Democrats had inserted into a funding bill that would have prevented a future President Trump from negotiating an end to the war in Ukraine.

Since the beginning of the conflict, Vance has criticized Ukraine’s leadership as a “complete and utter disaster,” effectively channeling conservative sentiment away from foreign engagements towards domestic issues, aligning with the GOP base’s growing focus on internal priorities. More importantly for Trump, Vance has been a vocal supporter of presidential immunity in his various criminal trials. During a recent appearance on CNN, Vance restated that former presidents like Barack Obama could be charged under similar circumstances as Trump.

“There are a number of checks and balances in our system… There’s the impeachment process. There’s the budgeting authority that Congress has,” he told reporter Kaitlan Collins in May. “There are a number of examples in American history where if you apply the standard, the lawfare standard of the Biden administration against Donald Trump, it would make the presidency impossible to actually execute the law. So, in the name of taking down their political opponent, Kaitlan, these guys are really pushing a legal theory that I think would destroy the presidency, whether a Democrat or Republican was in charge.”

Harris, meanwhile, has struggled with frequent public gaffes, which have not helped her popularity and have left some Democrats uneasy about her potential future control of nuclear codes. At a summit on artificial intelligence, she described the technology simplistically as a “fancy thing” composed of “two letters.” During a meeting with a Mongolian leader, she repeatedly used the phrase “space cooperation” to an excessive degree. Furthermore, when tasked with defending President Biden’s decision to run for a second term, Harris’s awkward endorsement highlighted that the 81-year-old president is “very much alive,” which did little to inspire confidence.

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Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.