Trump narrows VP search to three candidates

Senior aide says GOP nominee likely to announce pick within days, has narrowed selection down to governor, general, and ex-House Speaker.

David Rosenberg ,

Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich
Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich
Reuters

Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump has narrowed the possible choices for running mate down to three candidates, a senior campaign adviser told US News & World Report on Monday, adding that Trump was likely to announce his Vice Presidential pick within days.

According to the adviser, Trump is considering Indiana Governor Mike Pence, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General (ret.) Michael Flynn.

Pence, a conservative favorite, has been seen as an asset for Trump in his effort to win over the religious right and could strengthen his appeal to Midwestern voters, including in the neighboring battleground state of Ohio.

A member of the Indiana Republican Party and 2016 Republican National Convention delegate recently told The Washington Times Pence had all but locked up the Veepstakes, and had a "95 percent" chance of being chosen as Trump's running mate.

Still under consideration, however, according to the senior Trump campaign official, is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. A veteran politico with ties to both the conservative base and the party's growing populist wing, Gingrich competed with Mitt Romney for the 2012 GOP nomination, winning support from blue-collar primary voters before being overshadowed by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who finished second to Romney.

But at 73 years old and with a history of extramarital scandals, Gingrich brings not only experience in Washington but also a great deal of unwanted political baggage which may dissuade Trump from choosing the former Georgia congressman.

Finally Michael Flynn, the retired army officer who in many ways mirrors Trump's unique presidential bid.

Flynn, a registered Democrat, has angered social conservatives for his pro-choice rhetoric and apparent support for same-sex marriage.

A political outsider, Flynn would strengthen Trump's foreign policy and security credentials, given Flynn's reputation as a staunch hawk in the War on Terror.

Trump has expressed interest in selecting a general, though he has also indicated a political veteran could be the ideal VP.



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