Donald Trump’s VP Pick Is Reported Ahead Of The GOP Convention
Because Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been so unprecedented, it was difficult to speculate about who his running mate might be with confidence. He insisted for months that he wanted a partner with government experience to make up for his lack thereof, but rising GOP stars who would typically be on a Republican candidate’s shortlist wanted nothing to do with him. The billionaire-turned-politician finally put our anxieties to rest (well, some of them) when it was reported Friday Mike Pence will likely by Donald Trump’s VP pick. Trump is scheduled to officially announce his choice Friday morning, but he was beat to it when sources confirmed to Roll Call and other news organizations that Pence was the guy. Now we can look ahead to November, hearts full of terror and dread, without holding back.
Update: Trump tweeted Friday morning confirming Pence will be his running mate.
In case you’re curious who didn’t want the job, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who many saw as a potential Republican VP pick after her handling of the Charleston church shooting last summer, warned that Trump’s divisive language could lead to more horrible attacks, telling the Associated Press in June, “I know what that rhetoric can do. I saw it happen.” Similarly, the experienced Republican politicians who ran against him in the primaries (barring one notable exception) refused to back him once they were out of the race themselves and even once he was the only man left standing. The original presidential candidate pool is always looked to for potential running mates, but this year, most of them ran in the other direction.
Trump’s VP shortlist was announced Tuesday before narrowing in on the chosen one. It’s impossible to understand the inner workings of Trump’s brain (which I imagine looks like thousands of tiny Oompa Loompas running in circles in utter chaos), so it doesn’t make much sense to analyze why he chose Pence over his other options, but let’s take a look at who didn’t make the cut (or missed a deadly bullet, depending on how you look at it).
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
New Jersey’s fearless and scandal-prone leader, Chris Christie, immediately latched on to the Trump campaign after his presidential bid burned into 100 ashes. Because of his involvement in the campaign and constant endorsement of Trump, he was viewed as a possible VP pick early on, and made it all the way to shortlist. NBC News reported Christie met with Trump’s VP vetting adviser for three hours last weekend after the governor submitted his tax records, medical history, and lengthy questionnaire to the Trump team.
Alas, he was not chosen.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
Former presidential candidate and House Speaker Newt Gingrich was suspended from his Fox News contributor post this week because of rumors he was a finalist for the spot and the potential conflict of interest that could create. He also endorsed Trump in May, telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity,”I endorse Donald Trump. I am going to work very hard for the nominee.” In the same interview, he left the door open to running with Trump, telling Hannity he “wouldn’t turn it down automatically” if asked, despite his failed 2012 presidential run, when he was beat out in the primaries by Mitt Romney.
Unfortunately for Gingrich, he won’t get another shot.
The Republican ticket is now a sure thing, giving Hillary Clinton two men to attack endlessly instead of just the one.