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Trump Nearing VP Pick. Who's on His Short List?
Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., questions State Department Under Secretary for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, Jr., as he testifies at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 5, 2016, on recent Iranian actions and implementation of the nuclear deal. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Trump Nearing VP Pick. Who's on His Short List?

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has less than two weeks to choose his running mate.

The businessman has said he'll announce his vice presidential pick at the Republican National Convention, which will take place July 18-21 in Cleveland.

His campaign has already floated a number of names for the position, most of them with previous political experience to offset Trump's outsider persona.

But Trump has been far from predictable so far this election cycle, so don't discount the possibility of an unexpected name surfacing in the coming weeks.

For now, though, here are the vice presidential possibilities Trump is reportedly mulling:

Newt Gingrich

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The former House speaker is reportedly at the top of Trump's list for the VP slot. Gingrich ran for the GOP nomination in 2012, eventually losing to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Trump has indicated that he wants a vice president who can help him muscle his legislative agenda through Congress, something Gingrich has proven himself capable of doing.

Gingrich endorsed Trump back in May and suggested that he'd be open to the No. 2 slot. But he has also been publicly critical of his party's primary winner, calling Trump an "absurd amateur" in June after the candidate suggested that a judge with a Mexican heritage would be unfair to Trump in court.

Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

The former 2016 hopeful dropped out of the Republican presidential race after New Hampshire and stunned political insiders when he became one of Trump's early high-profile endorsers ahead of Super Tuesday. The New Jersey governor was immediately seen as a top contender for a role in a Trump administration.

Christie is chairman of Trump's transition team and is reportedly being officially vetted by the campaign.

Tom Cotton

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton. (AP)

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) has said that he's not being vetted for the VP slot, but Trump said in a radio interview that the military veteran is "high on the list" of candidates he's looking at for the role. And former Trump adviser Michael Caputo said that he expects Trump to make an "unorthodox" pick, like Cotton.

The military veteran has had a difficult time arguing on behalf of the presumptive nominee publicly, saying on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that Trump "can ultimately make the case for himself."

Mia Love

GOP candidate for U.S. Congress Mia Love (Photo: AP) Utah Rep. Mia Love (AP)

The Republican rising star is another potential Trump VP pick, according to ex-aide Caputo. The Utah Republican originally endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, then voted for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in her home state in March. Utah Democrats are hoping to use Trump's unpopularity in November to unseat Love, who was the first black Republican woman elected to Congress.

Bob Corker

Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., right, speaks as committee chairman Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., sits left, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Trump met with the Tennessee senator in New York in May, fueling speculation that the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is being vetted for the VP slot or another role in a Trump White House.

Corker publicly praised Trump's foreign policy speech in April, saying, "In a year where angry rhetoric has defined the presidential race on both sides of the aisle, it is my hope that candidates in both parties will begin focusing not only on the problems we face but on solutions." Conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer said in May that he is betting on Corker to be Trump's pick.

Mike Pence

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (AP/Michael Conroy)

The Indiana governor checks the boxes of political experience that Trump wants but isn't as "establishment" as picking a sitting member of Congress. Trump met with Pence and his family over the Fourth of July weekend and tweeted that he was "very impressed" by the former congressman.

Pence made waves last year when he refused to allow his state to comply with President Barack Obama's climate plan.

Jeff Sessions

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The Alabama senator was the first sitting member of the Senate to endorse Trump way back in February and since has become a close adviser on the Trump campaign, including on potential Supreme Court picks.

Sessions is also a major player in the immigration debate and has defended Trump's plan to "suspend" immigration from countries with a history of terrorism.

Joni Ernst

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Trump met with the Iowa senator Monday, but they did not say if the vice presidential role was a topic of discussion. Ernst served in the military and rose to prominence in 2014, when she was first elected to the Senate. In May, she urged Trump and party leaders to come together so that the party can unify around the eventual GOP nominee.


Trump also has picked up endorsements from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, neurosurgeon and former 2016 hopeful Ben Carson and Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn. Some have mentioned Ohio Gov. John Kasich as a potential running mate, but the former 2016 hopeful has said he's not open to the position.

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