As Trump Nears VP Decision, Gingrich Talks 'Pirates' Option | NBC Connecticut
Decision 2016

Decision 2016

Full coverage of the race for the White House

As Trump Nears VP Decision, Gingrich Talks 'Pirates' Option

Trump is choosing between "two pirates on the ticket or a pirate and a relatively stable, more normal person," Gingrich said he's told the presumptive Republican presidential nominee



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    Possible vice presidential picks: Newt Gingrich; Mike Pence; Chris Christie

    Donald Trump is on the verge of picking his vice presidential running mate, with top contenders on standby Thursday afternoon for the Republican nominee's decision.

    On Trump's shortlist: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, according to people familiar with the candidate's thinking.

    Pence quickly exited a speaking event in Indianapolis Thursday morning without taking questions from reporters. His staff had not released details of any other planned appearances Thursday.

    Pence is running for re-election, but Indiana law prevents him from seeking two offices at once. He faces a Friday deadline to withdraw from the governor's race.

    A Republican familiar with Pence's thinking said the paperwork has been drawn up for him to take that step. However, the documents have not been filed, according to the Republican, who insisted on anonymity because that person was not authorized to publicly discuss Pence's plans.

    Trump was making his final decision from California, where he is scheduled to attend a series of fundraisers at a distance from many of his closest advisers. His campaign chair, Paul Manafort, is currently in Cleveland, and none of his children are in the state with him.

    All three of the finalists have had extensive conversations with Trump and his family in recent days.

    Gingrich told The Associated Press he had expected to hear from Trump one way or the other sometime after 1 p.m. Reached by phone later, Gingrich said he had not heard from Trump, but still expected to receive word Thursday afternoon. 

    In a Facebook Live chat, Gingrich said he had told Trump in earlier conversations that his choice was between having "two pirates on the ticket or a pirate and a relatively stable, more normal person." 

    Trump and his new running mate will make their first appearance as a team Friday in New York. The timing is aimed at energizing Republicans ahead of next week's Republican convention in Cleveland. 

    Trump considered a broader group of candidates before settling on the three finalists. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the first senator to endorse Trump, was among that larger group, but told reporters Thursday that he was not the choice. 

    Each of Trump's top contenders would add significant political experience to the GOP ticket. Trump, a political novice, has said for weeks that he wanted a running mate who could help him work with Congress. 

    Michelle Obama: When They Go Low We Go High By Voting

    [NATL] Michelle Obama: When They Go Low We Go High By Voting
    Presidential elections are decided on a “razor’s edge,” Michelle Obama told a crowd at a campaign event in North Carolina where she spoke after Hillary Clinton on Oct. 27. The first lady got a loud round of applause when she pointed out what previous generations sacrificed for the right to vote, and encouraged everyone to exercise that right.

    “Casting our vote is the ultimate way we go high when they go low,” Obama said, “Voting is our high.” (Published Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016)

    Beyond their political backgrounds, the finalists bring different strengths to the ticket. 

    Pence, 57, is a steady, staunch conservative who would help calm nervous Republican wary of Trump's impulsive style. He served six terms in Congress before becoming Indiana governor. He also has deep ties to evangelical Christians and other conservatives, particularly after signing a law last year that critics said would have allowed businesses to deny service to gay people for religious reasons. 

    Trump took notice of Pence during the Indiana primary, noting that the governor had high praise for him despite endorsing one of his rivals. 

    Gingrich is a boisterous rabble-rouser who has spent decades in Washington and helped define the political battles of the 1990s. The 73-year-old would be the oldest candidate ever to become vice president. 

    Trump Mixes Business With Politics at DC Hotel Ceremony

    [NATL]Trump Mixes Business With Politics at DC Hotel Opening Ceremony
    As Hillary Clinton traverses battleground states across the country in the final stretch of the presidential election, Donald Trump took a detour from the campaign trail for the ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday of his Washington, D.C. hotel — but his remarks made clear the race to the White House was not far from mind. Trump claims the hotel is a symbol of what he'll do for America, noting it was completed "under budget and on schedule". (Published Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016)

    Gingrich has been a steadfast Trump defender for months and has become a trusted adviser to the businessman. 

    So, too, has Christie. The New Jersey governor quickly endorsed Trump after ending his own presidential bid, stunning many of his supporters. 

    A former U.S. attorney, Christie, 53, is widely seen as one of his party's most talented retail politicians and has proven himself a biting attack dog on the trail. He's also become a valuable partner for Trump, joining him at events on the trail and taking on the important role of heading Trump's transition planning.