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Donald Trump vetting Christie, Gingrich for VP slot

world Updated: Jul 01, 2016 22:04 IST
Yashwant Raj
US presidential election

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Thursday.(Reuters)

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump is vetting former speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey governor Chris Christie to run with him as a candidate for vice-president.

Citing sources, Associated Press reported the Trump campaign has formally launched the vetting process, after weeks of speculation about possible picks, and those who aren’t interested.

Presidential nominees from both parties have traditionally announced their running mates just days before their respective party convention, which for the Republicans starts on July 18.

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, whose party convention starts on July 25, is also vetting candidates but there is no word yet on a formal launch of the process.

Senators Tim Kaine, Mark Warner and Elizabeth Warren and Obama administration secretaries Thomas Perez and Julian Castro are among those being speculated about.

Trump, who plans to announce his pick at the convention, has narrowed his list to Gingrich and Christie, who received their vetting paperwork in the last 24 hours, AP reported.

Campaign appointed vetting staff will closely examine their personal and professional lives, their tax history, and political work and look for anything damaging or embarrassing.

Republican John McCain, who ran against Barack Obama in 2008, is widely understood to have picked Sarah Palin without vetting her enough, and was soon dealing with surprises.

Christie was vetted in 2012 by Mitt Romney, who then opted for Paul Ryan, who, as Speaker of the House of Representatives now, is the senior-most elected Republican in the US.

The tough-talking governor was once considered a leading candidate for the Republican presidential ticket, but he lost to Trump, whom he has been advising since.

Gingrich was speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999, during President Bill Clinton’s term, and ran for the Republican presidential ticket in 2012, when he lost to Romney.

Trump is also understood to have considered others such as Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, an early supporter, and Indiana governor Mike Pence.