Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump spent his Independence Day holiday weekend meeting with Republican Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana and Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, signaling that both are in consideration for his running mate.
On July 4, Trump sent out a series of social media messages announcing that he had met with Gov. Pence and was set to meet with Sen. Ernst, just as his campaign has intensified its search for a vice presidential pick.
“Spent time with Indiana Governor Mike Pence and family yesterday,” Trump tweeted out. “Very impressed, great people!”
Pence had endorsed Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas shortly before the Indiana primary in April, the state contest that ultimately sealed Trump’s status as the party nominee.
Trump also tweeted out “I look forward to meet with [Joni Ernst] today in New Jersey. She has done a great job as Senator of Iowa!”
The social media announcements arrived alongside GOP speculation that Trump was having difficulties finding a willing running mate for his ticket. Shortly after name-dropping Pence and Ernst, the business mogul fired off a tweet slamming the rumors.
“The only people who are not interested in being the VP pick are the people who have not been asked!” Trump wrote.
Five anonymous insiders of the Trump campaign told The Washington Post that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey were the two front-runners to become the business mogul’s running mate.
Also allegedly in the mix are Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee.
Currently, Gingrich and Christie are the only contenders who have been confirmed as being vetted by attorney Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr., who had vetted former Republican Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska for the John McCain campaign in 2008.
Trump’s meetings with both Pence and Ernst signal that both are in consideration for his vice presidential pick, which is expected to be unveiled at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio starting on July 18.
Sen. Ernst confirmed to Politico that she had met with Trump.
“I had a good conversation with Donald Trump today… I will continue to share my insights with Donald about the need to strengthen our economy, keep our nation safe, and ensure America is always a strong, stabilizing force around the globe,” Ernst said.
In February, Trump stated that he would want an experienced politician on his presidential ticket.
“I do want somebody that’s political, because I want to get lots of great legislation we all want passed,” Trump told CNN. The business mogul added, “I’d want someone who could help me with governing.”