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Donald Trump vice president picks: A look at the Republican's potential running mate choices

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has been considering a retired general, governors and current and former U.S. lawmakers in his search for a vice presidential running mate.

Trump is expected to announce his choice ahead of the July 18-21 Republican convention.

The following are some of the candidates under consideration by Trump.

Newt Gingrich

A former speaker of the U.S. House of
Photo Credit: Getty Images / John Sommers II

A former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Gingrich's lengthy career in government could be an asset to Trump, a New York businessman and political newcomer.

As the No. 2 Republican in House in 1994, Gingrich was the main architect that year of the election victory that gave his party control of Congress for the first time in decades.

After becoming House speaker in 1995, Gingrich forced a showdown with President Bill Clinton over the federal budget that ended in a partial government shutdown. He also started the impeachment drive against Clinton for his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

But Gingrich's Republicans suffered major losses in the 1998 midterm elections.

Gingrich, 73, has been married three times and has admitted mistakes in his personal life, including cheating on his first and second wives. He has since converted to Catholicism and says he has asked for God's forgiveness.

Gingrich ran unsuccessfully for president in 2012. If chosen and elected, he would be the oldest newly inaugurated vice president.

During a campaign event with Gingrich in Ohio on July 6, Trump said that if he wins the White House, the former speaker would play a role "in one form or another" in his government.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence

The Indiana governor, a former member of the
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Aaron P. Bernstein

The Indiana governor, a former member of the House of Representatives, could help Trump appeal to Republican skeptics of his candidacy. Pence endorsed Trump's rival, Ted Cruz, during the Republican primary but has spoken favorably of the New York businessman.

Pence, 57, considered his own presidential run in 2016 before opting to seek re-election. He is best known nationally for a controversy over an Indiana religious freedom law that critics said would enable discrimination against gay people. Pence defended the law before backing down and asking for changes.

Pence's office has confirmed that he and Trump met over the July 4 weekend.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

The two-term Republican governor of New Jersey ran
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Eduardo Munoz Alvarez

The two-term Republican governor of New Jersey ran for president in 2016, endorsing Trump for the Republican nomination after he dropped out.

On the campaign trail, Christie touted his time working with the legislature in a traditionally Democratic state, and that experience could be valuable to Trump.

Christie, 53, gained public scrutiny, however, for his office's involvement in the "Bridgegate" scandal, in which Christie allies ordered the closing of lanes of traffic on a major bridge between New York and New Jersey to punish a political rival.

Christie has traveled with Trump periodically during the campaign. He had been scheduled to appear with him in Miami on July 8, but the event was canceled after the shootings of police officers in Dallas the previous night.

Michael Flynn

Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general and
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Alex Wong

Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, would lend Trump credibility on foreign policy issues. Flynn has said the United States should work more with Russia on global security issues. Trump has praised Russia's leadership at times.

Flynn would make an unconventional choice, as he is a registered Democrat who told ABC News on July 10 that he supported abortion access for women, a position that could anger evangelical voters who are an important part of the Republican political base.

Flynn has been fiercely critical of President Barack Obama's foreign policy. Trump has periodically said he likes the concept of picking a general, and his campaign is said to be vetting Flynn as a possibility.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin

Fallin, Oklahoma's first woman governor, also served two
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Win McNamee

Fallin, Oklahoma's first woman governor, also served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and carries weight with conservatives in the Republican Party. She is a strong opponent of immigration reform, which could endear her to Trump.

Choosing Fallin, 61, could help Trump make a stronger case for his relationship with women. Her tenure as governor, however, included a nationally watched controversy over the 2014 botched execution of a death row inmate who suffered for 43 minutes before dying of a heart attack.

Trump and Fallin met in New York in June. But she told CNN on July 10 she had not been asked to provide any documents for vetting.

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions

Sessions, a U.S. senator from Alabama, is one
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Molly Riley

Sessions, a U.S. senator from Alabama, is one of the harshest immigration critics in Congress, a position that has made him a close ally to Trump. Sessions was the first U.S. senator to endorse the businessman.

Choosing Sessions, 69, could hurt Trump's appeal to Hispanics, a group the New Yorker claims will support him because of his job-creation record.

Sessions had been appointed to be a judge in 1986 but was not confirmed after he was accused of making racist comments while he was a U.S. attorney. Sessions has become a strong voice to the campaign, and several of his Senate staffers have joined Trump's staff.

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst

A first-term U.S. senator from Iowa, Ernst could
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Scott Olson

A first-term U.S. senator from Iowa, Ernst could help Trump appeal to Republican women as well as conservatives. She is also a retired member of the Iowa National Guard and a veteran of the Iraq war, which could also appeal to Trump, who did not serve in the military.

Though she had only served a few years in the Iowa legislature, Ernst gained national attention during her 2014 Senate campaign for a mocking advertisement that said her experience castrating pigs would allow her to cut "pork" in Congress, as spending for special projects is known.

Ernst, 46, has met with Trump, but she told Politico in July she was committed to Iowa and the Senate, a comment interpreted by many as a way to say she was not interested in being Trump's running mate.


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