Trump Veepstakes: Who's In, Who's Out? GOP Nominee Meets with Sen. Joni Ernst, Says He 'Will See Her Again!'

Donald Trump also met with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence over the Fourth of July weekend


With less than two weeks to go until the GOP convention in Cleveland, Donald Trump spent the Fourth of July weekend screening rumored potential running mates, including Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst.

The presumptive GOP nominee had high praise for the freshman Iowa senator. After their meeting at his golf club in New Jersey, he took to Twitter on Tuesday to say: “It was great spending time with @joniernst yesterday. She has done a fantastic job for the people of Iowa and U.S. Will see her again!”

Ernst later said in a statement that she and Trump had “a good conversation,” adding, “We discussed what I am hearing from Iowans as I travel around the state on my 99-county tour, and the best path forward for our country.”

Trump also met with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence over the holiday weekend. The mogul spent more than an hour on Sunday talking with Pence and his wife, Karen.

“One person described the session as ‘warm and friendly,’ while the other called it a ‘getting to know you thing, a chance for both of them to connect,’ ” The Washington Post‘s Robert Costa reports.

Trump later tweeted of the meeting, “Spent time with Indiana Governor Mike Pence and family yesterday. Very impressed, great people!”

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Another Trump tweet on Monday fueled VP speculation about Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton.

And yet another possibility, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, will appear on stage with Trump at a campaign event in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Tuesday night.

While there are some new faces on the scene, sources tell The Washington Post that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are still leading contenders in Trump’s veepstakes, with Gingrich having the edge. Both men have been asked to submit documents for consideration.

Gingrich, who recently said on Fox News Sunday that he hasn’t received any calls from Trump’s campaign about the possibility of being vice president, declined to comment when asked about the topic by The Post.

Gingrich told The Wall Street Journal in May that he “might” be willing to serve as Trump’s running mate. He also previously told The New York Times, “If a potential president says I need you, it would be very hard for a patriotic citizen to say no. People can criticize a nominee, but ultimately there are very few examples of people turning down the vice presidency.”

Trump has already appointed Christie the chairman of a “Transition Team” to help “take over the White House when we win in November.” The New Jersey Republican has previously said of the possibility of being Trump’s running mate: “One, I don’t think I’m going to be asked. Two, I don’t know that I’m necessarily the right person for it.”

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