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Trump to announce VP pick on Friday

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is seen as someone with a steady tone who might soften Donald Trump's combativeness/AFP

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is seen as someone with a steady tone who might soften Donald Trump’s combativeness/AFP

WASHINGTON, United States, Jul 14 – White House hopeful Donald Trump will announce his pick for vice president in New York Friday, he said on Twitter, as speculation runs rampant over a handful of potential running mates.

Among those believed to be at the top of the Republican’s list are Indiana Governor Mike Pence, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

“I will be making the announcement of my Vice Presidential pick on Friday at 11am in Manhattan. Details to follow,” the 70-year-old real estate mogul posted on Twitter late Wednesday.

In an interview earlier in the day with Fox News, Trump said that he had narrowed the field down to “three, potentially four, but in my own mind, I probably am thinking about two.”

The announcement comes just one day after Trump finished campaigning in Indiana alongside Pence, the 57-year-old governor who is seen as someone with a steady tone who might soften Trump’s combativeness.

“I’m honored to be considered and humbled to be considered,” Pence told reporters Wednesday.

“The conversations that we have had between two families is something we’ll cherish the rest of our lives, no matter the outcome.”

Pence, a former radio host, served six terms representing his home state in Congress. A fiscal conservative and lawyer by training, he was House Republican Conference chairman from 2009-11.

According to CNN, Trump and three of his children had breakfast with Pence in the governor’s mansion Wednesday. Gingrich also met with Trump during the day, while Christie talked with him on the phone.

Christie, 53, a tough-talking politician described as a political bruiser, already campaigned with Trump in Virginia on Monday.

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Trump meanwhile has voiced support for Gingrich – a 73-year-old political veteran who himself ran for president in 2012 – telling The New York Times that “Newt is Newt. He’s a good guy.”

Gingrich packs the political punch that Trump lacks. He was in Congress for 20 years and speaker of the House of Representatives from 1995-99 during Bill Clinton’s presidency.

Trump’s vice presidential pick could be one of the most important decisions he makes on the campaign trail as he seeks to present a competent, steady wingman or woman to US voters after a turbulent primary season during which his provocative rhetoric frustrated many conservatives.

Next week, the Republican Party will head to Cleveland, Ohio for a national convention at which Trump will be formally nominated to run against his Democratic rival, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.


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