Former House speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have reportedly risen to the top of the list of Donald Trump‘s potential running mates. They are being vetted by the same lawyer who vetted Sarah Palin in 2008, attorney Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr., The Washington Post reports.
Gingrich is said to be the campaign’s first choice, with Christie a close second.
Culvahouse, a former White House counsel, has requested materials such as tax records and any articles or books they have published and has asked them more than 100 questions.
Also noted as potential running mates still in consideration are Sens. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), John Thune (S.D.), Joni Ernst (Iowa) and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin.
The Washington Post gave the following insight into the Trump running mate decision making process:
Trump’s desire for a governing partner is not the only factor that has been mentioned in discussions among aides. Contenders’ rapport with the mogul and their ability to comfortably communicate and defend his nontraditional platform are also crucial, the people familiar with the process said.
Less central have been the candidates’ home states or regional influence, given that Trump sees the campaign as a nationalized political war that is largely being fought on television.
They also note that while he is taking the opinions of others into account, such as his children and his campaign chairman Paul Manafort, the choice ultimately comes down to Trump himself.
“This is in his head,” said one source involved in the process. “It’s up to him.”