Who to look for on Trump's VP short list: Newt Gingrich

Donald Trump has said he will announce his choice for a running mate this week, in advance of the start of the Republican National Convention on Monday. 

Here is a look at one of the four men most likely to join Trump as a vice presidential candidate – Newt Gingrich.

Newt Gingrich

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

Age

73

Who is he?

Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich was born in Harrisburg, Pa., in 1943. His parents divorced days after their marriage and he was later adopted by his mother's second husband.

He taught history and geography at the University of West Georgia before he eventually won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving Georgia's 6th Congressional District. Gingrich rose to power in the House and who eventually was elected to one of the highest political positions in America – Speaker of the House.

Gingrich served from 1979-1999 and was one of the major architects of the “Contract with America,” a list of promises from Republicans to voters should they regain a majority in the U.S. House in the 1994 election.

Gingrich’s career in the Congress came to an end in 1999 after he was reprimanded for breaches of ethics then lost his seat in the 1998 election.

This is not his first brush with presidential politics, he ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2012. Trump has long said he’s looking for an experienced insider with enough knowledge in Congress to push his agenda and Gingrich’s experience as House speaker makes him a strong potential nominee.

On Tuesday, Fox News, which hired Gingrich as a contributor, suspended its ties with him as he moved up the list of possible Trump running mates. 

"Due to the intense media speculation about Gingrich's potential selection as Donald Trump's vice presidential candidate, we felt it best to halt his contributor role on the network to avoid all conflicts of interest that may arise," Fox executive vice president for news Jay Wallace said.

Gingrich was asked on Fox News’s “Your World” with guest host Sandra Smith about the likelihood that he would be the second name on the ticket. 

“I have no idea who he is going to pick,” Gingrich said. “I think clearly Governor Pence is deeply in the running. I think Governor Christie is in the running and I’ve been part of the process. So we’ll see what happens over the next two or three days. It’s a little bit like ‘The Apprentice,’ you’ll find out sooner or later who the last one standing is.

What they are saying about him

Why would Gingrich be best?

The Washington Post

“There are a few reasons I think Newt Gingrich would be the best running mate for Donald Trump. First, Gingrich clearly has the requisite experience to be vice president and to be president if called upon. Period. In addition to his extensive resume of government service, Gingrich has been a tireless student of government and history, and he is one of Washington’s few authentic, original thinkers. He is accepted as a gifted leader and thinker among many members of both parties, in the media, among world leaders, within members of American industry and private business owners from Wall Street to the Chamber of Commerce to Silicon Valley. Everybody thinks Gingrich understands them – or at least has an informed view about their priorities and challenges.”

The rise and fall of Gingrich and the “Game of Thrones”

Signature Reads

“There’s a great exchange in Season 3 of “Game of Thrones” between grizzled realists Lord Varys and Lady Olenna Tyrell that encapsulates the show’s power games and sheds light on one of its best players. “Littlefinger is one of the most dangerous men in Westeros,” says Lord Varys, recognizing the political skills and raw ambition of the clever Lord Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, who has slithered his way into the outer corridors of power over the course of the show’s five seasons. “He would see this country burn if he could be king of the ashes.” He’s devoted to the acquisition of political power as an end unto itself. I thought about that after talking to political scientist and historian Thomas F. Schaller about the American political version of Lord Baelish — Newt Gingrich.” 

The Associated  Press contributed to this report.

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