Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is vetting Indiana Governor Mike Pence as a potential vice presidential running mate, and was to meet with him later on Friday, MSNBC reported, citing unnamed sources.
Pence, a social conservative who faces a tight race for re-election to a second term in his conservative Midwestern state, has praised Trump in the past but did not back him in the Republican Party’s nominating race.
Still, the governor could help win over staunch conservatives and reassure other Republicans wary of Trump, a political neophyte who has never held public office.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich are also under consideration to be Trump’s running mate, Reuters sources say.
Representatives for Trump’s campaign and Pence’s office could not be immediately reached for comment on the report. Republicans are preparing to hold their party convention July 18-21 in Cleveland to formally pick their nominee ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election.
MSNBC reported sources as saying Pence was “in play” for the vice presidential spot on the ballot with Trump, and that the personal meeting between the two men was part of the vetting process.
Trump, a real estate mogul and former television reality star, was scheduled to speak at rally in Colorado later on Friday.
He has said he has narrowed down his potential running mates to five or six contenders, according to media reports.
On Thursday, Pence told reporters he had not spoken with Trump since before Indiana’s May 3 primary contest, according to MSNBC. The governor had earlier pledged to back former Trump rival Ted Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas and Tea Party favorite.
(Additional reporting by Steve Holland in Washington and Ben Klayman in Detroit; Writing by Susan Heavey and Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)