Trump’s VP Choices
CNN reports on some of Trump’s possible VP choices:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are among the finalists to be Donald Trump’s running mate, sources confirmed to CNN on Thursday.
Trump is limited in his choices to the relatively few high-profile Republicans that endorsed him early and have stuck with him so far, so judged by that standard having Christie and Gingrich on the list makes a certain amount of sense. There simply aren’t many current or former Republican officeholders that would agree to be Trump’s running mate, but most of those that are willing have more than enough baggage to make them poor choices under normal circumstances.
Christie is staggeringly unpopular in his own state, he is widely disliked by most Republicans, and ever since he endorsed the nominee he has become little more than a punchline for jokes about being held hostage by Trump. He adds nothing to the ticket electorally, he brings with him his shoddy record as governor, and on top of it he knows only slightly more about foreign policy than Trump while holding the most predictably hawkish views. Adding Christie to the ticket might keep a few foreign policy hard-liners from voting for Clinton, but it would probably come at the expense of alienating a nontrivial portion of Trump’s core supporters. By Christie’s own admission from a few years ago, he isn’t qualified to be president because of his lack of preparation on foreign policy, and that remains true today. Christie would be a comprehensively terrible choice, and so it is entirely possible that he will be Trump’s selection.
Gingrich is a less obviously ridiculous choice, but it’s hard to see what he brings to the ticket. He is a former Speaker of the House ousted because of personal scandal, he comes from a state Trump should still be able to win without him, and he likes to indulge bizarre ideas (colonizing the moon) and alarmist warnings (the danger of an EMP attack!). One sign of Gingrich’s poor judgment is that he happens to be one of a small army of political has-beens that has shilled for the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), the “former” terrorist group and totalitarian cult that almost all Iranians around the world despise.
Gingrich’s MEK boosterism should be disqualifying all by itself, but it also reflects just how horrible his foreign policy judgment is. No one interested in a sane or responsible foreign policy should want someone like this on a national ticket or anywhere close to the office of the presidency.