Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions is reportedly GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s top choice for a running mate, with less than a month to go until the Republican National Convention.
Newsmax’s John Gizzi reported that sources close to the candidate say that Sessions is getting top billing at the moment.
“The square Sessions seems to fit many square holes for Trump: he’s conservative and nails down the party’s right flank, he endorsed Trump early and has been extremely loyal, he has Washington legislative experience — a key requirement — and importantly, he can be totally trusted never to criticize Trump no matter what he might say in the coming months,” writes Gizzi.
“The selection will reassure conservatives,” said G. Terry Madonna, a Franklin & Marshall College professor and a top pollster in the swing state of Pennsylvania. “Sessions is one of the more conservative senators — that should be reassuring to economic conservatives and the religious right.”
Sessions scores 80 percent on the Heritage Action scorecard, well above the Republican average of 58 percent. Further, he hits over 94 percent in the lifetime rating for the American Conservative Union (the sponsor of CPAC).
The Alabama senator’s top issues have been fighting illegal immigration, Obamacare and abortion.
As reported by Western Journalism, Trump listed political experience on Capitol Hill as one of the top qualifications he is seeking in a running mate. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is another name that has been bandied about as fitting that criteria and being supportive of Trump’s candidacy.
A Trump/Sessions ticket or a Trump/Gingrich ticket would be the oldest ever to seek the Oval Office. Trump just turned 70 earlier this month, while Sessions is 69 and Gingrich is 73. Ronald Reagan was the oldest to win the presidency in 1980 at the age of 69, until he ran again in 1984 at 73 years old. Reagan’s running mate, George H.W. Bush, was 56 in 1980.
According to Gizzi, nothing is concrete at this time with Trump likely planning to hold off making the announcement until the convention, which begins on July 18. In addition to Sessions and Gingrich, former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and former Defense Intelligence Agency Director Michael Flynn also reportedly make the short list.
Sens. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, are two others who have been mentioned as a possible Trump running mate.