Newt Gingrich Wouldn't 'Automatically' Accept Vice Presidential Nomination From Trump

Former House Speaker says Trump will likely make choice of running make on Thursday or Friday.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich greets U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a rally at the Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio July 6, 2016.
Aaron P. Bernstein, Reuters

Newt Gingrich says that he thinks Donald Trump is a "necessary candidate" amid global anti-establishment sentiment, but that he wouldn't automatically say yes to an eventual proposal to become Trump's running mate.

The former House Speaker said in an interview Saturday with The Associated Press that he thinks Trump will make his choice Thursday or Friday ahead of the Republican convention.

Gingrich said he has been vetted but accepting to partner with Trump, "It's not an automatic Yes."

Still, he said "I think he's a necessary candidate."

He added the British vote to leave the EU is part of "a worldwide movement toward really being angry at the establishment ... really feeling that government has failed and I think Trump is part of that worldwide movement."

Gingrich was one of many former U.S. officials and international dignitaries attending a giant annual gathering of the People's Mujahedeen of Iran outside Paris. The exile opposition group calling for regime change in Iran is based outside Paris.

Gingrich said he counts them as modern Muslims but has less tolerance for some Syrian refugees and other Muslims. He said he thinks refugees should be vetted with a test on Sharia, or Islamic law, which he claimed is incompatible with democratic values.

When asked about Trump's divisiveness, Gingrich said, "Do I think Donald Trump is perfect? No. Do I think compared to Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump would be a radically better president? Yes. Hillary Clinton is a nightmare."

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are other possible Trump running mates.