Sources close to the Newt Gingrich presidential campaign say that conversations of "what-if" scenarios are transpiring. One of the "what-ifs" is Gingrich asking former rival and Texas Governor Rick Perry to be his running mate.
Vice President of the United States Rick Perry. It may seem farfetched, but those could be the words you hear if former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich becomes president.
According to a report from Fox News, sources close to Gingrich’s presidential campaign say they are in the “what-if” stages, which has led them to construe a possible scenario that would see Gingrich ask the Texas governor if he would like to be his running mate.
Gingrich insiders are hoping that a pre-Republican National Convention ticket in August would coalesce the Tea Party, ultra conservative voters and the evangelicals. This kind of talk could also help propel Gingrich to the victory seat come Tuesday night when Alabama and Mississippi hold their primaries.
Immediately following the news of this report, a spokesperson for Perry issued a statement: “Gov. Perry thinks Newt Gingrich is the strongest conservative to debate and defeat President Obama and truly overhaul Washington. The speculation is humbling but premature.”
Meanwhile, a senior official to Gingrich told CNN that campaign officials have a high-level of respect for Perry, his ideas put forward and what he has done for the state of Texas during his tenure as governor.
“Of course we think very highly of Gov. Perry and appreciate very much his generous support, but this is not a topic the two principals have discussed,” said Kevin Kellens, a senior advisor to the Gingrich campaign.
A senior aide to former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who comes off a victory in the state of Kansas Saturday, called the reports a “desperate” attempt to generate buzz for Gingrich’s fledgling bid for the White House.
When asked about the report on Fox News, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said he would be “surprised” if anyone would be talking about running mates. He added that he hopes he gets “that opportunity” soon.
Perry announced in January that he would suspend his bid for the Republican nomination and endorse Gingrich for president.
“I believe Newt is a conservative visionary who can transform our country,” said Perry at a press conference in South Carolina. “We've had our differences, which campaigns will inevitably have, and Newt is not perfect, but who among us is?"