EDISON - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says that he has narrowed his list of potential running mates to "five or six people," including Gov. Chris Christie.
In an interview with the Associated Press Tuesday, Trump said that he is prioritizing political experience because he wants a vice president to help him "with legislation” and “getting things through" Washington if he wins the White House.
Trump has not yet officially been named the Republican nominee.
Christie was already named chairman of Trump’s transition team if he wins the election in November. Some political experts say that this would likely mean that the governor would have to leave office early.
While the governor was still running for president, he and Trump were rivals. Trump suggested that Christie might have known about the Bridge-Gate scandal, making him guilty of a federal crime. He also called New Jersey a “disaster state.”
Soon after Christie dropped out of the race, he endorsed Trump. The two reportedly talk on the phone frequently and Trump says that the governor is “an extremely knowledgeable and loyal person.”
Political expert Patrick Murray says, “The fact that Chris Christie is a lot like Donald Trump in his personality, is actually a plus for him here.”
Although Trump says that he has not ruled Christie out as vice president, some political watchers say that because Christie is head of the transition team it likely means he won’t be chosen. However, they say that he could still end up with a cabinet position.
“That means he has the power to build the cabinet for the next president and that's a very influential place to be,” says Steve Lonegan, the former New Jersey chairman for the Ted Cruz presidential campaign. “His influence in Washington could be very helpful for the state.”
Christie is expected to appear at Trump’s first rally in New Jersey on May 19 in Lawrenceville.
The governor’s office did not respond to News 12 New Jersey’s request for comment.