Washington (CNN)In the final 36 hours of the vice presidential guessing game, a top contender appeared on national television to argue why his main competitor was better.
Newt Gingrich argues against himself for VP: 'Do you really want a two-pirate ticket?'
"I don't know if I should say this, but it's so much fun that I'm going to," Newt Gingrich, one of Donald Trump's finalists, said on "Hannity" on Fox News.
After describing the bigger-than-life seeming personalities of Trump and himself as being like "pirates," Gingrich asked: "Do you really want a two-pirate ticket?"
Trump met with Gingrich and another contender -- Indiana Gov. Mike Pence -- in Indianapolis on Wednesday and are believed to be on the shortlist for the vice presidency. On Fox, Gingrich pulled back the curtain on his two-and-a-half hour sit-down with the presumptive Republican nominee, and putting himself in Trump's shoes, explained various reasons why Pence might get chosen instead.
Even for the voluble Gingrich, it was an unusually candid and detached analysis of his chances.
"I suspect sometime tomorrow that Mike and I will both get phone calls, and one of us will be packing our bags to go to New York and the other one will be going to watch it on TV," he said. "Trump has a tough call because he has two really good, but really different choices."
Gingrich lavished praise on Pence, calling him a "stabilizing" force and comparing him to Ronald Reagan's vice president, George H.W. Bush. He said Pence's relationships within the Republican establishment would allow Trump to unite the party, while Gingrich offers television skills and appeal to the base.
"A lot of people who are a little jittery about Donald Trump would feel reassured talking with Pence," Gingrich said. "My strength is totally different: I'm an outsider."
Left largely unmentioned: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who also spoke to Trump about the vice presidency via phone on Wednesday, and Sen. Jeff Sessions, who traveled to Indiana to counsel Trump. Gingrich said he believed that they were largely out of the running.