CNN
Now playing
00:47
Trump's VP pick: location, location, location
Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein waits to be introduced prior to a press conference at the National Press Club August 23, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee/Getty Images
Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein waits to be introduced prior to a press conference at the National Press Club August 23, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
01:44
Jill Stein raises millions for recount
Former Democratic US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to staff and supporters at the New Yorker hotel after her defeat in the presidential election November 9, 2016 in New York. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Former Democratic US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to staff and supporters at the New Yorker hotel after her defeat in the presidential election November 9, 2016 in New York. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:14
Scientists urge Clinton to call for recount
LYNDEN, WA - MAY 07: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a speech during a rally at the The Northwest Washington Fair and Event Center on May 7, 2016 in Lynden, Washington. Trump became the Republican presumptive nominee following his landslide win in Indiana on Tuesday. (Photo by Matt Mills McKnight/Getty Images)
Matt Mills McKnight/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
LYNDEN, WA - MAY 07: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a speech during a rally at the The Northwest Washington Fair and Event Center on May 7, 2016 in Lynden, Washington. Trump became the Republican presumptive nominee following his landslide win in Indiana on Tuesday. (Photo by Matt Mills McKnight/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:25
Donald Trump's wild ride
Now playing
01:46
Trump's challenges in the Middle East
donald trump undocumented immigrants crime fact check origwx ty_00013807.jpg
donald trump undocumented immigrants crime fact check origwx ty_00013807.jpg
Now playing
02:47
Fact checking Trump on crimes by immigrants
Mark Makela/Getty Images/Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Now playing
01:26
Trump vs. the tape on Obama and the protester
Now playing
01:28
Trump compares Clinton email probe to Watergate
Members of the Secret Service rush Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump off the stage at a campaign rally in Reno, Nev., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/AP
Members of the Secret Service rush Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump off the stage at a campaign rally in Reno, Nev., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Now playing
01:20
Donald Trump rushed off stage by Secret Service
AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
02:16
Trump reads letter from Patriot's coach at rally
US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during rally at the Atkinson Country Club in Atkinson, New Hampshire on November 4, 2016.
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during rally at the Atkinson Country Club in Atkinson, New Hampshire on November 4, 2016.
Now playing
01:56
Trump on US officials: 'What a group of losers'
donald trump nice and cool pensacola fl bts_00001523.jpg
donald trump nice and cool pensacola fl bts_00001523.jpg
Now playing
00:49
Trump's mantra in campaign's final week: Stay on point
donald trump nice to hillary clinton and democrats orig cm_00000000.jpg
donald trump nice to hillary clinton and democrats orig cm_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:52
Audio of Trump praising the Clintons and Democrats
cuomo lewandowski hillary clinton email exchange newday_00002327.jpg
cuomo lewandowski hillary clinton email exchange newday_00002327.jpg
Now playing
01:28
Cuomo grills Lewandowski on Clinton email 'hypocrisy'
Now playing
00:10
This video is no longer available
Now playing
01:49
Meet the other Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Story highlights

Donald Trump's VP search is well underway two weeks before his party's convention

Trump met with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst over the weekend

Washington CNN —  

Donald Trump’s much anticipated vice presidential pick is expected to be announced next week, a Trump adviser told CNN Tuesday.

The presumptive Republican nominee will choose from a narrowing list of potential running mates that represent a wide range of styles.

Does Trump want to double the bombast by picking a brash straight-talker who mirrors his own style, like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or former House Speaker Newt Gingrich?

Does he prefer someone whose Washington experience and message discipline would counter his freelancing, like Indiana Gov. Mike Pence?

Or does he want to elevate a rising star, like Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst or Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton?

Clinton to ride Air Force One; Trump asks who pays

Just two weeks from the Republican National Convention, Trump’s vice presidential search – and speculation about who he’ll pick – is at a fever pitch.

Trump met in person over the holiday weekend with Pence and Ernst, and kicked up speculation when he praised Ernst and Cotton on Twitter – something he did again on Tuesday.

“It was great spending time with @joniernst yesterday. She has done a fantastic job for the people of Iowa and U.S. Will see her again!” Trump tweeted.

A source familiar with the vetting process told CNN that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and campaign chairman Paul Manafort were in the meeting with Ernst. Another source told CNN that the meeting was in part to discuss whether Ernst was interested in being formally vetted and it’s now up to her to make a decision about that.

But sources said they weren’t clear what her decision would be.

People close to Ernst said she didn’t seem particularly interested in being vetted prior to Trump reaching out. But she may have re-evaluated in light of the meeting.

On Tuesday, another oft-mentioned potential running mate, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, campaigned with Trump in North Carolina. Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also introduced the presumptive Republican nominee at a Raleigh rally. Two sources familiar with the vetting process told CNN Wednesday that Corker was “very seriously” being vetted and has submitted a lot of information to Trump’s campaign. He’s on a very short list, the sources added.

Gingrich will campaign with Trump Wednesday in Ohio, campaign spokesman Jason Miller said.

But Trump’s campaign has been quiet about who he’ll pick – and when he’ll make an announcement.

His former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who is now a CNN political contributor, told CNN’s Brianna Keilar Sunday on “State of the Union” that the key to Trump’s selection will be his comfort level.

Clinton seizes opening as Trump alienates big business

“It’s really going to come down to the personal relationship that he and Mr. Trump could have to find out if they could work well together,” said Lewandowski, who was fired last month.

He emphasized the importance of Trump tapping a politician with ties to Washington, who could help advance his legislative agenda in Congress.

“Having someone who has those relationships in Washington is going to be a critical component of his presidency,” he said.

Pence, Ernst and Cotton were late additions to the vice presidential speculation – with NBC News reporting late last week that Pence was under consideration and sources telling CNN that Ernst is also being considered.

Trump campaign defends tweet as a ‘basic star’ in wake of criticism

Pence and his wife Karen met with Trump at his New Jersey golf club on Saturday. The huddle came as a source told CNN some in Trump’s inner circle are pushing for Pence.

Michael Caputo, a former adviser to Trump’s campaign, echoed that sentiment in an interview with CNN’s John Berman on Monday.

“I am a Mike Pence guy,” Caputo said. “First of all, he puts away some of the problems we have with the conservatives in the party who fear that Donald Trump is too moderate on certain policy issues.”

Caputo added: “He is very likeable. People across the country involved in Republican politics who found him to be a very personable man. In addition, he has got no question as a leader of the Republican Conference in the House, before he left the United States Congress, he brings the lawmaking ability, the ability to work the House and work the Senate, that Donald Trump doesn’t bring as a man who doesn’t come from a career in politics.”

Pence was the No. 3 House Republican, leading the conference and holding particular sway with social conservatives and tea partiers, before departing Washington to run for governor of Indiana in 2012.

He wouldn’t comment on being considered as Trump’s running mate Sunday night in Indiana.

How Trump overshadowed Clinton’s bad weekend

“I love my job. I love my country. I’m not going to get into hypotheticals,” he told reporters there.

Ernst, meanwhile, came onto the political scene in the 2014 midterm elections – gaining national attention when she compared her plans for Washington to castrating pigs on Iowa farms.

She also has an advantage others on Trump’s list don’t: Location. Iowa, unlike Pence’s Indiana, Gingrich’s Georgia, Christie’s New Jersey and Cotton’s Arkansas, is a swing state.

After the meeting on Monday, Ernst said she had “a good conversation with Donald Trump.”

“We discussed what I am hearing from Iowans as I travel around the state on my 99 county tour, and the best path forward for our country,” she said in a statement. “I will continue to share my insights with Donald about the need to strengthen our economy, keep our nation safe, and ensure America is always a strong, stabilizing force around the globe.”

Trump also doled out some conspicuous praise for Pence and Cotton on Twitter Monday.

Endangered GOP senator: Dumping Trump is paying off

Trump tweeted his approval of Cotton’s performance in an interview on Meet the Press on Sunday: “Senator Tom Cotton was great on Meet the Press yesterday. Despite a totally one-sided interview by Chuck Todd, the end result was solid!”

Cotton discussed on NBC his support for Trump, but when asked to explain why he should be president, the Arkansas senator said only that “Donald Trump can ultimately make the case for himself.”

Pressed on why his support seemed less than full-throated, the hawkish Arkansas freshman jokingly offered that “maybe I just don’t demonstrate enthusiasm much in life, especially in such dangerous times as these.”

Gingrich, the former House speaker, was critical of Trump – but also laid out a hypothesis for the campaign against Hillary Clinton – on stage at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado on Saturday.

“Trump’s job is frankly to quit screwing up and get the election down to three or four big issues, all of which come down to a single concept: ‘enough,’” Gingrich said.

Donald Trump’s ‘Star of David’ tweet controversy, explained

He made the case against taking the job, too, noting that he has a “terrific life right now” and said if you’re vice president, “you actually have to work.”

“I used to be a congressman. I know what it’s like to deal with congressmen. I don’t know I want to spend the next four to eight years of my life dealing with congressmen,” he said. “I think I’d rather read books and write books and make movies.”

Trump could announce his choice of a running mate before the party’s convention to help drum up excitement heading into Cleveland, a source familiar with the process told CNN on Friday. The billionaire and his aides had previously said the pick would likely be announced at the convention, which starts July 18.

CNN’s Manu Raju contributed to this report.