Welcome to VP Watch, NBC's roundup of the latest news about each presumptive nominee's search for a running mate.
Headlines: The GOP
- Newt Gingrich opened up on Friday on his thoughts about the concerns of the African-American community, saying, in part, “If you are a normal white American, the truth is you don’t understand being black in America.”
- Indiana Gov. Mike Pence continued to talk to the media on Friday and maintain his delivery of deliberately-delivered responses.
- This weekend is sure to be jam-packed with veepstakes news — Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, a former VP potential; Trump confidante Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions; Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, also reportedly under consideration; and Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort will all be appearing on the Sunday talk shows.
- Politics paused for a moment as the nation mourned those lost in the Dallas shooting. Trump and his vice-presidential hopefuls weighed in, all offering their condolences and calling for Americans to show their support for law enforcement.
- Hillary Clinton’s potential choices for VP weighed in on the tragic police shootings in Dallas.
- Politico published a biting article outlining Cory Booker’s tenure as mayor of Newark. He’ll be on Meet the Press on Sunday.
More VP News: The GOP
NEWT GINGRICH: In a Facebook Live conversation on Friday afternoon, Gingrich said directly: "If you are a normal white American, the truth is you don’t understand being black in America, and you instinctively underestimate the level of discrimination and the level of additional risk.” The VP contender engaged in an open conversation with political commentator Van Jones about the divide between the movements behind #BlackLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter. “It is more dangerous to be black in America,” Gingrich added, noting, “It is more dangerous in that it’s substantially more likely to end up in a situation where the police don’t respect you and where you could easily get killed. I think sometimes it’s difficult for whites to appreciate how real that is, and how it’s an everyday danger.” The reflective response from Gingrich followed his comment last weekend at the Aspen Ideas Festival that he has advised Trump to hire more African-Americans in “August and September” because “we got to mean it” when they say “Make America Great Again for all Americans.”
MIKE PENCE: In the wake of the Dallas attack, Pence gave a broad answer, but one that avoided finger pointing, when asked on Friday how he reconciles the grievances of the African American community with law enforcement. Pence said that people do not “have to make a choice between supporting the men and women who wear the uniform and supporting the people who are struggling with challenges in communities across this state.” Pence attended a wreath-laying on Friday afternoon in Indianapolis that honored fallen troopers and employees of the Indiana State Police. The pre-scheduled event, however, paid tribute to the “national tragedy” in Dallas, as Pence called it. The Indiana governor has no public events scheduled for the weekend yet but continues to pop up around the state for stops as part of his re-elect bid for governor.
CHRIS CHRISTIE: Christie was scheduled to head to Miami with Trump before the trip was canceled due to the Dallas shooting. The governor issued a statement on the shooting, saying he and his wife were “heartbroken” by the news and calling for unity: “We must unite as a country and recommit ourselves to law and order, safety for our citizens and respect for each other and reject the hatred and violence behind these attacks,” he said in the statement.
JEFF SESSIONS: Sessions issued a statement in response to the Dallas shooting calling for Americans to show their support for law enforcement, declaring that “we must send a unified message that we will not stand silent while those who protect and serve are unfairly maligned for the actions of an unrepresentative few.” Sessions introduced a bill with Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey last year that would give harsher penalties to criminals targeting law enforcement officers and first responders. The senator will appear on Fox News Sunday this weekend to weigh in on Trump’s vice-presidential shortlist.
JOHN THUNE: Thune tweeted his condolences to the victims of the Dallas shooting, saying he’s “always humbled by the bravery & strength shown by law enforcement.” Thune on Thursday also issued a sharp statement on the FBI’s decision not to recommend charges for Hillary Clinton that declared she “betrayed the trust the American people had placed in her,” and he’s one of the co-sponsors of a bill that would revoke her and her staff’s security clearances.SCOTT BROWN: Brown weighed in on the Dallas shooting on Facebook, saying he was “sad and angered” by the attack but that "a few things seem clear. The attack was planned, they were well trained and prepared, police were the targets and it is Domestic terror.” He added, “Police lives matter."RICK SCOTT: Rick Scott’s plans with Donald Trump on Friday were cancelled after the attack in Dallas. The presumptive GOP was scheduled to head to lunch at Versailles Cuban Restaurant in Miami with Scott before heading down the road for a policy speech.
Headlines: The Democrats
CORY BOOKER: Politico Magazine is out today with a biting article about Cory Booker’s tenure as mayor of Newark.
TIM KAINE: “The shootings in Dallas last night were a brazen and calculated attack on brave police officers doing their jobs to protect their fellow citizens,” Sen. Kaine said in a statement this morning. "I join Americans across the country in condemning this horrific act of senseless violence, mourning the loss of five law enforcement heroes and praying for the recovery of those wounded.”
On Thursday night, Kaine also posted his extensive Senate floor remarks about the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, calling it “A Tale of Two Cities.” In the speech that was made hours before the deadly police shooting in Dallas, Kaine remarked on how police deaths by gunfire had actually been reduced. "If we have brought down the rate of police deaths by gunfire, we can bring down the rate of people killed by police,” he wrote, mentioning how he came face to face with the danger of police work as mayor and governor. "But we cannot do it unless we care and unless we act."
Kaine also taped an interview with Univision on Thursday that will air this Sunday.
ELIZABETH WARREN: "No. No. No. No. No. More killing solves nothing,” Warren wrote in a Facebook post after the Dallas shoootings. "More grieving moms and dads, sons and daughters cannot bring back those we’ve already lost. Black Americans should not be killed in routine traffic stops and police officers should not be killed while protecting and serving their communities…”
On the VP front, in case you missed it Thursday, Vanity Fair outlines why they believe Warren and Clinton are "hopelessly mismatched.”
XAVIER BECERRA: Two Tweets this morning from Becerra on Dallas, Minnesota, and Louisiana, and the statement below.“America is grief-stricken. The devastating news from Dallas comes on the heels of the disturbing news from Baton Rouge and St. Paul. We pray for the families of the victims, we honor the service of the heroic fallen police officers in Dallas, and we must do all we can to keep those we love on this Earth so they may live full and prosperous lives. America, we can't go about our lives with 'business as usual'. We must rethink how we treat violence and hate. We must confront their many manifestations. And we must stand up for those who stand up for us. It's time to do more than hold a moment of silence for those we love and honor and will miss forever.”
SHERROD BROWN: Brown quoted Rep. John Lewis in marking this tumultuous week: "We pray for this country, for the people in Louisiana & Minnesota, & in Dallas.” Brown is home in Ohio this weekend.
AL FRANKEN: Franken sent his condolences on the deadly police shooting in Dallas,tweeting: "Words cannot express my grief over the horrific act of violence that took five officers from the #Dallas community last night."