In a move that could shake the foundation of his primary victory, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Monday that he wouldn’t commit to selecting a woman of color as his vice presidential pick.
“I’ll commit to that be a woman because it is very important that my administration look like the public, look like the nation,” Biden told KDKA. “And there will be, committed that there will be a woman of color on the Supreme Court, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a vice president, as well.”
Biden’s statement could hurt him with black voters, on which he largely relied on to win the Democratic primary after Bernie Sanders jumped out to an early lead. Last month, House Majority Whip James Clyburn urged Biden to select an African American female as his running mate. Clyburn went as far as listing potential candidates including Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, Reps. Marcia Fudge of Ohio, Val Demings of Florida, Karen Bass of California, and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Abrams said last year that she would be willing to serve as the running mate for the Democratic nominee. The Grio, published an opinion piece last week titled, If Biden doesn’t pick Stacey Abrams, he can kiss black voters goodbye, almost daring Biden to try to win with anyone else.
So far this month, Biden has received endorsements from former President Barack Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Biden also tried to appeal to young voters who backed Sanders and Warren by calling for widespread student loan forgiveness. But, he has also been non-committal about marijuana legalization, another factor that could swing young and minority voters in his favor.
Biden has largely been quiet on even potential vice president candidates, but did say in the interview he would readily have Michelle Obama as his running mate “in a heartbeat.”