Former Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that when picking a running mate, he would prefer someone who was “of color and/or a different gender.”
“Whomever I pick, preferably it will be someone who was of color and/or a different gender, but I’m not making that commitment until I know that the person I’m dealing with I can completely and thoroughly trust as authentic and on the same page [as me],” Biden said while speaking to a roundtable of black journalists.
The comment echoed previous statements he’s made. When asked by CNN’s Chris Cuomo in July if he would need to have a female running mate, Biden replied, “I think it’d be great to have a female VP.”
But Biden has long added the caveat he would need to be “simpatico” with any future running mate.
“Here’s the first thing about being a VP I’ve learned and that is in today’s environment there’s so much a president has on his or her plate. They need someone that they completely trust, that they’re simpatico with, have the same approach, political approach and you can delegate significant authority,” he told Cuomo.
Biden has repeatedly been asked about a potential future running mate on the trail. When asked by a female voter in August if he would consider a female running mate, Biden replied that he could immediately think of four women that he would consider.
“Look guys, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t vote for a female candidate for president,” he told the crowd in Las Vegas earlier this month.
He said later, “I can think of four women right off the bat who I would be willing to ask to be Vice President of the United States, some of whom are not running at all now, they’re not engaged, they’re not out there running, who in fact have the capacity to be President of the United States.”
During Tuesday’s roundtable, Biden also talked about his previous comments about segregationist senators. Earlier this summer, Biden was criticized after he used two segregationist senators as examples of colleagues he could work with during an era when “at least there was some civility” in the Senate.
“I’m not using those examples anymore,” he said Tuesday, according to Politico.
He said he is cognizant of the need to add context to anything he talks about from the 1970s and 1980s, as he is one of the older candidates on the trail, calling it a “frightening thing” that often people don’t understand the context.
Also during the roundtable, Biden said he doesn’t know why black voters prefer him or other candidates, but acknowledged that nothing is certain in a campaign.
“By the way, that doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way,” he said.
“You can go back and look: When Barack (Obama) clobbered me in the campaign, you know, I had more black support in South Carolina than anybody, including him. I got blown out in Iowa and all of a sudden everything changed. Same thing could happen.”