In an interview with a CBS Pittsburgh affiliate on Monday, Democratic presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden was asked if he would “commit” to picking a “woman of color” as his running mate.
“Where are you in naming that running mate and will you commit that that person would be a woman of color?” KDKA’s Jon Delano asked the former Vice President.
“No,” said Biden. “I’ll commit that it’d be a woman because it is very important that my administration look like the public, look like the nation.”
Biden then repeated a version of his previous promise to place an African-American woman on the Supreme Court. “And there will be, I 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 said.
“I think it’s really important now that we establish, once and for all, we should have had a woman president already, in Hillary [Clinton], in my view,” Biden added. “There are a number of qualified women out there.”
“In terms of who to pick, we’re just beginning the process,” the Democratic candidate continued. “We shortly [may be] announcing the committee I have named to review this and to begin to look through the backgrounds of the potential nominees — and that’s just getting underway.”
“I’ve heard some speculation about Michelle Obama as Vice President,” said Delano, a comment that got an initial laugh from Biden. “If she said to you she’d be willing to be your running mate, would you ask her?”
“Oh, I’d take her in a heartbeat,” said Biden. “She’s brilliant. She knows the way around. She is a really fine woman. The Obamas are great friends.”
Delano followed that up by asking Biden if he’d shut down the fracking industry in the region and Biden said no, but added that he would not allow any new leasing on federal land and would make sure the industry was not having any negative environmental impact.
During a presidential debate against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in Washington, D.C. last month, the candidates were asked “How will your cabinet ensure the best advice on issues that affect women’s physical and financial health?” Biden responded by saying that he would appoint the first African American woman to the Supreme Court and reiterated his pledge to choose a female running mate.
“I committed that if I’m elected president [and] have an opportunity to appoint someone to the courts, I’ll appoint the first black woman to the courts. It’s required that they have representation now. It’s long overdue,” he said. “Secondly, if I am elected president, my cabinet, my administration will look like the country, and I commit that I will, in fact, pick a woman to be vice president. There are a number of women who are qualified to be president tomorrow. I would pick a woman to be my vice president.”
Asked if he’d “make that same commitment,” Sanders sidestepped the question and asked Biden about his former support for the Hyde Amendment, “which says that a low-income woman cannot use Medicaid funding for an abortion.”
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