Biden Campaign Asks Vice Presidential Contenders for References
WASHINGTON — Joe Biden’s campaign is asking some potential vice presidential candidates to submit references, as the presumptive Democratic nominee’s team begins the formal vetting process, according to two people with knowledge of the process.
Some of the contenders, most of them senators or governors, have been asking other politicians, former bosses and mentors to vouch for them during the vetting process, which is just formally beginning.
At least one of the candidates who has been asked for references is New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, according to an individual with knowledge of the request.
The reference requests are the first tangible sign that Biden’s vice presidential selection committee, announced at the end of April, is beginning its work in earnest.
The people with knowledge of the process declined to name who the campaign has been asking about, citing the private nature of their discussions. The Biden campaign declined comment.
Biden’s vetting team is chaired by former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, Delaware Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and former Apple executive and longtime Biden aide Cynthia Hogan. Biden has said he hopes the vetting process will be complete by July.
Biden, who has promised that his running mate will be a woman, said he is looking at “more than a dozen women” and there is “significantly more than one black woman” on the list.
On Tuesday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told NBC’s “Today” show that she had an “opening conversation” with the Biden campaign about the vice presidential search, but she declined to elaborate.
“It’s not something that I would call a professional, formalized vetting,” said Whitmer, who leads a swing state that is a must-win for Biden in November. She has gotten high marks from Democrats — and sharp criticism from Republicans — for her coronavirus lockdown orders.
Typically a closely guarded process, Biden has spoken publicly about many of the women he is considering: In addition to Whitmer, top contenders include California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Florida Rep. Val Demings, Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Lujan Grisham are also likely being considered. Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin told the Chicago Tribune last week that he thought Duckworth was going to be interviewed soon.
With the campaign operating virtually, Biden has held public events and private fundraisers with many of the women he is considering. Whitmer was one of three Democratic governors who appeared at a virtual roundtable last week to discuss the COVID-19 response, and Abrams later joined Biden for a virtual town hall on MSNBC. Both Harris and Klobuchar have co-hosted fundraisers with Biden, and Duckworth is scheduled to participate in one next week.
VoteVets, a political action committee that supports liberal veterans running for office, also issued an online ad in favor of Duckworth, a veteran who lost both her legs in combat.
Biden has also spoken at length about the qualities he is seeking in a running mate. He has said it is critical to select someone who is capable of stepping into the presidency on “day one” and someone who is “simpatico” with his policy positions.
©2020 Bloomberg News
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
In The News
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump scored a tactical victory from the Supreme Court that will likely keep his personal financial records out of public view through the November election, but he framed Thursday’s two rulings as a loss imposed by his enemies. The president was rebuffed... Read More
SEATTLE — When a mysterious virus began racing around the globe early this year, scientists at the University of Washington’s newly created Center for an Informed Public described it as the perfect storm for bogus information, both innocent and malicious. So what’s the situation six months... Read More
Proxy voting has been extended through mid-August in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday. House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving, in consultation with the Office of the Attending Physician, notified Pelosi that the public health emergency due to the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic remains ongoing. “I... Read More
WASHINGTON – A group of influential Democratic Senators are urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to deny a confirmation vote of President Donald Trump’s nominee for a vacant United States appeals court seat. The legislators appealed to McConnell in a letter after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved... Read More
The U.S. has spent more than half of $3 trillion in economic rescue funds passed by Congress — with little of the oversight intended to ensure the money goes to the right places. Three new oversight bodies are barely functional: A special inspector general was only... Read More
Urged on by President Donald Trump, Republican officials in several swing states, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, are ramping up pressure on Democratic governors to move faster on reopening their economies, despite experts’ warnings of a surge in infections and deaths. The mounting pressure comes as... Read More