Joe Biden said that he would choose a woman as his running mate during Sunday’s Democratic presidential debate.
Bernie Sanders, the only other candidate on stage with Biden, also told the moderators that he would “in all likelihood” choose a woman to be his vice president if he won the nomination. He added that his thought process behind the decision was not “just nominating a woman” but pushing a progressive woman, and that there are progressive women that could receive the nomination. “My very strong tendencies is to move in that direction,” Sanders said.
“If I'm elected president, my cabinet, my administration will look like the country and I commit that I will, in fact, appoint a, pick a woman to be vice president,” Biden told the debate moderators. “There are a number of women qualified to be president tomorrow. I would pick a woman to be my vice president.”
Biden has previously floated the possibility of nominating a woman to be vice president but had not fully committed to the idea until Sunday night.
“It’s something he thought about a lot recently and he decided he wanted to make a big commitment on a big stage," Biden campaign senior adviser Symone Sanders told reporters on a call after the debate.
In the past, Biden has floated four specific women who he might select: New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, former acting attorney general Sally Yates, and former Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia Stacey Abrams. Biden has also received endorsements from two former presidential candidates, Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris, whose supporters have called for his campaign to pick them to be on his ticket.
Later on the post-debate call, which included other Biden campaign officials, a reporter asked specifically about Abrams, who’s often mentioned as a vice presidential prospect and was among those House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn — a Biden supporter — suggested in an interview with Axios.
“There are a number of women who would be great in that position, and he is committed to picking one,” Rep. Cedric Richmond, a cochair of Biden’s campaign, responded on the call. “I don’t think it would be appropriate to say who he’s talked to or not talked to.”
Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang tweeted that when he’d spoken with Biden that he hadn’t brought up that he was committing to picking a woman as vice president.