Joe Biden has a shortlist of more than six women to be his running mate and will start the vetting process “in a matter of weeks,” he said Sunday during a call with donors.
Biden, who indicated he had consulted with his former boss, President Barack Obama, didn’t mention any names. But he said nothing to dispel the speculation that he’s considering the three senators who ran against him for president — Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren.
“Background checks matter. They have to be prepared,” Biden said, adding that he wants to ensure that “there’s not going to be any snafu” with his selection.
“The most important thing, and I've actually talked to Barack about this — the most important thing is that there has to be someone who, the day after they’re picked, is prepared to be president of the United States of America if something happened,” said Biden, who is 77.
Biden said he needs “someone who is comfortable with where I am” on policy. He doesn’t want someone with “a restricted view of the United States and its required influence in the world” and wants to make sure his pick is not “at odds, in any fundamental way, with my attitude toward healthcare or education.”
“I think there are plenty of women who are ready, been tested out there who are capable of answering all those questions,” Biden said, noting that “I have to start that vetting process relatively soon, meaning in a matter of weeks...there will be a group that is in excess of six or seven people that I look at.”
The donor who asked Biden the question about his possible running mate then threw in a plug for former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates, who was on the call and who was widely hailed by Democrats after she was fired for her post in 2017 for refusing to defend President Trump’s immigration policy in court.
“She's really incredible. Sally's an incredible person,” Biden said.
The fundraiser was originally supposed to take place in Atlanta, Georgia, but it was moved to a tele-fundraiser due to the coronavirus contagion. During the 23-minute call, Biden took a few passing shots at Trump and accused him of dishonesty and feckless leadership during the crisis.
Asked if he believed the November election would be postponed, Biden said it shouldn’t be.
“I know there’s a lot of rumors and speculation as to, ‘is the other guy going to try to postpone the election in November’ and all that,” Biden said. “There’s no need to do that.”
Another donor said she was concerned that Biden hasn’t been visible in recent days.
“We see Donald Trump every day with this crisis giving his press report,” the donor said. “And I would just love to see you more. Like how do we get more of you and less of him on our airwaves?”
Biden said he would have his first press briefing on the coronavirus about 11:30 a.m. Monday now that his home is broadcast ready in the time of coronavirus and social distancing.
“They put in a new high-speed line into my home,” he said. “They've converted a recreation room, basically, into a television studio.”