Biden says he’s spoken to Obama about VP picks, will start vetting in weeks
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden says he will begin his search for a running mate “in a matter of weeks” — and later admitted that he had spoken to former President Barack Obama about his potential picks.
Speaking to donors on a Sunday night call, the former vice president said he would be choosing from a group “in excess of six or seven people” and that the vetting process will be getting started “relatively soon.”
Biden is transitioning from a primary campaign to a general election campaign, weeks after sweeping most Super Tuesday states and every state contest following that.
“The reason why it worked for Barack and me so well is we agreed substantively on every major issue. We disagreed on some tactical ways to approach the issues,” Biden said on the call.
“So it’s going to be important that whomever I pick is completely comfortable with my policy prescriptions as to how we move forward. Doesn’t mean I don’t want, as Barack asked for, someone questioning me, challenging me, I do want that.”
Biden continued that he needs a running mate to be “someone who is comfortable with where I am [on the issues]” and who did not disagree on a fundamental level with his positions on health care and education.
The Democratic front-runner would not name names during the conversation with supporters, despite singing the praises of former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who was present on the call, although he did appear to maintain his pledge to put a female on the ticket with him.
“I think there are plenty of women who are ready, been tested out there who are capable of answering all those questions. And 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,” Biden said of the women on his VP shortlist.
The former VP revealed that he had spoken to Obama about choosing a running mate, adding that they discussed the importance of that person being prepared to be president if something were to happen to him.
“They have to be prepared,” he said, “once I pick someone, God willing, if I’m the nominee, that there’s not going to be any snafu.”