Former Vice President and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Wednesday he would consider choosing California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate.
Biden’s comments came one day after Harris dropped out of the presidential race, citing a lack of financial resources.
Following a campaign event in Ames, Iowa, Biden was asked by a reporter whether he’d consider the California Democrat as his pick for vice president if he wins the nomination.
“Of course I would,” Biden told reporters. “Senator Harris has the capacity to be anything she wants to be. I mean it sincerely.”
New: “I’m not good at keeping hard feelings,” @JoeBiden says about @KamalaHarris‘ debate criticism. He reiterates she could be a potential VP pick for him if nominee, when asked by me & @tylerpager @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/mdQSvk6ICn
— Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) December 4, 2019
Biden noted that he spoke to Harris on Tuesday.
“She is solid. She can be president someday herself,” he said.
“She can be the vice president. She can go on to be a Supreme Court justice. She can be attorney general. She has enormous capability.”
Biden was also asked if he had any “hard feelings” left over following a contentious exchange between him and Harris during July’s Democratic presidential debate about school busing and segregation.
Harris had criticized the former vice president for having previously opposed busing and for having recalled fondly the days when he was able to work with segregationist senators, according to The New York Times.
“I’m not good at keeping hard feelings,” Biden said Wednesday.
Harris’ departure sparked concerns from some on the left over a possible lack of candidate diversity at this month’s Democratic debate.
Six candidates have qualified thus far for the debate, all of them white: Biden; Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont; Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; and billionaire Tom Steyer.
“We’re spiraling towards a debate stage that potentially — we’re still fighting to get on it — but could have six people with no diversity whatsoever,” New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, who is running for president but has not yet qualified for the next debate, said Tuesday on MSNBC.
As for Biden, he’s said in the past that he’d like to pick a running mate who is not a white man.
“Whomever I pick, preferably it will be someone who was of color and/or a different gender, but I’m not making that commitment until I know that the person I’m dealing with I can completely and thoroughly trust as authentic and on the same page [as me],” he told The Washington Post in August.
Biden also had high praise for Harris during a campaign event Wednesday in Ames.
“We lost a really good one, the senator from California,” he said, Politico reported.
“She is capable of being president or vice president or on the Supreme Court or attorney general. Her capacity is unlimited.”
Biden is currently leading the pack of Democratic presidential contenders with 27.8 percent support nationwide, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average.