WASHINGTON — At a town hall-style event on Monday in New Hampshire, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was asked if he would consider a Republican as his vice president. Biden replied, “I would, but I can’t think of one now.”
The answer, as the New York Times reported, drew laughter from the crowd.
Biden said it was “presumptuous” for him to be talking about running mates before having won the nomination. Axios quoted the former vice president as saying, “whomever I would pick for vice president — and there’s a lot of qualified women, there’s a lot of qualified African-Americans, there really, truly are… I’d pick someone who was simpatico with me, who knew what my priorities were and knew what I wanted to do.”
Axios points out that Biden wouldn’t be the first presidential nominee to consider a bipartisan White House ticket, highlighting that the late Senator John McCain considered choosing once-democrat, turned independent, Senator Joseph Lieberman to possibly be his vice presidential pick back in 2008. Axios also pointed out that former president Abraham Lincoln, who was a Republican member of the Union Party, ran alongside Senator Andrew Johnson, who was a Democrat. That was back in 1864 during the Civil War.
Biden has stressed the importance of Democratic presidents working with Republicans in order to get things done. The New York Times pointed out that back in November, Biden mentioned four female Democrats that might be possible running mates. They included Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan from New Hampshire as well as Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia House minority leader. He also mentioned Sally Q. Yates, the former acting attorney general who, as the Times reported, was fired by President Trump in 2017.