Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by American Clean Power — Methane fee faces negotiations White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege The No Surprises Act: a bill long overdue MORE (D) said Sunday that he would begin the process of searching for a vice presidential candidate in a few weeks as he cements his lead as the frontrunner in the Democratic primary race for the White House.
In comments to reporters during a phone call with members of the media and supporters, the former vice president said that he was looking at a minimum of "six or seven" possible candidates for the position.
“I have to start that vetting process relatively soon, meaning in a matter of weeks," Biden said. "I think there will be a group that is in excess of six or seven people that I look at – because those background checks matter."
Biden in the call acknowledged he had consulted with former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden ahead of pace Trump set for days away from White House: CNN The Senate is setting a dangerous precedent with Iron Dome funding Obama says change may be coming 'too rapidly' for many MORE about his possible pick. During a debate earlier in the month, Biden pledged to pick a woman as his vice president.
"But I think there are plenty of women who are ready, been tested out there who are capable of answering all those questions," he told reporters. "And 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.”
Biden has emerged as the clear frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in recent weeks following sweeping victories on Super Tuesday and in later contests. He now leads his only remaining competitor, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats face critical 72 hours Overnight Health Care — Presented by Altria — Manchin nixes Medicare expansion Manchin shutting down Sanders on Medicare expansion MORE (I-Vt.), in most polls of remaining primary states.
Along with Sanders, Biden has been forced from the campaign trail in recent days due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, instead opting for virtual campaign events such as Sunday's phone call.