Biden hosts potential VP pick Gretchen Whitmer on podcast

 

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Republican calls second bout of COVID-19 'far more challenging' Conflicting school mask guidance sparks confusion Biden: Pathway to citizenship in reconciliation package 'remains to be seen' MORE brought Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerReporter: FBI involvement in Whitmer plot similar to sting operations targeting Islamic extremists Former Detroit police chief takes step toward gubernatorial run Whitmer has raised .5 million so far in 2021 MORE (D) onto his newly launched podcast on Monday, a move that could stoke speculation he’s considering her as a potential running mate.

“Gov. Whitmer is an outstanding governor. She is one of the most talented people in the country in my view,” Biden said while introducing her on the podcast. “She also is a supporter. She was also a co-chair of my campaign. She’s a good friend, but she has been laser focused, laser focused on delivering for her state.”

Biden has already said he plans to choose a woman as his running mate if he wins the Democratic presidential nomination. He has said there are between six and 10 contenders for the role, including Whitmer.

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Biden's associates have spoken about the running mate selection process in recent weeks with former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderBiden under pressure to pick new breed of federal prosecutors Obama says Senate will vote again on voting rights Obama: Voting rights bill must pass before next election MORE, who helped lead the effort for former President Obama in 2008. Biden said he has also spoken with Obama about the process.

Besides Whitmer, the former vice president’s allies have also mentioned Sen. Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoWestern US airports face jet fuel shortage Overnight Energy: Senate panel advances controversial public lands nominee | Nevada Democrat introduces bill requiring feds to develop fire management plan | NJ requiring public water systems to replace lead pipes in 10 years Nevada Democrat introduces bill requiring feds to develop fire management plan MORE (D-Nev.), Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsThe Hill's Morning Report - Surging COVID-19 infections loom over US, Olympics Six takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections Cuba, Haiti pose major challenges for Florida Democrats MORE (D-Fla.) and two of his former rivals for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisWill Pence primary Trump — and win? Kavanaugh conspiracy? Demands to reopen investigation ignore both facts and the law 'CON laws' limit the health care competition Biden aims to deliver MORE (D-Calif.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharBiden signals tough stance on tech with antitrust picks Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks Competition laws could be a death knell for startup mergers and acquisitions MORE (D-Minn.).

Biden’s aides have cautioned, however, that the running mate selection process is still in its early phases. Biden told donors on Friday that he will soon announce the formation of a committee to oversee the process.

“It’s kind of presumptuous, but sometime in the middle of the month we’re going to announce a committee that’s going to be overseeing the vice presidential selection process,” he said, according to a press pool report.

He also said that the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) decision to delay its nominating convention from July to Aug. 17 gives him more time to make his choice.

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Biden has yet to secure the 1,991 delegates he needs to clinch the party’s nomination, but he has amassed a nearly insurmountable lead over his only remaining primary rival, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTo break the corporate tax logjam, tax overinflated CEO pay Will Pence primary Trump — and win? Grassley pressured to run as Democrats set sights on Iowa MORE (I-Vt.).

Biden said on Friday that he had spoken to Sanders and had told him that he would begin moving forward with the running mate selection process.

“We’re competitors. He’s a friend. I don’t want him to think I’m being presumptuous,” Biden said. “But you have to start now deciding who you’re going to have background checks done on as potential vice presidential candidates and it takes time.”

The former vice president launched his podcast “Here’s the Deal” last week as he looks to build up his campaign’s digital operation amid the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic has largely halted traditional campaign tactics and forced candidates to step up their online outreach.