Biden hosts potential VP pick Gretchen Whitmer on podcast

 

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response Biden tells CNN town hall that he has benefited from white privilege MORE brought Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerFeehery: A surprising Republican wave election could be looming 400K sign on to ballot drive to repeal Michigan governor's emergency powers States need prepared, predictable policies before the next pandemic 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 HolderThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's rally risk | Biden ramps up legal team | Biden hits Trump over climate policy Biden campaign forming 'special litigation' team ahead of possible voting battle Pompeo, Engel poised for battle in contempt proceedings 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 MastoVA problems raise worries about mail slowdown, prescriptions Cortez Masto touts mail-in voting in convention speech Vulnerable Senate Democrat urges unity: 'Not about what side of the aisle we're on' MORE (D-Nev.), Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsFlorida Democrat introduces bill to recognize Puerto Rico statehood referendum Sunday shows - Trump team defends coronavirus response Demings slams GOP coronavirus relief bill: Americans 'deserve more than the crumbs from the table' MORE (D-Fla.) and two of his former rivals for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisScott Walker helping to prep Pence for debate against Harris: report California family frustrated that governor, Harris used fire-damaged property for 'photo opportunity' Moderna releases coronavirus vaccine trial plan as enrollment pushes toward 30,000 MORE (D-Calif.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharEPA delivers win for ethanol industry angered by waivers to refiners It's time for newspapers to stop endorsing presidential candidates Biden marks anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, knocks Trump and McConnell 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 SandersMcConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by 'downplaying progress' on election security The Hill's Campaign Report: Arizona shifts towards Biden | Biden prepares for drive-in town hall | New Biden ad targets Latino voters Why Democrats must confront extreme left wing incitement to violence 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.