Biden says Whitmer still in contention for VP pick

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenRon Johnson signals some GOP senators concerned about his Obama-era probes On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' MORE said he is still considering Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to be his running mate as he sifts through a field of several women for his No. 2 pick.

“Incredibly and yes,” Biden told Wood TV Tuesday when asked how important Michigan is in the presidential race and if Whitmer was still in contention for the vice presidential nomination.

The remarks confirming Whitmer is still in the running to be Biden’s running mate come as focus has been thrust more sharply on Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisCandidates on Biden's VP list were asked what they thought Trump would nickname them as part of process: report Bass on filling Harris's Senate spot: 'I'll keep all my options open' Election security advocates see strong ally in Harris MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenNew poll shows Markey with wide lead over Kennedy in Massachusetts Trump and allies grapple with how to target Harris Chris Wallace: Kamala Harris 'not far to the left despite what Republicans are gonna try to say' MORE (D-Mass.) and Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthChris Wallace: Kamala Harris 'not far to the left despite what Republicans are gonna try to say' GOP lawmaker: 'Pretty cool' Harris has a shot at being the 'most powerful person in the world' Fox's Ari Fleischer: Harris 'not that historically exciting to African Americans' MORE (D-Ill.), Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsGOP lawmaker: 'Pretty cool' Harris has a shot at being the 'most powerful person in the world' How Biden decided on Harris Kamala Harris: The conventional (and predictable) pick all along MORE (D-Fla.), Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D), former national security adviser Susan Rice and more. 

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Biden has already vowed to select a woman as his running mate, though he’s come under increased pressure to pick a woman of color in light of the current national reckoning over systemic racism that was sparked by the killing of George Floyd in May. 

Proponents of picking Whitmer have suggested she can boost Biden’s chances of winning Michigan, a key swing state that President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' MORE narrowly won in 2016. However, some Democrats have warned that picking another centrist could risk alienating the party’s progressive flank. 

Biden noted Michigan’s importance in the 2020 race, calling it “the key.”

“Michigan is a state that is incredibly important,” he said. “My case is to the people of Michigan that I think if they take a look at what’s at stake here in this election, it’s been even more clear with this pandemic and national reckoning on race, we can’t afford four more years of Donald Trump. And so Michigan is critical, critical, critical for me to be able to win.”