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Clyburn: Biden needs VP pick who has 'a lot of passion'

Clyburn: Biden needs VP pick who has 'a lot of passion'
© Bonnie Cash

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), a top ally to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenObama, Clinton reflect on Mondale's legacy Biden, Harris commend Mondale in paving the way for female VP Mondale in last message to staff: 'Joe in the White House certainly helps' MORE, said the former vice president needs to pick a running mate who has “a lot of passion.” 

Speaking on MSNBC, Clyburn said a passionate candidate could complement Biden’s compassion and help motivate voters to cast their ballots in November. 

“Joe Biden is a guy full of compassion. He has much more compassion than he exhibits passion. So he needs a running mate with a lot of passion to connect to voters. Biden has the greatest heart that I’ve ever encountered in politics. He is not a ‘rah rah’ guy that will motivate people. But he is the kind of guy you want to help put the policy together,” he said.

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The remarks come in the final days of Biden’s search for a running mate, whom he said he would announce in the first week of August.

Among the candidates Biden is known to be considering, Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden, Harris commend Mondale in paving the way for female VP Overnight Energy: Treasury creates hub to fight climate change through finance | Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez introduce 'Green New Deal for Public Housing' | Harris: Americans able to 'breathe easier and sleep better' under Biden MORE (D-Calif.), Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthTrump looms over Senate's anti-Asian hate crimes battle Lawmakers demand justice for Adam Toledo: 'His hands were up. He was unarmed' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring MORE (D-Ill.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWorld passes 3 million coronavirus deaths Poll: 56 percent say wealth tax is part of solution to inequality Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents MORE (D-Mass.), Reps. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassBass 'hopeful' on passing police reform: 'Republicans that I am working with are operating in good faith' Sunday shows preview: Russia, US exchange sanctions; tensions over policing rise; vaccination campaign continues Lawmakers demand justice for Adam Toledo: 'His hands were up. He was unarmed' MORE (D-Calif.) and Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsTrump hands Rubio coveted reelection endorsement in Florida Democrats urge Biden to take executive action on assault-style firearms Vanita Gupta will fight for all as associate attorney general MORE (D-Fla.) and former national security adviser Susan Rice are reportedly on the list.  

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Speculation over who Biden would tap to be his No. 2 has hit a fever pitch, with several reports casting Harris as a front-runner for the job but also maintaining that contenders like Duckworth, Bass and Rice are still very much in the running.

When asked if it was more important to pick a governing partner or a campaigning partner, Clyburn said “the first thing you’ve got to do is get elected.”

“So at this point in time, I’m thinking the former vice president needs to go about the business of doing the polling that’s necessary to see who would complement the ticket, do the kind of vetting that’s necessary to make sure you don’t have any distractions, and then let his head and heart take a look at this issue so that he can get to where he says is ‘simpatico.’ That, to me, is what’s important,” he said, adding that he likes all the contenders Biden is considering.