Democratic debate: Joe Biden commits to picking female running mate in 2020 election

Former vice president commits publicly after months of rumours that he would choose a woman 

Richard Hall
New York
Monday 16 March 2020 03:01 GMT

Joe Biden has committed to picking a woman as his running mate should he go on to become the Democratic nominee for president.

The former vice president made the commitment in a Sunday night debate with rival Bernie Sanders that focused largely on the coronavirus pandemic.

“If I’m elected president, my cabinet, my administration, will look like the country, and I commit that I will in fact appoint and pick a woman as vice president,” he said.

“There are a number of women who are qualified to be president tomorrow,” he added.

Mr Biden also repeated a pledge to nominate a black woman to the US supreme court if he became president.

As the Democratic field has been whittled down to two white men, both in their late 70s, the candidates have come under pressure to justify their commitment to gender equality and diversity.

The two favourites to be named Mr Biden’s running mate are both women.

Stacey Abrams, a progressive rising star in the Democratic party who narrowly failed in her bid to become the governor of Georgia, has long rumoured to have been in the running.

Also reportedly in the running is Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar, who outperformed expectations in the primary race before dropping out to endorse Mr Biden.

Mr Sanders said he too would “in all likelihood” name a woman as his running mate.

“To me it’s not just nominating a woman, it is making sure that we have a progressive woman,” he added.

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