Trump says Kamala Harris would be 'fine choice' for Biden's running mate

Just 28 per cent of Americans say it is important Mr Biden select a person of colour as his running mate, new poll finds

John T. Bennett
Washington Bureau Chief
Wednesday 29 July 2020 16:21
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Joe Biden discusses his choice of Vice President

Donald Trump said California Senator Kamala Harris would be a "fine choice" to join Joe Biden on the Democratic presidential ticket, weighing in on the former vice president's ongoing deliberations over his running mate.

"I think she'd be a fine choice, Kamala Harris. She'd be a fine choice," the president said as he left for a trip to Texas after being asked to rank her chances in the "Veepstakes."

Mr Biden said on Tuesday that he plans to announce his selection by the end of next week, with several women of colour reportedly rocketing to the top of his shortlist.

Ms Harris and others – like Florida Congresswoman Val Demings, California Congresswoman Karen Bass, former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice and former Georgia state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams – have been making the cable television rounds stumping for Mr Biden for months as he mulled a running mate.

Notably, however, only 28 per cent of those polled for a new survey released Wednesday by Politico and Morning Consult said it is "very" or "somewhat" important that Mr Biden choose a person of colour to join him on the Democratic Party's presidential ticket.

Only slightly more, 32 per cent, said it is "very" or "somewhat" important for him to select a woman.

A majority, 56 per cent, want Mr Biden to choose a running mate who has had executive-level experience. And a clear majority, 61 per cent, want someone who has legislative experience.

Mr Biden would be the oldest person ever elected to the US presidency. To that end, 49 per cent of those polled want him to choose a running mate who is younger than his 77 years of age.

In a blow to VP possibilities like Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, only 25 per cent of those surveyed would like Mr Biden to select someone more progressive.

The former vice president, considered a moderate for years, said on Tuesday, if elected, he would go down as the most progressive president in American history.

A longshot is Susan Rice. She was Barack Obama's last national security adviser and US ambassador to the United Nations under the 44th president.

Mr Biden had a West Wing office beside hers, and the two became chums. But she initially misspoke about the attack on an American facility in Bengazhi, Libya, and was panned for years by conservatives. Selecting Ms Rice could give Mr Trump plenty of fodder to fire up his base about her joining Mr Biden on the ticket.

Most widely respected polls show Mr Biden leading Mr Trump nationally, and more importantly, in a slew of swing states and others, including Texas, that the president won rather easily four years ago.

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