Democratic Party presidential contender Joe Biden announced on Monday that he would put a Republican as his vice presidential candidate in a hypothetical race against President Donald Trump in 2020.
“Our 21-year-old son said the other night, ‘I wonder if Joe Biden would consider choosing a Republican as a running mate,” a woman said to Biden while addressing him at a New Hampshire town hall on Dec. 30.
“The answer is I would, but I can’t think of one now,” Biden said in response. “Let me explain that. You know there’s some really decent Republicans that are out there still, but here’s the problem right now … they’ve got to step up.”
Biden has talked largely in platitudes regarding his potential vice presidential choice, hoping to placate the growing radical base of the Democratic Party by paying lip service to identity politics.
“Whoever I would pick for vice president, and there’s a lot of qualified women, there’s a lot of qualified African-Americans. There really truly are. There’s a plethora of really qualified people. Whomever I would pick were I fortunate enough to be your nominee, I’d pick somebody who was simpatico with me, who knew what I, what my priorities were and knew what I wanted to,” Biden said in Exeter on Monday. “We could disagree on tactic, but strategically we’d have to be in the exact same page.”
The liberal media has been pushing the meme that Biden is the one Democratic candidate that Republicans would consider over President Trump in next year’s election:
Some Democrats have been warning the party not to obsess over these potential swing voters, arguing that electability calculations about mythical undecided moderates are futile at this moment of extreme political polarization.
But for many Biden supporters, those voters are their Republican-leaning relatives and friends. And their perspectives are an increasingly prominent consideration as the Iowa caucuses near.
“I think he could get the independents and moderate Republicans who refuse to vote for Donald Trump,” said Bailey Smith, 27, a leader in Atlantic, Iowa’s business community and an undecided voter who attended a Biden campaign event on Sunday. Asked whether she had any moderate Republicans in mind, she replied, “My dad.”
It’s a dynamic that helps explain why, despite Mr. Biden’s series of missteps and uneven debate performances, many Democratic voters still believe the former vice president would stand the best chance against President Trump in a general election, polls show.
That’s a message Mr. Biden’s top surrogates are sounding at every turn, citing specific potential swing voters in the process.
“I always say that in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, if I didn’t have Republican friends, I wouldn’t have had any friends at all growing up,” said Christie Vilsack, the former first lady of Iowa and a prominent Democrat, as she introduced Mr. Biden at a campaign stop here on Saturday night. “Who will appeal to independents? And I want my candidate to be able to appeal to my Republican friends as well.”
Her remarks came just days after Mr. Trump, with his nearly 90 percent approval rating among Republicans, was impeached largely along party lines after he asked a foreign nation to investigate Mr. Biden. Republicans who have long had warm relationships with Mr. Biden defended the president instead.
Biden, the consummate career politician, is largely calling for politics to go back to the pre-Trump status quo. If he is the best the Democrats can do, Trump’s chances for a second term are looking strong in 2020.
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