Former Vice President Joe Biden said he is committed to choosing a woman as his running mate if he is the Democratic nominee at CNN's 11th Democratic debate on Sunday night.
"If I'm elected president, my cabinet — my administration — will look like the country, and I commit that I will in fact appoint a woman to be vice president," Biden said during an unusual debate that did not have a studio audience because of precautions around the coronavirus pandemic. "There are a number of women who are qualified to be president tomorrow. I would pick a woman to be my vice president."
After Sen. Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the race and the Democratic contest was down to Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, it was clear that, once again, whoever became president in 2020 would be a man. Women's groups like EMILY's List pressured the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to make a commitment to include women in its conversations, including calling for the eventual Democratic nominee to select a woman running mate, appoint a majority-woman cabinet, and to center economic issues such as paid family leave in the Democratic platform.
"Democratic victory in 2020 will depend on record-breaking participation by women," the groups wrote in a letter to the DNC. "Women are the backbone of the Democratic party. Women are a majority of Democratic voters, volunteers, and donors."
There have long been conversations about Biden's potential vice-presidential pick, and he has dropped a few hints as to who it would be. On the list are former presidential candidates Sens. Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren; as well as Stacey Abrams, former candidate for governor of Georgia, and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Biden also committed to choosing the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court, which he had brought up in a previous debate.
Sanders, when asked the running-mate question, said he would "in all likelihood" pick a woman as vice president, but reminded everyone that he believes ideology is more important than representation. "For me, it's not just nominating a woman. It is making sure that we have a progressive woman, and there are progressive women out there," he said.