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Biden says he would consider choosing a Republican as running mate

Joe Biden.
Joe Biden at an Iowa campaign stop last week. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden said at a campaign stop in New Hampshire Monday that he would consider choosing a Republican running mate if he wins the 2020 Democratic nomination, but that he "can't think of one right now," CNN reports.

What he's saying: "There are some really decent Republicans that are out there still, but here’s the problem right now with the well-known ones: They’ve got to step up. You know what I mean?"

  • Biden also said it is "presumptuous" for him to talk about potential running mates without having won the nomination.
  • "Whomever 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. … I’d pick someone who was simpatico with me, who knew what my priorities were and knew what I wanted to do," Biden said.

Why it matters: Biden faced backlash earlier in the primary for allegations that he spoke fondly about working across the aisle with segregationist senators during a speech about "civility."

  • He later apologized and said the comments were misconstrued, but throughout his campaign has continued to emphasize the importance of working with the "opposition" to get things done.

Between the lines: The pitch wouldn't be the first time a presidential nominee weighed a bipartisan White House ticket. The late Republican Sen. John McCain considered choosing independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, once a Democrat, as his vice presidential pick in 2008.

  • Former President Abraham Lincoln, a Republican member of the Union Party, ran with Sen. Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, in 1864 in an effort to bridge a deeply divided America during the Civil War.

Go deeper: Biden says Warren on list of possible VPs