Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Thursday night that she asked Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to take her name out of consideration as his vice presidential running mate, and recommended that he choose a woman of color.
“America must seize on this moment, and I truly believe, as I told the vice president last night, that I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on the ticket,” Klobuchar said in an interview on MSNBC.
In a follow-up interview with the Star Tribune, Klobuchar clarified that she reached out to Biden to ask him to pull her name from his VP list, not the other way around. She said she was still being vetted for the vice presidential slot, though many Democrats believe Klobuchar’s chances suffered after the unrest that sprang up in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police officers on May 25.
“I told him how hard this has been in our state, and how tragic it’s been, and how I’ve got a lot of work to do as Minnesota’s senator,” Klobuchar said. She said Biden was “kind” in response.
Many leading Democrats have called on Biden to choose a woman of color to round out his ticket, especially after the nationwide Black Lives Matter-inspired protests that followed Floyd’s death.
Klobuchar, who has represented Minnesota as a U.S. senator since 2007, mounted her own bid for the Democratic presidential nomination this year. She finished an unexpected third in the New Hampshire primary, but poor showings in several subsequent states pushed her out of the race by early March.
Klobuchar immediately endorsed Biden upon dropping out, which helped propel him to a surprise win in Minnesota’s presidential primary. It also quickly put her on a shortlist of VP prospects, but she subsequently fell as pressure grew on Biden to choose a woman of color.
Klobuchar said such a move would help the country heal. She declined the chance to suggest any possibilities. Among those mentioned have been Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Rep. Val Demings of Florida, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Klobuchar said she sees an important role for herself in the Senate in pushing legislation to respond to the questions and concerns raised anew by Floyd’s death. Klobuchar is hoping to lead in the Senate on protecting and expanding voting rights, which has emerged as a contentious issue in this year’s presidential race.