By CHEYENNE HASLETT, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin said she would accept if asked to be 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate, she said on ABC’s The View on Thursday morning.
“If he were to ask me to be his running mate, I certainly would,” she said.
Asked if Biden should choose a woman of color as his running mate, as has been suggested in some Democratic circles, Baldwin noted that the former vice president is likely weighing many factors.
“Well, I certainly think that when Joe Biden announces his running mate in likely the beginning of August, it will be an historic choice, and if he chooses a woman of color, I think that there are such exceptional candidates that he’s interviewing and vetting, but I have to respect that Joe Biden has his own process and his own things that he’s evaluating,” she said. “I’ve got to suspect he’s looking into the very strong relationship he had with President Obama when he served as vice president, and he’s certainly weighing all sorts of factors and I have to respect that he has his own process.”
Baldwin is poised to potentially make history as the first openly gay U.S. vice presidential candidate, should 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden select her as his running mate.
“I have always sought not to make history, but to make a difference, and I think as more and more people understand that I am there fighting for them and the issues that concern us all, that things have changed over time,” she said.
Baldwin, who represents Wisconsin, was the first openly gay woman to be elected to the Senate in 2012. The 58-year-old senator, who is widely expected to be a contender for the vice presidential pick, supports progressive policies like Medicare for All and the House Democrats’ legislation for police reform. Her state, Wisconsin, played a deciding role in the 2016 election and will again be under the microscope in 2020.
President Donald Trump visited the state Thursday, highlighting the importance of Wisconsin voters to the president’s campaign. It was his second trip to the state since January and the president planned to hold a Fox News town hall from the state Thursday night, an attempt to reach Wisconsinites during the era of coronavirus. On Wednesday, a poll from Marquette University showed Biden leading in a head-to-head matchup against Trump among registered voters in the state, 49 to 41 percent.
“We know that the path to the presidency goes right through the state of Wisconsin. It’s always on that list,” Baldwin said
Wisconsin remains a close race: 44% of respondents said they have a favorable view of Biden, while 42% say they have a favorable view of Trump. 46% of respondents said they have an unfavorable view of Biden, while 54% said they have an unfavorable view of Trump.
Some 71% of Wisconsin registered voters said they feel that there is a lot of discrimination against Black Americans today, which limits their chances to get ahead, though nearly 1 in four respondents said they opposed calls from the Black Lives Matter movement to “defund the police,” a term that broadly refers to diverting funds from police departments and instead putting it toward community health and safety services.
According to the poll from Marquette University, 81% of Wisconsin registered voters said the support restructuring the role of police and requiring greater accountability for police misconduct.
Wisconsin is also the intended location for the Democratic National Convention this summer, where Biden will accept the Democratic nomination to run against Trump this November. Biden and the DNC announced Wednesday, however, that they’ve made the decision to hold the convention virtually.
Trump and the Republican National Committee, conversely, still intends to hold the party’s convention in person, despite health risks. Baldwin called the contrast evidence of Trump’s “failure of leadership” and called attention to Wednesday’s record-high for positive coronavirus test results in the U.S.
“He’s pretending as though this pandemic is behind us and yet yesterday we set the single highest day of COVID positive test results, and each of those represent people. Statistics are people,” Baldwin said.
She said she still believed Milwaukee, the city where the convention will be held, will still be able to conduct business around the convention, which is a huge draw for political tourism. It will, no doubt, be a much smaller economic boon than if the convention was live in person for thousands of media, delegates and politics who normally attend every four years.
“We’ll have Joe Biden in Milwaukee accepting the nomination, and we will be safe and healthy because safety and health is a priority for Joe Biden,” Baldwin said.
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